Families of children receiving treatment for cancer at Northampton General Hospital have got together to share their stories and support each other with helpful hints and tips at a special lunch held at Northampton College.
The event, organised by Northampton General Hospital and sponsored by the Leon Barwell Trust, saw more than a dozen families affected by cancer invited to a lunch at the college’s Booth Lane campus, along with entertainment from Mr Banana Brain.
Parents were given the chance to meet others going through the same experience, talk about what they are going through and discuss the ways they deal with the situation day-in, day-out whilst children and siblings could play and enjoy an afternoon of socialising, fun and entertainment.
Faye Harris attended the lunch with her three-year-old daughter Maggie, who has leukaemia, and said: “It’s nice for all of us to get together. We do see a few familiar faces in hospital but you’re normally just passing and you never get five minutes to sit and chat.
“It’s good for Maggie to see other children who don’t have any hair and who are unwell. If she’s not at school she will see them in the play room at the hospital and they can be her little friends.
“The event has been really helpful and it’s great for parents to have someone to talk to. Friends and family help but they never know exactly what you’re going through so it’s good to be able to talk about specific things that the other parents can genuinely relate to.”
The lunch saw Northampton College catering students help in the preparation and serving of the food.
Paediatric Consultant Dr Bindu Koodiyedath: “We organised this event to help the children, siblings and parents know that they’re not going through this difficult journey alone. It gives them a chance to make friends, share experiences and look at us as a team doing more than just giving treatment.
“For siblings too it helps them to make friends, make memories and makes life a bit more pleasant. It’s good to see the children undergoing chemotherapy happy, playing and most importantly being children!”
For more information about Northampton College visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk