Teenage Cancer Trust and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have come together to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the award-winning Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Sarah, Duchess of York, who opened the unit in 2009 returned on 11 June, to be part of the celebrations.
The unit offers a dedicated service to treat young people aged 14-25 and is unlike any other unit in Wales. In its first 10 years, the unit has treated nearly 500 young people from across Wales.
When it opened, the unit had 6 in-patients beds and a day care facility. However, it was soon expanded to 8. Every year, approximately 124 young people in the south Wales are diagnosed with cancer and around 70 newly diagnosed young people with cancer are treated on the unit in Cardiff.
The unit plays a vital role in bringing young people together to socialise and support one another through their treatment. The recreational area has TVs, games consoles, a chill-out space and a patient’s room and kitchenette.
All bedrooms are equipped with soft furnishings, bespoke furniture, TV, DVD and gaming facilities, and there is dedicated Teenage Cancer Trust Wi-Fi with laptops provided.
In 2013, the unit underwent a significant refurbishment to update the recreational area. It is now bigger, brighter and more accessible for both inpatients and outpatients.
The Duchess of York has passionately supported Teenage Cancer Trust since the charity’s founding in 1990 and introduced Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to its work from an early age. She said, “I had the great pleasure and honour of opening the unit in Cardiff in 2009. Ten years on, I am delighted to be back to talk to the extraordinary young people being treated here and to meet the dedicated specialist staff who care for them. As an Honorary Patron of Teenage Cancer Trust, I understand the need for specialised and age appropriate care for young people. The specialist unit also provides a place for young people to meet, talk and make friends with others who truly understand what they are going through. The work of Teenage Cancer Trust means that young people get both the medical and emotional care and support they need so they do not have to face their cancer journey alone.”
Kate Collins, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “This is the only specialist unit for young people with cancer in Wales. Teenage Cancer Trust relies wholly on donations to make our work possible and every pound raised is vital in allowing us to protect and grow our specialist services to ensure young people in Wales get the very best treatment, care and support. We are so grateful to the supporters whose fundraising and donations have made the last decade of support for young people in Wales happen. We’re looking forward to celebrating what we can achieve together in the future.”
Maria Battle, Chair of Cardiff and Vale UHB, said, “I am very happy to be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at the University Hospital of Wales. This unit, and the staff who run it, have for ten years made an immeasurable difference in the lives of young patients and their families from across Wales. We are fortunate in Cardiff and Vale to host to such an incredible service in a unique unit that is absolutely fitting for the excellent care given to young people and their families at such a difficult time in their lives.”