We offer therapeutic support for the first five years post diagnosis. We have a timeframe of five years mainly because we believe that a young person should be striving for personal growth and independence, and this cannot happen if we keep them in a cycle of support they no longer need. However, this timeframe is flexible to meet the needs of members and their family and therapeutic support can be extended or resumed as circumstances and needs change.
Once therapeutic support is no longer required, The Acorn Project provides opportunities for the member’s individual growth and walk alongside them to build their resilience and ensure their well-being.
Our mentoring programme offers members the opportunity to use their own cancer experience to help and support other members.
These members will share their experiences, the highs, the lows and ways they got through. This is an empowering experience for the members to reflect and see how far they have come, and to support their peers as they navigate their own challenges. Peer to peer support through the mentoring program provides support from someone close to their age group that is experiencing something similar “they just get it”.
For both the member sharing their experience and for the member gaining the support, it is inspiring, empowering, provides personal growth and skills for life.
For many members and their families there are few or no more treatment options, and they need end of life or palliative care.
We believe this time of life is precious and can be embraced in a way that is dignified and fitting for that person and family.
The Acorn Project works with the family to ensure that the member's wishes for their future, their final days, funeral wishes, end of life choices etc are discussed and completed as much as possible so that the process offers peace and acceptance. We can provide resources to document important times in their lives and create lasting memories ensuring a member’s legacy lives on.
When a parent / carer has no more treatment options we are there to listen, to offer ways to navigate those difficult conversations with their young people, help plan for significant milestones they will not be able to see for themselves. Together we can make keepsakes that will provide comfort days, weeks and years down the line.
Each person will have different needs which will need different support services. We will be there to help where we can or in collaboration with other organisations and agencies in the community to provide the wrap around support service they need.
We also work collaboratively with other services like Cranford Hospice, Child Cancer Foundation, Make A Wish and the Cancer Society to offer options to our members and their family to ensure they feel in control of as many aspects of their end of life care as possible.
We believe it is important that our members are involved in the choices related to themselves or a loved one who is dying. We are able to advocate for the choices and wishes of our members and walk alongside them to provide comfort and allow a natural process such as death to be a beautiful and dignified part of their life.
The network is a platform for parents/carers who have a young person aged 12 - 24 years receiving support from The Acorn Project to meet other parents / carers, to share experiences and support each other in a safe environment.
The network is supported in the following ways:
- Bi-monthly meetings facilitated by the Youth Worker
- Organised speakers from other community organisations that can share strategies to support the young people in their lives and themselves.
- Information and support around practicing self-care to ensure physical and emotional wellbeing.