Tuesday 9th August 2016
The unit, which treats young people with cancer aged 13 to 24 from South Wales, has undergone a £70,000 refurbishment to update the recreational area. It is now bigger, brighter and more accessible for both inpatients and outpatients.
This space plays a vital role in bringing young people together to socialise and support one another through their treatment. The area has TVs, PlayStations, a chill out space and a patient's kitchen and parent's room and kitchenette.
Opened in 2009, the unit has 8 in-patients beds and a day care facility. Every year approximately 124 young people in the South of Wales are diagnosed with cancer and around 70 newly diagnosed young people with cancer are treated on the unit at Cardiff.
The unit held a party to celebrate the new space, with speeches, food, games and activities including cupcake decorating, jewellery making, virtual Olympics and a DIY photo booth.
Current patient Hannah Abraham, aged 21 from Pontypridd, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the end of 2015, cut the ribbon. She was joined by Lead Nurse, Mary Harness, and Youth Support Coordinator, Anna Davies, to officially mark its opening.
Hannah, said: "Finding out I had cancer was such a shock as you never expect it to happen to you. However, being on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit made things more bearable with the support and care the staff provided.
The social area was a big part of my time in hospital as it allowed me to socialise with other patients, with my family and friends and to build a friendship with Youth Support Coordinator, Anna.
"Since the unit has undergone a refurbishment, I've noticed patients, parents and staff interacting more due to it being more open. It offers more seating for inpatients, outpatients and families on busy days and is more inviting than before. The social space looks bright and cheerful with the new decor, which is something you need when you're not feeling well."
Anna Davies said: "The social area is a vital space for young people with cancer to relax in during their time in treatment.
Cancer can be a really isolating illness, and my role is to make sure no one feels like they are facing cancer alone and the social space really helps facilitate that.
"The lovely newly decorated area enables me to organise activities and encourages the young people to feel comfortable and relaxed. The social area is now brighter and more open, meaning young people feel welcomed and happy to come and socialise, which is so incredibly important in encouraging peer support during cancer."