The Acorn Project is a not-for-profit organisation providing face-to-face support to young people living with cancer.

If you are aged 12 to 24, live in Hawke’s Bay, and there is a cancer diagnosis in your immediate family, we can help you.

Our mission

Our Mission is to offer wrap around support to young people living with cancer in Hawke’s Bay as well as supporting their family. 

Our individualised support means walking with someone on their cancer journey, This might begin at the time of diagnosis, and continue through the treatment phase. We will help celebrating a return to health, be there during palliative care, or providing grief support at the passing of a family member.

Why are we called The Acorn Project?

We believe that with our wrap around individualised support our members, like Oak trees, will grow tall whilst putting down strong roots. Leaves may fall and some branches may break along the way, yet they will weather the storms, they will use the kete of skills to move forward and continue to grow whatever their future may look like.

We chose not to use the word “cancer” in our name so we can better protect our members’ privacy. We know this is something they appreciate. It allows individuals and their families to share their experiences if and when they are ready to do so.

How we started

The Acorn Project Hawke’s Bay was set up in January 2019 to meet a need for personalised one on one support for young people living with cancer in Hawke's Bay. 

Founder of The Acorn Project Hawke's Bay, Kerrie Waby, was the branch coordinator and a youth support worker a CanTeen in Hawke's Bay for six years. Her role included providing one on one support to young people, growing membership, fundraising, administration of accounts and everyday activity as well as being the local community liaison. 

Using her 24 years experience, Kerrie has developed the service to provide more support for the parents/carers of members too. There has been a significant need for this area of support for some time and we can now address this. There is also an opportunity to work with the members and family separately and in times of need they can come together to build stronger communication, share their experiences and plan for the future, however that may look. 


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