Rockinghorse has been shortlisted in this year’s national Children and Young People Now Awards in recognition of their specialist paediatric cancer support service at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Charity.
The awards, now in their seventeenth year, are the gold standard for anyone working with children, young people and families and showcase organisations like Rockinghorse that work, day in, day out, to improve the lives of children and young people in their communities.
The charity is a finalist in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award category and their entry was related to the specialist oncology psychologist support service that they fund for children with a cancer diagnosis at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.
This service, run by Dr Alice Emond, Senior Clinical Psychologist, aims to support young people through every stage of their illness, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.
Along with understanding what their diagnosis means, children have the added pressure of managing whatever treatment is suggested, dealing with potential side effects, and coping with the associated psychological impact on them and the whole family.
Children can experience a range of emotional difficulties such as low mood, anxiety, or anger along with things like difficulty sleeping or managing challenging behaviour. And this is alongside all the physical challenges of coping with the medical procedures that come with treatment – difficult for an adult to manage, let alone a child.
And this is where Dr Emond can help, taking referrals from the paediatric oncology team at the hospital and arranging to meet the children and their families for an initial assessment. From this meeting, she develops a family support plan and offers a range of psychological interventions to help support the family through their journey.
Dr Emond said:
“It feels an honour for the Rockinghorse oncology psychology service to be recognised for this award. Thanks to Rockinghorse Charity, we are able to offer young cancer patients and their families vital psychological support and care when they need it.
“It is a true privilege to work alongside the dedicated medical team at the Alex and Rockinghorse to provide the best holistic care our families deserve.”
Donna Holland, CEO of Rockinghorse, said:
“We are so proud to have been chosen as a finalist for these prestigious awards. This service helps so many children and their families navigate incredibly challenging situations and enables them to make some sense of their diagnosis and treatment.
“It’s also humbling to be recognised alongside some of the country’s best and brightest organisations who, like the team here at Rockinghorse, work tirelessly to support children and young people throughout the country.”
A group from the charity, along with Dr Emond, will be attending the award ceremony in London later this year in the hope of scooping the top award.
To find out more about the awards and the service that Rockinghorse funds, take a look at their website at rockinghorse.org.uk