Making the transition from children’s services to adult services can be a difficult and bewildering time for many young people with a life-limiting condition.
To address this transition, St Christopher’s Hospice developed the Young Adults Group, which includes informal drop-in sessions every Saturday between 8am and 9pm. The group is open to young people aged 17-25 living in south east London (Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham) with a life-limiting illness.
These sessions provide an opportunity for young adults with life-limiting conditions to relax, socialise and enjoy activities such as music, painting, drama and digital arts – without their parents or carers present but with support and nursing care available if they need.
The group also provides an invaluable service for young people and their families by bringing together all the different professionals involved in a single young person’s care, under the co-ordination of one member of the St Christopher’s team.
On Saturday 17 January more than 15 young people, their families, friends and guests were invited to the Anniversary Centre at St Christopher’s to celebrate the launch of the Young Adults Group.
At the launch event, magician Chris McGeever entertained attendees with dazzling magic tricks. The group also enjoyed painting, music, massages and a relaxation session. Guests joined the group for a relaxed lunch and informal speeches to mark the launch of the weekly service.
Young Adults Group member Junior said: “As a member of the young adults group I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has come together to support and make this happen…The support is amazing; getting young people out more and showing them there is more to life than we think.”
Tulay, another member of the group, added: “It shows me we are not alone.”
The Young Adults Group, which is supported by the Daisy Foundation, was been set-up following a successful year-long pilot project at St Christopher’s.
Phillipa Sellar, clinical nurse specialist at the hospice, said: “Over twenty young people joined our pilot project, but there are potentially so many more young people living within south east London who could benefit from the freedom and chance to socialise that the Saturday group offers.
“We want to get the message out that St Christopher’s Young Adults Group is a really wonderful lifeline and opportunity for young adults with life limiting conditions.”