Charlie’s – For All Those Lives Affected by Cancer

Children & Young People

Cancer Support for Children & Young People

How can Charlie’s help?

Youth Session take place at Charlie’s on the last Thursday of each month

Primary School age 4-6pm

Secondary/College 6-8pm 

This is a chance to meet other children and young people going through a similar time as you, the opportunity to be yourself, chat about how you are feeling and feel safe in sharing your experiences.  Groups are facilitated and youth led activities, it is a safe place for children and young people to be themselves, meet others in a similar situation and access appropriate support they would like.  All aspects are voluntary to engage and participate, it would be great to come along and see what you think 😊

Peer support and opportunity to try something new!

Cancer Support Sessions

The sessions and activities are an opportunity for young people to come together, this reduces their isolation and expectations that they are alone and the only person experiencing this.  The sessions are semi-structured with an opportunity for children and young people to engage in a wide range of activities including arts and crafts, movie nights, therapeutic and practical support around coping strategies such as anxiety, sleep deprivation, confidence, self-esteem when appropriate to the child/young person.  

A safe place to come together, have a trusted individual to talk to about feelings, views and questions about the cancer journey, be surrounded by like-minded individuals and engage in some social time to be a child/young person and have fun. 

Semi-structured sessions allow children and young people to use the space and time for what they need, either a chance to talk, relax, unwind, learn new skills, access support emotionally and practically and have some time for themselves. 

Ness and Karina  feel it is key to provide support to children and young people experiencing such uncertainty and impact on their wellbeing, as adults we struggle to process the information regarding a cancer diagnosis and therefore to is essential that these children and young people have a safe and supportive space to be themselves and have people to talk to and peers to engage with.

Wellbeing Activities

Holiday Activities

These activities provide you with an opportunity  to meet others in a similar position to you, enjoy some you time and a chance to be yourself. 

Try something new, something that you have always wanted to do or something that challenges you, the main thing is to come and join us for some fun and chill time away from the daily routine.

Meet up with the team

You could meet up for a chat,  a chance to talk about things that are going on for you, have a break from all the things going on and to be yourself.

Page by Page

Page by Page has been set-up in dedication of the Page family in memory of a dearly bellowed, wife, mother, and friend to many.

The session runs once a month on a Saturday afternoon and is an opportunity for families affected by Cancer to come together with a team of experienced staff to help them through a difficult time.

The sessions are led by Ness our Youth Leader, Karina our Art Therapist, with additional support by a Holistic Therapist, Cancer Specialist Nurse and Counsellor.

The sessions are based on helping families to express themselves creatively and artistically and how cancer is affecting them as a family.  We help families to have open discussions and tailor sessions to meet their needs.

Feeling Angry:

Try to dispel the anger from your body. 

Stand up straight and facing a wall (make sure it is a solid wall), place your hands in front of you and push against the wall, push as hard as you can as if you are trying to move the wall or push it over.

Push for the count of 10, then stop and rest for the count of 10 and then push again, repeat three times. If this feels helpful you can also try push ups.

Feeling restless & unable to focus: 

Go for a walk outside in your garden or somewhere safe and so someone knows where you are. 

Focus on looking for 5 different things, for example, 5 stones, 4 leaves, 3 trees, 2 twigs, 1 animal footprint/evidence of an animal. 

If this is easy to do then set yourself other targets to spot a feather, a certain coloured flower, a bird’s nest, a bird.

Calming Pebbles

Sometimes we can feel uncomfortable, unhappy, or worried in different and new situations. 

It can be nice to have with you a calm stone/pebble/crystal when you feel fidgety. 

It is something that you can have in your pocket and no one needs to know it is there, but you can play with it when you need to.  Maybe on a day near some water, river, beach or even the garden you could look for a smooth round/oval stone/pebble which feels nice to hold, you can rub it with your fingers and make sure it feels right for you. 

