The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Chill-out zone for teenagers opens at Leeds Cancer Centre

25 September 2015

A brand new ‘chill-out zone’ for young patients was unveiled yesterday at the Leeds Cancer Centre.

The dedicated space in the Bexley Wing at St James’s Hospital is for people aged between 13 – 25 years old from across the region who are primarily undergoing radiotherapy treatment for cancer.

Offering a quiet area for patients to ‘get away and relax’, the zone is the first of its kind for the hospital and provides facilities more appropriate for those young people undergoing treatment, who would previously have had to use facilities more suited for children.

ITN news host Nina Hossain joined staff, patients and guests at the leading cancer centre to officially open the area. This follows months of tireless fundraising by staff, patients, friends and families as well as very generous donations from the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust (LCYCT) and Asda. A high-profile endorsement came from Leeds Rhinos’ superstar Keith Senior, who is also an ambassador for LCYCT and attended a fundraising launch event last year at the hospital.

In total over £60,000 has been raised for the chill-out zone which has been used for refitting the area, design work and providing furniture and entertainment systems.

Lucy Junni, a Paediatric Radiographer at the Leeds Cancer Centre who led fundraising efforts, said “It’s wonderful to see all of the hard-work and effort pay off after the months spent raising the money. Here at the Trust we would like to thank everyone who has made a contribution, especially Asda, Laura Crane and the family and friends of the late Will Sweeting.

“We’d also like to thank James Brook, a young sportsman from East Leeds who contributed enormously to the campaign to create the space before he tragically died earlier this year.

“This zone will provide young adult patients with the space they need to relax and offer a few hours of respite while undergoing treatment here in hospital. Hopefully this will help to enhance and improve the overall experience of the people we care for when going through really tough times.”

Pam Thornes, Trust Manager for the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, said “We are really pleased that this space is now available for young people living with cancer from across the Yorkshire region. Being a teenager can be difficult enough without having to undergo the treatments associated with a diagnosis of cancer. By offering a facility of their own, away from the younger patients, teenage and young adult patients now will have the opportunity to relax in an environment more suited to their needs.

“At the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust we will continue to provide support for young patients at the Leeds Cancer Centre and will be donating end of treatment gifts, iPads and other entertainment equipment over the coming months.”