The St Lukes’ Hospice Information Service provides information and support for individuals affected by cancer/life limiting illness at any stage of their journey. The Clan Club is a support group for children/young people aged 16–19 years with a cancer diagnosis ranging from diagnosis into survivorship and beyond. It also offers support to siblings and parents of children aged under six. There is no support group identified in Essex for this group of people.
The group provides the youngsters with the opportunity to meet peers, get support from trained facilitators and more importantly have fun. There are indoor and outdoor activities available and the youngsters are encouraged to partake as they are able. In the summer months there is greater emphasis on being more physically active with the winter months being more suitable to board/electronic games and creative activities. From a Macmillan grant other activities are funded e.g. bowling.
The adults have access to support for themselves. The sharing of information, hints and tips as well as managing the mire of tertiary care whilst ultimately getting the ‘best’ for their child are key themes of discussion.
All the individuals that attend the group have the opportunity to be referred to hospice services. This can include counselling for children/young people and adults, complementary therapy as well as individualised carers’ support and access to a menu of therapeutic groups.
There are age-related outcome-based evaluations in place to measure the effectiveness of the group. All service users are encouraged to feedback any issues that would improve their experience of the group.
There is no similar group in Essex to meet the support needs of this group of people. In essence the Clan Club is a warm, friendly group that values individuality, promotes empowerment, but most importantly provides a focus for families to meet.
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