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Charity Partnership

Candlelighters

Candlelighters is a charity which focuses on improving the experience of children and their families throughout treatment for cancer, and aims to make every day as positive as possible. Established in 1976 and based at Leeds General Infirmary, it needs to raise £2.2m each year to support ongoing research into treatment and possible cancer cures, but mainly fund medical roles at the hospital and dedicated staff to support young patients and their families.

It includes funding play leaders on wards to distract children and help them understand more about their treatment and a dedicated ‘dinner lady’ to ensure they have the food they want as their taste buds and eating habits change.

Funding also ensures children who are missing school can take part in fun workshops, and be able to spend time away from the clinical ward in dedicated areas whilst remaining within reach of expert medical care.

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Support is also provided for mums, dads, grandparents and siblings, from one-on-one and group sessions to therapy and massage. Each family affected by a childhood cancer diagnosis is also offered a break at Center Parcs or by the coast at Primrose Valley to ensure some normality, fun and excitement is brought to a challenging period of their lives.

Some of the support services they offer:

  • Support groups for mums, dads, grandparents and siblings
  • Wellness therapies such as massage, and talking therapies too.
  • Financial grants, and holidays, for every family that wants one.
  • Fund important research and 665 hours of NHS staff time, from playworkers on the ward, helping a child understand and prepare for their treatment, through to social workers and speech therapists.
  • Candlelighters cottage near the ward, so that when a child is in hospital parents and their brothers and sisters, can stay nearby.

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