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New room for young people with cancer

20th June 2017

A new room for young people with cancer has  opened at St George’s Hospital.

Funded by donations to St George’s Hospital Charity, the community group Furzedown FACE were invited to preview the room prior to being opened to patients.

The Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) Room in the Ruth Myles Unit is an oasis away from the busy general wards and  waiting areas of the main hospital where young people with cancer can meet, use their laptops to study or play games, watch TV and chill out. It is also a base for a specialist nurse to provide support and therapeutic activities.

Treatment for cancer can be a long and traumatic process with lengthy in-patient stays and frequent outpatient visits to St George’s Hospital and it is hoped the new room will have a positive effect on teenage and young adult patients who previously did not have dedicated space to be amongst their peers during their stay in hospital – providing them with an environment in which they feel more comfortable and have the opportunity to see other young people and not feel so isolated.

The idea of raising money for the chill out room came from a member of Furzedown FACE whose daughter was treated for cancer at St George's 10 years ago. At the time the 16 year old was treated on an adult ward. Although the medical care was excellent, the experience of being treated for cancer in this environment was a lonely one. This can have a huge impact on a young persons emotional well being, long after the physical treatment has come to an end.

Face's hope is that a space where young people can get away from the medical environment, even if it's only for the odd hour or two will make a big difference to them. It is a space in which they can meet their peers who are in the same situation as them and be a young person rather than a cancer patient for a short time.

A spokesperson for the group said: "We’re delighted that the chill-out room for young people with cancer has opened at St George’s. This has only been possible thanks to the support of Furzedown neighbours, schools, charities, businesses, friends, and local MPs Sadiq Khan and Rosena Allin-Khan. We have held many events, including our popular FACE Quiz Nights, Garden Gigs, Arthur Smith’s Comedy night, Valuation Days and The FACE Ball and we look forward to finding out how we can continue to support this new and much needed room in future.”

St George’s consultant Mr Nicholas Hyde said: "Having their own dedicated chill-out area can only have a positive effect on teenagers and young people’s recovery during their treatment stays and visits to St George’s Hospital.”

Noel Cramer, lead fundraiser for  St George’s Hospital Charity, said: “A huge thank you to all those who have made this possible; especially Furzedown FACE who have worked tirelessly over the past five years, raising more than £20,000. This room will make a real difference for young people with cancer and illustrates the power of local communities to make an impact at their local hospital.”

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