CLAN Strengthens Specialist Children and Families Team


CLAN Cancer Support has appointed two new team members to its Children and Families Service, which provides dedicated support and services to children and young people who are affected by cancer, in response to a growing demand for its services.

Polly Booth and Kellie Strachan both bring a wealth of experience to the CLAN team. Kellie has had a lengthy career in social work, mainly working with children and families, however, during her carer she has also successfully developed and introduced innovate projects for young people across Aberdeen city, which are still in operation today.

CLAN’s Children and Families team offers a range of support and services to children and young people who are affected by cancer, whether a friend or family member has a cancer diagnosis, they have a cancer diagnosis themselves or have been bereaved. The professional team works from CLAN centres, in schools and other community settings using a range of therapeutic methods to engage children and young people and offers individual, family or group work.

The appointment of Polly and Kellie increases the dedicated team to seven, with four support workers based within CLAN House, Aberdeen, a support worker based in CLAN’s Elgin wellbeing and support centre covering the Moray area and a support worker based within CLAN’s Shetland centre. From CLAN House, CLAN provides Children & Families support across Aberdeenshire via its centres in Inverurie and Crimond, as well as via schools and community bases.

The charity also has plans to extend the service to its wellbeing and support centre in Orkney and is currently running a pilot scheme across the island.

Tina O’Boyle, CLAN Cancer Support’s Children & Families Service Manager, believes the appointments have come at an important time for the service.

She said: “A cancer diagnosis can be difficult to cope with as an adult and can be increasingly difficult for children and teenagers. The impact of a diagnosis in a child’s or teenager’s life may trigger a range of feelings and behaviours which can be challenging for adults to manage and for children and teenagers to understand.

“CLAN’s Children and Families Service has been one of CLAN’s key support services for a number of years now, supporting hundreds of children and their family networks on a yearly basis.

“The addition of Polly and Kellie to our team will allow us to continue to respond to the very specific needs of our clients, ensuring we can provide this specialist support right in the heart of local communities and further develop our group work with families and children.”

The team will be hosting two events during June which will be open to anyone wishing to find out more about the service. A ‘Lunch & Learn’, which is open to anyone wishing to find out more about the Children & Families Service, will take place at CLAN House, Aberdeen, on Wednesday, 13th June from 12.30pm to 2.00pm.

A further information focused on teenagers who would like to find out more about the service will take place at CLAN House, Aberdeen, on Thursday, 21st June between 7.00pm and 8.30pm.

The free to attend sessions are open to all, with no booking required.

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

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