Haven House Children’s Hospice is raising awareness of its services for children and young people with cancer as part of World Cancer Day on Saturday 4 February.

Every year in the UK around 4,000 children and young people under 25 are diagnosed with cancer. Whilst survivability has improved cancer remains the leading cause of death in children aged 1-14 years in the UK.

Research published in September showed the number of children diagnosed with cancer has increased by 40% in the past two decades.

Haven House has recently expanded its oncology services with a new support group for young people with cancer.

The group meets on the third Thursday of every month in Haven House’s Holistic Care Centre in Woodford Green from 6-8pm.

Jessica, who is 17 and in remission from leukaemia, enjoys taking part in the group.

Spending time at Haven House has changed Jessica’s perception of a children’s hospice.

She said: “Haven House is a bright place with big gardens. If you think of a ‘hospice’, you think of just a ward with beds, but it’s not like that at all.”  

Jessica wants other young people who have been diagnosed with cancer to know they can still have fun too.

She said: “I think it comes down to your friends really. If they still include you then obviously, you can still have fun.

“Life might be a bit different, but you will still be you.”

Eileen White, Director of Care at Haven House, said: "Our support group is a great way for young people with cancer to have fun and meet other young people and make friends.

"Children and young people with cancer can sometimes feel isolated, and during the treatment phase of their disease can be absent from school for long periods of time.

“We know there are many children in our local area that could benefit from our services, but are currently not accessing our support.”

You can find out more about how we support children living with cancer by clicking this link.