A family fun day held by Southport and Formby Macmillan Information and Support Centre was a real success and brought parents, carers and children in similar situations together.
The event – held last month at The Salvation Army on Shakespeare Street, Southport – aimed to raise awareness of the support available to children, whether they have a close relative who has had cancer, is undergoing treatment, or has passed away.
Over 30 adults and 17 children attended the day and there has been some extremely positive feedback about the event.
One parent said: “Me, my twins, two of their great aunties and cousins went to the Macmillan family fun day for families affected by cancer. Lots of local organisations and support groups provided a free, fun afternoon for us all. But what else they did was give me a smile, made my children laugh, and gave me a day to feel comfort, support and kindness of others.”
Tanya Mulvey, Macmillan Information and Support Centre manager at the centre, said: “When a family member is diagnosed with cancer, the effects on children are often underestimated – children, even the youngest, can sense that something is wrong and if they’re unable to understand they may become withdrawn or distressed. We wanted to put on an event for children and their parents going through difficult times so they could meet other families and get the support they might need.
“We really could not have put this event on without support so we’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Starkidz, The Salvation Army, The Creation Station, Wobble Tree Yoga, Child Bereavement UK, Sefton Young Carers, Parenting 2000, Queenscourt Hospice, ASDA, Harribo, Project Linus and Everton Football Club.
“All of the children were also given beautiful handmade quilts donated to the centre by Project Linus West Lancs, a fantastic charity that make these to help comfort children going through tough times.”
The parent continued: “I felt so lifted when I got home. From that night my babies are now snuggled up in their new blankets from Project Linus, magic blankets that will provide a mummy hug when I physically can’t give it to them. I’m going to bed smiling; something I haven’t done a lot of recently, so sweet dreams everyone.”
The children were entertained with crafts, yoga, outdoor games and a chill-out zone. There was even a surprise visit from Spider-Man and Moana! While the children were busy, their parents and loved ones had the chance to talk to centre staff and other professionals about any concerns they had and support available locally.
Set up by Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and St Marks Medical Centre, Southport and Formby Macmillan Information & Support Centre is located on 20 Stanley Street and is open for drop in Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.
For more information about the work of the Macmillan Information and Support Centre on Stanley Street in Southport, please see the website: www.southportmacmillancentre.org.uk