Re-Fresh: support for young people

Fun, friendship and expert support for young people coping with cancer or bereavement at home.

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Children and young people are affected by grief just as much as adults but they often experience it in very different ways. Their age means they are often less able to show how they are feeling through words and often express their emotions through their behaviour and interaction with others and the world around them.

While they may look to adults for help, the support of their friends and peers can have an incredibly positive effect on the mental and physical well-being of a young person.

This is the ethos of our Re-Fresh Young People’s Peer Support Group which provides a supportive and social setting for youngsters aged 12-17 years affected by cancer or bereavement at home.

The group meets three nights a week and is overseen by experienced youth workers who lead a variety of fun activities including arts and crafts, cooking and games. The meetings take the young people “out of themselves” and acts as a non-judgemental space enabling them to make new friends and support others in similar situations.

Young people experiencing illness or bereavement often say the friends they make at Re-Fresh provide a fresh understand or different perspective on their experiences at home.

Re-Fresh member Morgan said:

“I heard about the Re-Fresh group through school and was told it was a good way to talk about the things I was going through and also to get one-to-one therapy.
“It’s good here because I don’t know the other members of the group outside of CancerCare. My other friends can’t really relate to what it’s like to have someone in your family dealing with cancer. Everyone here understands what it’s like and it’s easier to open up.”

Re-Fresh also offers support for young people through a full programme of activities during the school holidays including outdoor adventure and trips away.

Young people are referred for help from a range of different sources including schools, NHS mental health services and parents. The young people can also refer themselves for help if they think they need it.

Click here to download a leaflet about our children's services

Click here to download a leaflet about bereavement in children

Click here to download a leaflet about bereavement in teenagers