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A new service has been launched in Northampton to support teenagers and young people affected by cancer.
Today's launch at Northampton Central Library, includes street art workshops for young people and a graffiti wall where people can leave messages of support for anyone affected by cancer.
Macmillan Cancer Support and Northamptonshire County Council have joined forces to develop 'The C* Word', a pioneering new service to support all teenagers and young people aged 13 to 24 affected by cancer - whether it is through their own diagnosis or that of a close family member or friend.
The name was chosen by young people because they find that the word 'cancer' can often be referred to quietly or obliquely, and this service aims to bring it to the fore to make sure that more support is given to those who need it.
Delivered through the county's 36 libraries, The C* Word will offer a programme of services and activities to support teenagers and young people, however they need it. This includes emotional support, help with school, university or work, advice on finances, information from the unique experience of Macmillan Cancer Support about a relation or friend's condition, or just an opportunity to escape for a while.
County council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing Councillor Robin Brown said:
"The C* Word will be available to young people across the county who need some extra help to deal with the impact of cancer in their lives. This could be because they are affected by cancer themselves, or are dealing with cancer in their family, for example a sibling or parent, or in a friend.
There is currently a real gap in the county for this type of support. There are no services specifically for Northamptonshire teenagers and young adults whose lives have been touched by cancer, which means they can end up feeling isolated and unsupported.
We are pleased that Macmillan Cancer Support is working with Northamptonshire to develop this exciting new programme and start making a real difference to lives of those young people who are struggling to cope with their experience of cancer."
Kay Atkinson, Macmillan's Development Manager said:
"Macmillan's research shows that the support needs of teenagers and young adults affected by cancer are different and this project will work with those young people to find out and develop the services they need and want.
No-one should face cancer alone, but that's what it can feel like without the right support. Working with Northamptonshire County Council 's libraries throughout the county, this project gives us all a great opportunity to involve teenagers and young adults in the design and delivery of the support services they need, that can become a blueprint for other parts of the country."