Drive for den to help North-east families hit by child cancer diagnosis

How the existing Den in Livingston looks.

A cancer charity is hoping to fundraise £70,000 to open a dedicated den in the North-east.

The Team Jak Foundation, a children’s cancer charity, has now begun providing services to young people affected by cancer and their families in Aberdeen after the success of Jak’s Den in Livingston.

Created in memory of teenager Jak Trueman, 15, who died following a battle with a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer – Gamma Delta T-Cell Lymphoma, the charity aims to help those impacted by the fear, confusion and loneliness a cancer diagonsis or bereavement can bring.

Caitlin Stewart, a co-ordinator at Team Jak Aberdeen, said: “The idea started when we heard of mums going down to Edinburgh to get support.

“When they would travel back to Aberdeen, they felt like they weren’t getting the support the wanted.

“The service is also helpful for siblings. We hear of families that have to leave children home to while they take their child with cancer to treatment.”

Team Jak is currently using space in community centres across the city for the support programme, but is looking to raise money in order to open a permanent den space to run the services.

Caitlin said: “We’re also looking to offer musical therapy for children in the hospital starting this January.”

The den would give children a space to take part in various counselling and alternative therapies, support groups with others in the same position as them, and fun activities.

The £70,000 would help cover costs to fully furnish and kit out the satellite den for a year.

The charity is appealing for people to get involved with fundraising to help it reach its goal – through events, sponsoring the charity or through an organisation.

Caitlin added: “It is amazing to see Jak’s story coming to life and helping others.”

The den will offer music and drama rooms, a neutropenic cafe, music themed cafe, an outdoor area, counselling rooms and a large hall for musical theatre classes and sports classes.

The den will offer music and drama rooms, a neutropenic cafe, an outdoor area, counselling rooms and a large hall for musical theatre classes.

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