Beads of Courage at Sick Kids

Posted on 18/11/2013 by

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Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children was the first Scottish hospital to adopt Beads of Courage, a programme designed to boost the bravery of sick children – and it’s now welcomed donations totalling nearly £10,000.

The programme sees young patients in the oncology and haematology service at the RHSC receive a strand with beads spelling out their name. Beads will then be added for each procedure the children go through, such as blood tests, lumbar punctures, chemotherapy and overnight stays.

Last month, the programme – which has been funded by Be Child Cancer Aware – received donations from charitable organisation Spifox Too, sixth year pupils at Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools and  from the family of current patient Melissa Crouch. The three donations totalling £9,750, ensure that this innovative and positive support tool for children with cancer can continue.

During a visit to the hospital, Steph Dorward, Suzanne Graham and Hannah Ross from Spifox Too, met eight-year-old Tabitha Lawson, a pupil at Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools, along with ward staff.

Jenny Tomes, clinical psychologist, NHS Lothian, said: “’Using the Beads of Courage is a wonderful way of helping children to cope with procedures by rewarding their courage, encouraging coping strategies, and providing a focus for discussion of their experiences.

“It’s great to see how well the scheme has been received by the children and we’d like to reiterate our thanks once again for these generous donations which will enable the scheme to continue.”

John Drummond, Chairman of Be Child Cancer Aware, said: “Coming to terms with cancer or haematology disease is a very difficult and confusing time, especially for children. Beads of Courage gives children a tangible way to show what they go through and how brave they’ve been. The programme gives the children the power to take control and should never be underestimated.”

Steph Dorward, from Spifox Too, added:  “It was a great opportunity for three of us from the Spifox Too committee to be able to see the Beads of Courage programme in action, thanks to all that facilitated the day and the visit certainly underlined the fantastic work that all at RHSC do.”SickKids

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