Supporting families of children and young
 people with cancer in the East Midlands

PASIC responds to Covid-19

Cancer doesn’t stop for coronavirus and there’s been no stopping the PASIC team from the day lockdown started, making sure our families get the support they need.

We’ve adapted our existing service to offer help remotely.  We’re busier than ever, thinking outside the box to support our families in every way we can, still here but just doing our job in a different way to normal.

“I’m really proud of the team” says PASIC Chair, Lynne Farrage “They may be small but the huge impact they’ve made to lives of children with cancer across the region in the last few months is amazing.”

“We’ve delivered 183 activity packs to families and still counting, offered support online and at the end of the phone.  We were thrilled when Gem Cash4Kids awarded funding enabling PASIC to give supermarket vouchers to isolated families caring for a child with cancer.”

New positive ways of working have emerged with technology at the fore which have been boosted by an additional grant from the National Lottery Children’s Fund to enable better support.

The number of families of children with cancer struggling emotionally or financially increased with the outbreak of COVID-19.  Many were already at breaking point, on top of which parents were worried about their child’s risk of infection, separated by isolation rules or practically getting to their child’s bedside in hospital.

Since the start of lockdown, we’ve given 51 grants to help families make ends meet, cope with relapse and travel to other hospitals such as Great Ormond Street for treatment.  Sadly  our support has also been needed by 4 families with funding towards funeral costs. That’s a total of £13,000 in financial support to families across the East Midlands from Mid-March to July.

And as we can’t be dancing with kids on treatment at one of our parties or out at a theme park at the moment, we’re helping them have fun in their own homes instead.

We quickly thought up our online Easter party to replace the ‘real’ one, with games, competitions and live streamed dance session over Easter weekend, which was a great success.  The PASIC Summer online Fun Fest is in the pipeline for the end of July to make up for some of the summer trips we’ve had to cancel.  We’ve few more surprises in store over the summer too.

Our activity and care packs provide a whole range of things which involve ‘doing’ and ‘making’ for families to do together. We aim to help children and young people with cancer keep active and distracted in isolation and experience fun activities in the safety of their own home or hospital bedside.

We’re missing seeing our families, but the feedback has been heart-warming.  It’s great to know we’re making a difference:

Thank you for the goodie bag it was a really lovely surprise after a particularly tough week.

 

“You thought of everything and even included our older boys.”

A massive big thank you from Daniel in his words ‘my best day ever’.”

 

“They were so excited and really enjoyed playing and building memories together.”

 

One very happy girl.  Thank you so much for a lovely delivery! It was just what Lottie needed to cheer her up.”

“Thanks Jo and the team, it’s really means a lot…so kind and thoughtful.”

Our support workers can’t wait to see families face to face again and the good news is they’ll be back on the the children’s oncology wards at the end of July, ready to map out a new kind of ‘normal’.