Posted on Wednesday 5 June 2019

Orlando’s story – being a CLIC Sargent social worker

CLIC Sargent employs 120 social workers across the UK. They help families handle the challenges that come with a child’s cancer diagnosis. In other words, they are the expert friend when cancer threatens to destroy young lives. Here Orlando, one of our social workers in Birmingham, talks about his job.

“As trained social workers, we introduce CLIC Sargent and support families with all the important admin they really don’t need when their child is going through cancer. We also visit young people in the community, helping them stay on top of their education and employment, and cope with low self-esteem, self-image and isolation, which many young cancer patients struggle with during and after treatment.

“One of the young cancer patients I worked with refused to go out after her treatment finished. Her cancer had disfigured her face, and she’d completely lost her confidence. My job was to help her get it back. We started by talking about how things were going, what her plans were for the future, how she was going to get there. I made sure she had everything she needed to achieve her goal. Then we started going out, getting her used to being out again, even if people stared. Recently she went out by herself to meet friends and some other people she didn’t know. She would never have done that a few months ago. It was a huge step forward.

“I started with CLIC Sargent at a children’s hospital, meeting families facing the unthinkable and helping them to have a future beyond cancer. At first I felt I had to be very serious all the time,which isn’t really me. I mentioned it to my wife, and she said, ‘Look, the young people and families are already going through really tough times, they don’t need to see a miserable person. Just be you.’ I’ve not looked back since.”

Find out more

Day to day support

Our social workers and play specialists help with the everyday challenges cancer brings.

Read more about Day to day support

What we do

CLIC Sargent fights tirelessly for children and young people with cancer and provides services so they can focus on what's important. This is how we...

Read more about What we do
Kaiser (middle), a young person CLIC Sargent supported, with his CLIC Sargent Social Worker Orlando (left) and CLIC Sargent Fundraiser Lydia

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