The Acorn Project provides a range of support services to young people aged 12 to 24 living with cancer in Hawke’s Bay.

We understand no two people will experience cancer in the same way. Your experience is unique, and so is our support. It includes:

One-to-one support from an Acorn Project youth worker

If you'd like someone outside of the family to talk to - we're here to listen. We provide the Youth Worker and a relaxed space to discuss what is happening for you. Our youth workers can help with difficult conversations between family members, speak on your behalf to schools or employers, and help you plan for the future. You can ask us to share discussions with your parent or carer, if you are struggling to find the words yourself. This can often help bring families closer together.

Peer support / mentoring

Feeling lonely or isolated? Our shared space offers a relaxed environment where you can connect with others who truly understand. 

Additional support

You may need help with other things outside your cancer experience. If you wish, and only with your consent, we can arrange a meeting with a trained counsellor or medical professional. We can go to the first meeting with you, if you like. 

Monthly activities

Want to connect with others who ‘get’ what you are going through? Our monthly activities include games and movie nights at our shared space in Hastings, cooking classes, first aid courses, bowling - even Harley Davidson bikes rides! These are great ways meet others and learn new skills

Leadership programme

Learn how to use your own experience to help others. Share your story and discover how far you have come. It’s an inspiring and empowering experience - and a gateway to personal growth.

Therapeutic workshops

Join a small group of young people to share at a deeper level through organised group activities. Our workshops connect you with others in a safe environment. Learn how others faced difficult times, and what made things easier for them. Workshops vary from a one-off session, to regular meetings - depending on the need and focus of the group.

Annual camps

We organise two camps each year. These camps bring young people together to learn more about themselves – and have a little fun at the same time.

Up for a little fun and adventure? Our first camp is for you. It will give you the chance for some new experiences and to build your self confidence with the encouragement of others. And you'll make some new friends along the way.

Our second camp focuses on your cancer experience and gives you an opportunity to explore and share that with others and understand and process your cancer journey. Building your resilience and skills for the future.

After a camp we often get texts and calls from parents to say how much their son or daughter enjoyed the weekend, and how much was shared with the family on the car journey home.

Palliative support

Some young people reach the point where there are no remaining treatment options and they require end-of-life, or palliative care.
We believe this time of life can be met in a way that is both dignified and empowering, where your rights and wishes are valued, and where your legacy and continued support give comfort to those left behind

Palliative support for parents or carers with cancer

When a parent or carer with cancer has no further treatment options available we help them and the young person to continue talking openly and honestly with each other and strengthen the bond between them.

We help parents plan for significant milestones they may not see for themselves, and make treasured keepsakes that will provide comfort to the bereaved in the years to come.

We work with other services such as Cranford Hospice, Child Cancer Foundation, Make A Wish and the Cancer Society to ensure our young people and their family feel in control of as many aspects of their end-of-life care as possible.

Could you use some help?

If you are a young person (or the parent or carer of a young person) and cancer has affected you or someone in your immediate family, please get in touch with The Acorn Project.


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