We have recently been shortlisted in the national Children and Young People Now Awards for our specialist oncology psychologist at the Royal Alexandra Children’s HospitalThe Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital
These awards, now in their seventeenth year, are the gold standard for anyone working with children, young people and families and showcase organisations like Rockinghorse that work, day in, day out, to improve the lives of children and young people in their communities.
Our entry was in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award category and outlined the specialist oncology psychologist support that we fund for children with a cancer diagnosis at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.
This service, run by Dr Alice Emond, aims to support young people through every stage of their illness, from diagnosis, treatment and beyond.
Along with understanding what their diagnosis means, children have the added pressure of managing whatever treatment is suggested, dealing with potential side effects, and coping with the associated psychological impact on them and the whole family.
Children can experience a range of emotional difficulties such as low mood, anxiety, or anger along with things like difficulty sleeping or managing challenging behaviour. And this is alongside all the physical challenges of coping with the medical procedures that come with treatment – difficult for an adult to manage, let alone a child.
And this is where Dr Alice Emond can help. She takes referrals from the team at the hospital and then arranges to meet the children and their families for an initial assessment. From this meeting she develops a family support plan and offers a range of psychological interventions to help support the family through their journey.
Dr Alice explained: “Facing a cancer diagnosis at a young age can be very stressful so one part of my role is to help normalise the feelings the child and their family may be experiencing and help them develop their resilience and coping skills.”
We are so pleased to have received recognition for this amazing service and we’re really looking forward to heading up to the award ceremony at The Hurlington Club in London on 24 November.
Wish us luck!