Henry Dancer Days is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. No. ZB294857
Our Distraction Projects are for children with all forms of cancer. The children we help are in pain, having unpleasant tests and, frequently, bored as they wait for procedures. To address this we set up a Pottery Project, along with a Storytelling Project, in the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne. Our Storytelling Project is now supported by BBC Children in Need, delivered in cancer centres across the country, and has been recognised for the therapeutic benefits it provides, having been the subject of the Arts Council UK Research (Alison Lister, September 2017). Our Pottery Project remains solely for North East cancer patients. A picture speaks a thousand words; here is a couple of Joanne, our Pottery Lady in the GNCH, in action with a young girl who has recently undergone treatment. Her smile says it all.
All children from the North East, who receive treatment for cancer, are treated at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle. Through our weekly Pottery sessions, thanks to The Barbour Foundation, we are able support over 320 people per year. This includes children undergoing treatment, along with their families. At the end of each session, Joanne takes the precious creations away, fires them, and returns them to the families, so they have a keepsake that acts as a lasting memory.
A diagnosis of cancer in a child is like a bomb dropping into a family. Our aim is to reduce suffering, and to offer a little joy at an unimaginable time. Our support gives parents much needed respite as they see their children entertained, distracted and happy. As trust has grown, parents have been able to leave their children in the care of our Pottery Lady to phone family members to update them, grab a 10-minute break or simply give way to the tears they are holding back. This is what we achieve. We know that we are making a huge difference to children and families affected by cancer.