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Beads give children courage at Watford Hospital

Posted: 20 March 2017
Kelly White, Senior Communications Officer

The trust has launched an exciting programme to help children and teens at Watford General Hospital cope with cancer and commemorate the milestones they have achieved during their treatment.

Picture of posters explaining the Beads of Courage initiativeWhen a child or young person is diagnosed with cancer, they receive a length of string from a charity with beads that spell out their name. On each occasion that they have an operation, an overnight stay or a procedure such as an injection, blood test, x-ray, or chemotherapy, they receive a glass bead to add to the chain. As the colourful chain grows in length, it creates a visual record of all the treatments and procedures the child goes through.

The Beads of Courage programme is provided by the charity Be Child Cancer Aware which raises awareness of childhood cancer and supports families of children and young people with cancer.

Karen Raney-Marr, play specialist in Starfish Ward, said: "I am so excited to be part of the process of bringing ‘Beads of Courage’ to the ward. Our patients go through so much while undergoing their treatment. The programme is not only fun but more importantly gives the child positive recognition of what they have achieved."

Becky Platt, matron for children's services, said: "We are delighted to have introduced Beads of Courage to our ward; it is a unique scheme to give every child the courage they need to undergo their treatment.

"Each bead represents something very personal and special to our patients and their families, which is known to help families develop positive coping strategies and make sense of their experience. They should be proud of every bead they collect and all of the inspiring achievements they represent."

For further information about the Beads of Courage programme please visit the charity’s website www.bechildcanceraware.org.

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  1. For more information, please contact Kelly White, Senior Communications Officer in the Trust’s communications department on telephone: 01923 436 281 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.