Press Release / by Jennifer Kelly
Mon, 01/27/2020 - 09:00

National Lottery funding for GKCCT helps children in a hospital bed to be in the classroom

  •  5-year National Lottery funding granted to GKCCT to help children with cancer to stay connected to the outside world whilst undergoing treatment.

  •  In the counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, there are approximately 75 children diagnosed with cancer every year, with around 40 being of school age.

  • Our aim is to be able to support these children with our AV1 machines. Over the first three years of the project, this will enable us to purchase 18 new AV1 machines and support packages for these children to use.

 

 

Overview

The Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust is delighted to announce some fantastic news. After a lot of hard work over the last 6 months, we have been awarded a significant amount of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.

This funding will enable us to expand our AV1 avatar robot scheme fully across the Three Counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. Initially, the rollout will commence in Worcestershire and then extend to Herefordshire followed by Gloucestershire over the next year.

The National Lottery Funding is a 5-year grant award. We are extremely grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund who have given us this chance to support so many more families.

 

About the Project

Childhood cancer is a life changing diagnosis. It affects the child diagnosed but also their siblings, parents and their friends and teachers at school. A child with cancer faces prolonged periods of time away from school in isolation and in hospital. The Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust cannot change the child’s diagnosis, but we can help to make a real difference by giving them some hope and a level of normality whilst they are fighting their illness.

By giving isolated children this ‘window’ to their friends and the outside world, we can help them to bridge the gap. The AV1 robot allows children in a hospital bed to interact with their classroom and their peers at the same time. Not only does this bring hope and positivity to children (and their families) affected by cancer but also to their peers who are facing the sudden disappearance of their friend. We have seen how Oscar, Lucy and Zain, who have already been given the use of our AV1 robots, have already benefitted.

 

How many children can we help?

In the counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, there are approximately 75 children diagnosed with cancer every year, with around 40 being of school age. Of these school children, more than a half will need extended periods of hospitalisation or isolation during their treatment. Our aim is to be able to support these children with our AV1 machines wherever possible. Over the first three years of the project, we aim to purchase 18 new AV1 machines and support packages for these children to use. Referrals will be made directly from cancer specialist nurse teams to ensure that the children that need them are not missed.

 

Following our funding

We are pleased to have confirmation of this funding for a period of 5 years, but in the meantime, we will still need to continue to fundraise. We suspect that the need for our AV1’s may well increase over time because each year brings a slight increase in rates of diagnosis of childhood cancer nationally.

We need to start planning for when funding ends in 5 years’ time because there can be no guarantee of further funding for this project. By planning now, we are aiming sustain this project in the long term, so please do keep fundraising. The more children that we can help support, the better. We hope one day we extend this to other regions too.

Our thanks go to The National Lottery Community Fund for their incredible help, and also to our Funding Officer, Anthony Bush for his support and guidance throughout the application process.

Keep an eye out for further news on this project as we are working hard to get it up and running as soon as possible!

 

#NationalLottery

Contact person for press inquiries: Dr Jennifer Kelly

Phone: +447871133515

Twitter: @GraceKellyTrust