The Cancer Fund for Children supports children and young people who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families across Northern Ireland. They won £10,000 in the Big Lottery Fund 10th Birthday Competition.
They used the money for a series of outdoor activities residentials for young people aged eight to 24 who have cancer at the charity’s Shimna Valley Complex in Newcastle. Activities included canoeing, hiking, bouldering, orienteering and campfire singing.
These are some comments from young people taking part in the hammock building:
Relaxing, insightful and I learnt new skills. Girl (13) diagnosed with cancer
I want more, it was strange but good, intriguing, great. Girl (15) diagnosed with cancer
It was good to make time for myself, peaceful, at one with nature, I felt in the moment. I loved doing the letters and got out my feelings. Girl (16) diagnosed with cancer
It was exciting. It was cool and relaxing. Boy (15) who lost a parent to cancer
The views were so nice. I loved the sounds, very nice and calming. I could have stayed out all day. I felt as if I was one with nature. Boy (16) diagnosed with cancer.
I felt at home. I would love to do it again. The letter is interesting as I will be getting it back in a few months. Girl (16) who lost a parent to cancer.
During the hammock session I felt relaxed, peaceful, calm, more at one with myself, no distractions, easy place to think over things, relaxing, it was peaceful, new experience, it was fun, time to think and challenging. Girl (17) diagnosed with cancer
Comments from people took part in the abseiling and rock climbing:
I felt really brave after it was completed, we had the right attitude to taking it on. Boy (14) who lost a parent to cancer
I felt really scared and nervous but now it’s over it has made me feel more confident and will help me take on other challenges. Boy (16) who lost a parent to cancer
My face was red and I was heavy breathing but I just believed and told myself I can do this. Girl (16) who has a parent diagnosed with cancer
I am so proud, still in shock and disbelief. Totally awesome. It’s worthwhile being scared because after it you feel great. Girl (15) diagnosed with cancer
Comments from people who took part in canoeing sessions:
I thought the canoeing was great craic. Being on the island was good, we had somewhere to get to and get back from. Girl (16) who has a parent diagnosed with cancer
I just love canoeing I loved everything outdoors. It’s important to keep the outdoor stuff. It lets you get a break from everything and get into fresh air. Girl (13) who has a parent diagnosed with cancer
The canoeing was great it was travelling to the island and having a destination, it felt so good to be in control and work as a team and to move together. Boy (16) who has a parent diagnosed with cancer.
In this short film, Donella Meade and her daughter Naomi talk about how the Cancer Fund for Children helped and supported them after Naomi was diagnosed with cancer.