CAMHS Cancer Support


The National Cancer Institute:

Macmillan offers…

Riprap: UK website designed to offer support to teenagers of all ages who have a parent affected by cancer.

  • Provides webpages with information on cancer:
  • Provides additional support for young people including
    • A forum to help you connect with other young people going through similar experiences
    • An Advice column with FAQ’s
    • Email contact if you have a query or need personal advice/emotional support (respond within 48 hours)
    • And much more…
    • Link:

Winston’s Wish provides support for children and young people who have lost a parent

  • Freephone National Helpline: free and confidential service that offers therapeutic advice following a bereavement—08088 020 021
  • Online chat: helps you talk about your grief and manage it. Opened Tuesdays and Fridays from 1-5pm

Hope offers online support for young people aged 11+ who have a close family member diagnosed with a life- threatening illness

  • Confidential 1-2-1 online chats with trained professionals (for children aged 13+)
  • Closed Facebook community groups (for children aged 13+)
  • Conversations to support teams on Skype (for children aged 11+)
  • Link:

Maggie’s Offer online emotional and practical support for children and young people whose parents have cancer.

  • Kids days (for ages 7-13) and Teen Days (for ages 14-18)
    • Due to Covid they have recently ran virtual days—the pre-requisites of being in these groups are a parent with a diagnosis of cancer.
    • Dates of when the groups are running are posted on their website under “What’s On” as well as their social media pages.
    • Not run at all the hospitals.
    • Run in the Maggie’s West London Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF.

Zig Zag Children’s Psychological service (Waltham Forest and Redbridge)

  • Uses play therapy for children aged 3-11 with difficulties surrounding issues of loss, change, and children with family members who have life-limiting illnesses.
  • More information on:
  • Tel: 020 8539 5592
  • When someone very special dies by Marge Heegaard
  • When some has a very serious illness by Marge Heegard
  • When your Mum or Dad has cancer by Ann Couldrick (explains cancer in a simple way, covers many questions children might ask)

The Secret C by Julie

  • When someone has a very serious illness: children can learn to cope with loss and change (activity book for children 6-12) by Marge Heegaard
  • My parent has cancer and it really sucks by Maya Silba and Marc Silva

FruitFly Collective in Collaboration with Guys’ and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have a collection of resources (including books, apps, and videos for young people of different ages)

Explaining cancer to a child can be very difficult. The best advice is to be honest, specific and encourage the child to express his/her feelings. Explain that it can’t be “caught” like a cold and that it is not their fault.

Drawings or books may help younger children understand. You may need to encourage teenagers to ask questions.

MacMillan offers advice on how to explain cancer to children and teenagers

  • Webpage: General tips and advice on how to explain cancer to children:

Includes specific advice for children with learning disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Maggies also provides information on how to tell a child that a close family member has been diagnosed with cancer

Cancer Research UK

Marie Curie

Fruitfly Collective in collaboration with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Cancer Council is an Australian cancer charity

  • Podcast “Explaining cancer to kids”
    • Julie chats to CanTeen’s John Friedsam about different ways to talk about your cancer diagnosis with your kids. We also hear from Suzanne, a mother who ha to explain her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment to her children.
    • Link:
    • As Big as it Gets by Julie Stokes and Diana Crossley
    • Helps families cope with serious illness of a parent or child
    • Provides ideas for parents/carers to explain what is happening to their children.

General Information

Local Support Groups:

Macmillan Cancer information and support service

  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS trust Rumford
  • Whipps Cross University Hospital
  • Phone Helpline: 0808 808 00 00
    • 7 days a week 8am-8pm
  • OrangeLine: local confidential helpline in Redbridge for people who may be bereaved, feeling isolated or lonely
    • Offer Information to local services and referrals to local specialists
    • Connections to local social/friendship groups
    • Call center open 0am-5pm Monday-Friday on 01708 758649
    • Tea and Talk at Toby’s by Saint Francis Hospice in partnership with Macmillan cancer support is monthly social gathering for anyone whose life has been affected by cancer.
    • For more information please call 01708 758649 or email them at
    • Southend road, Woodford Green

Child Bereavement UK provides support for children and young people up to the age of 25 who are facing bereavement, and anyone affected by the death of a child of any age.

Books and Resources

Massachusetts General Hospital

FruitFly Collective in collaboration with Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have a webpage of resources for teachers that include information and advice about supporting students affected by cancer, guides, and websites that may be useful when working in schools:

Teenage Cancer Trust is a UK charity dedicating to helping young people aged 13-24 deal with cancer.

Cancer Council is an Australian cancer charity

Cancer Research UK