CancerCare receives Investing in Children Award


A south Cumbrian and north Lancashire cancer charity’s commitment to children has been formally recognised as the charity has received an Investing in Children Award.


CancerCare has achieved the award for listening to and engaging children and young people in dialogue leading to change.

The main areas discussed that led to change were room changes, policies and procedures, creation of a young people’s information leaflet and re-branding.

In order to involve young people and empower them to make changes in CancerCare, the Refresh Project was created. CancerCare has a specialist Child and Young Persons Officer who has championed this project.

One young person described the project as: “This is a group of young people, including me, who decide and put forward changes to benefit other young people within the service. We have put forward presentations to the Trustees, gained qualifications as action researchers and been almost completely in charge of arranging Gillick Competency (a system which enables children and young people to consent to their own medical treatment including counselling) to be put into place.”

Another added: “The ways I have had my say is by joining a group called Refresh. This is a group of young people to help other young people in the service. We have done presentations, gained qualifications and have almost been in charge of decisions.”

One key change that has happened as a result of the Refresh Project is making it easier for young people accessing individual support, by lowering the age of consent and instead using Gillick Competency tests, as well as giving counselling staff special Gillick Competency training to guide young people.

If a young person under 16 is judged as being intelligent enough and competent enough to fully understand what is involved with treatment (in this case counselling) they are ‘Gillick competent’ and therefore can have counselling without needing a parents consent.

As well as this, the young people also guided the refurbishment of a room especially for children and young people.

Another young person said: “We talked about decorating the meeting room at Cancer Care so that young people have somewhere to meet. We decorated the room, chose the colour, got a TV, PlayStation, sofa and made it more comfy.”

If you’re interested in being involved with our Children and Young Persons support groups, contact Charmaine Rothwell, Young People’s Action Research Officer at Charmaine.rothwell@cancercare.org.uk

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