The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Carrie Pointer

Carrie Pointer - Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Co-ordinator

Carrie PointerAcross LTHT we work with partner organisations to ensure that we provide the best possible care. One of our partners is The Teenage Cancer Trust, who help us by funding two wards - one at the LGI and one at St James's - aimed at helping teenagers and young adults overcome cancer.

Part of this funding goes towards employing Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Co-ordinators, such as Carrie Pointer.

Carrie supports young adults living with cancer prior to, during and after being treated on our specialist ward in the Bexley Wing.

Carrie said: "For many of our patients, being diagnosed with cancer is like having the pause button pressed on their lives; it's my job to press play and get things back to normal again.

"I really love my job and working with young people. Its a real privilege to support the patients on the ward at St James's."

The role of a Youth Support Co-ordinator is to build strong relationships and bonds with patients as they go through difficult times, helping them to overcome emotional challenges, answer any questions and support them through treatment.

"Some of my work involves organising social events outside of the hospital as a way of making sure the people we care for have opportunities to socialise and have as near-to-normal experience of being a young person as possible," said Carrie. "It's really important that the people I work with have access to support networks of people their own age who share similar experiences."

"In some cases my support role carries on for up to five years after a person has been treated," she added. "It can be emotionally draining; in some cases we don't see young people survive and recover from their cancers and this can be really tough for the team and I, but we need to be there for everyone else."

Outside of work Carrie cares for her nine month old son, Joseph, and likes to spend time with family and friends.

"I really enjoy going out for walks in the country and used to play lots of netball, but I've had to calm down a bit since having Joseph earlier this year," Carrie said. "I really do love my job though so I'm happy to spend time at work."