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Plans launched for new childhood cancer support in Ayrshire

Ayrshire Cancer Support has received £6,650 in funding to create a new support service for children and young people. The donation from Hull-based safety products and services company, Arco, will contribute towards further development of the services the charity provides, including a newly hired Children and Young People Lead as part of its ongoing NHS Scotland contract.

The charity has operated in the local area since 1982, providing emotional support and practical assistance to cancer sufferers and their loved ones across Ayrshire. The charity provides a range of free therapeutic services, organises hospital transport and a variety of counselling and support group services through its Kilmarnock centre.

The charity also launched an appeal to raise £1.8 million to carry out extensive building works to its recently purchased building in Ayr, which will become an additional centre where all children and young people’s services will be undertaken.

Arco’s donation has contributed towards a range of developing services, including a newly hired Children and Young People Lead. This position will play a pivotal role in assisting the charity to provide well-being services and meaningful collaboration with children and young people. This will include building on existing children’s services and connecting with the wider community to build an effective support network.

Sandra McCall, at Ayrshire Cancer Support, said:

“The aim of this work is to make a significant difference to children and young people’s mental health and well-being, by supporting them to feel better able to cope with the practical, emotional and psychological challenges associated with their or a family member/friend’s cancer diagnosis. The charity will also help them to better understand and make positive changes to their thinking, behaviour and relationships.”

Bryan Lawrie, Commercial Director at Arco, said: “Arco is committed to the communities we work in and especially in terms of supporting organisations, projects and initiatives that help children and young people to achieve.

“Cancer affects many people, whether it is a personal diagnosis or that of a family member or friend. Ayrshire Cancer Support provides emotional support and practical help to those affected by cancer and improves the quality of life of those living with cancer.

“We are proud to have helped support the charity in order for it to develop its offer for children and young people. It is great to see that the new member of staff has settled into their new role well and is already making such a positive difference to the lives of so many children and young people in the Ayrshire area.”

The charity will engage children, parents/carers and 168 local schools in attending a small-scale research exercise as well as focus groups to influence how its services are delivered. Ayrshire Cancer Support will engage and listen to the local community and involve all Health & Social Care Children’s Services to open discussion groups.

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