CancerCare Counts: Help our youth centre dream come true

Photo Neil Cross Helen Fry of Cancercare by the derelict woodwork block CancerCare would like to transform into a young people's area.
Photo Neil Cross Helen Fry of Cancercare by the derelict woodwork block CancerCare would like to transform into a young people's area.

A new youth centre for people affected by cancer is a main aim of our campaign.

CancerCare is looking to expand its services for young people and particularly to those aged 13 or over.

So creating a new ‘cool space’ where youngsters can relax is one of the team’s biggest dreams.

CancerCare helps many young people whose close family members are seriously ill or who have died, as well as young people who are seriously ill themselves.

Their services include therapy and counselling, as well as a playroom called The Loft where children can spend time with qualified therapists.

Alison Dixey, head of client services and development at CancerCare, said around 70% of the young people they help are aged 13 or under and they are hoping to reach out to older teenagers and young people in their early 20s too.

“I’m not sure we’ve got it quite right for young people,” said Alison.

“So we want to find out what young people want to see from our services.”

CancerCare is based in a grand Victorian former school building in peaceful and leafy grounds off Slyne Road.

It’s an idyllic place for people of all ages who have been touched by cancer and other serious illnesses to receive caring support through difficult times.

Alison’s dream is to create a youth centre in the grounds for kids to hang out.

Here they could perhaps play computer games, watch television, play pool or just meet up with others who are in a similar situation.

A dilapidated former woodwork room, donated many years ago by Heysham Power Stations, is currently used for storage but it could be transformed into a ‘youth hub’.

“I’d like to clear it out or perhaps demolish it and redesign it into something that’s fit for ages 13 and over,” said Alison.

But this will cost and here is where you can help by backing our campaign ‘Cancer Care Counts’.

Our campaign aims are:

To engage and consult with the local community in developing new services for teenagers affected by cancer.

This might include improving the facilities at the centre, creating a new physical space/hub, the development of a mobile app, a support group (physical or virtual), creative groups/activity sessions, or an educational and outreach worker in local schools and other youth organisations.

To raise additional funds to support the launch of the new service at the end of the year.

To raise awareness of CancerCare’s services in the local community.

Make a donation. Text CCAR31 to 70070 with the amount you wish to donate – £1-£5 or £10 – or donate at cancercare.org.uk/donate .

Alternatively you can send a cheque made payable to CancerCare North Lancashire & South Lakeland.