If you are not able to find one maybe try making one from airdry clay or overbaked clay, you can decorate it and make it feel smooth and the perfect shape for you.

Struggling to name emotions:

Sometimes it is difficult to describe how we feel in words and people ask how we are feeling sometimes we look blank or just say ok. 

How about using the weather to describe how we feel? 

Time to be creative and do a chart for the week and then pictures of different types of weather – rainbow, stormy clouds, sunny clouds, sunshine, thunderstorm, rain, clouds, wind and others that you can think of, link each of the drawings to how you feel. 

Rainbow could mean sparkly today or hopefully, cloudy could mean anxious or worried.  The pictures are to be meaningful to you and then can be placed upon the different days so these around you know how your feeling.

Glitter Bottles/Jars:

These are great to help you relax, get some rest from your head racing around with lots of different thoughts. 

Get either a drink plastic bottle or glass jar, add some glitter glue, glitter, sequins, and then warm water to nearly the top of the bottle/jar and then seal the lid on. 

Shake up the bottle and watch the glitter move around in the water, enjoy focusing on a piece of glitter and being able to switch off or mute the other things in your head.

Write a letter to someone you love

Simply use the letter to write down maybe things you would like to say to a participate person but not sure how to say it out loud.

Let someone know how you feel, just a letter to say that you really enjoyed tea or a recent gift. 

This helps us to connect with people, express true feelings.

Sleep Well… Relaxing bedtime rituals to try.

Read a book or magazine by a soft light

Take a warm bath

Listen to soft music

Do some easy stretches

Wind down with a favourite hobby

Listen to books on tape

Make simple preparations for the next day

Relaxation techniques for better sleep

Other Sleep Aids

Practicing relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to wind down, calm the mind, and prepare for sleep. Some simple relaxation techniques include:

Visualizing a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place or activity that is calming and peaceful for you. Concentrate on how relaxed this place or activity makes you feel.

Close your eyes—and try taking deep slow breaths—making each breathe even deeper than the last.

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a growth of abnormal cells in the body, which instead of dying the cells keep developing with abnormalities and cause a tumour. 

There are 200 different types of cancer.

This does not happen because someone is naughty or been bad, and not because you have done anything wrong.  It is something that can happen to anyone at any age.

Cancer Cells; slightly changes each mutation and the body is unable to destroy them.

Cancer Treatment

Treatment for cancer can vary and each cancer is different, some need an operation, tablets, proton therapy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or immunotherapy.  Some have side effects which can make people feel sleepy, tired, be sick, not want to do much and sometimes they could lose their hair.  All methods work to try to get rid of the tumour, reduce it or stop it growing anymore.

The doctors and nurses will look for the best possible treatment and maintain monitoring of the tumour along the journey.

This could mean more appointments and future tests and scans. They will monitor your loved one closely to ensure the impact and effectiveness of treatment and maintaining knowledge about the tumour.

Worries & Concerns

It will be a difficult time, everyone responds differently to medication and the treatment, some people experience sickness, hair loss, fatigue, dry mouth, nausea and many more.

It is important to talk through your concerns and worries, as in many cases others around you will be feeling similar.

No one will know the outcome, there are changes and improvements made every day in testing, diagnosing and treatment.

Karina | HCPC registered Art Psychotherapist

I am a qualified and HCPC registered Art Psychotherapist, currently working for three organisations, including Charlie’s, a Women’s Service and within a Rehabilitation and Recovery residential setting for young people, where I provide individual and group therapeutic interventions through the use of art for expression. I am reflective when I think of everyone I work with on a daily basis; what connects them all and what connects me to them; the answer for me is their journey. Through their artwork and voices, I encounter powerful, emotive, heart-breaking, and heart-warming stories. I am in awe of their exceptional courage and resilience. Working for Page by Page, and the Youth Sessions is a privilege because I am invited to be part of these journeys.

Ness | Families & Youth Worker

Get in touch with Charlie's Cancer Care