Counselling project details

This project provides a telephone and online counselling service for young people, who are living with cancer, and whose mental health is being adversely affected by the pandemic (see criteria below).

The project also offers telephone and online support to families with a young person living with cancer (see criteria below).

Young people living with serious ill-health may already experience isolation and worries about their mental health. Current isolation, increased risk to health and disruption to ongoing treatment caused by COVID-19 are heavy additional burdens for young people and their families during an already critical and challenging time in their lives.

What will the project do?

Having started as a pilot project in July 2020, it is now a mainstream part of Flynne’s Barn services. The project is being evaluated to help shape future services and to share learning.

Criteria for Counselling

  • For young people up to age 25
  • Living with cancer
  • Self-referral or referral by professional/agency
  • Choice of telephone or online platform (Zoom)
  • Assessment, followed by 10 sessions
  • 30-50 minute sessions
  • Delivered by qualified counsellors/psychotherapists
  • Choice of male/female counsellor

Criteria for Family Support

  • For families with a young person living with cancer
  • Self-referral or referral by professional/agency
  • Choice of telephone or online platform (Zoom)
  • Support duration and content agreed in collaboration with family

Project aims, objectives, outcomes


To support and improve the mental health of young people who are living with cancer (Counselling).

To strengthen family support systems for families with a young person who is living with cancer during a time of crisis (Family Support).


To provide counselling to young people up to the age of 25;

And to enable them to talk about the ways in which their mental health is being affected and find positive ways of coping (Counselling).

To provide support, advice and signposting to young people and their families, relating to the challenges caused by the pandemic and to enable them to access relevant services (Family Support).

To support young people and families where there are risk factors that have become hidden due to current pressures on services, including referral on to specialist and safeguarding services (Counselling & Family Support).

To understand further forms of support that young people living with underlying health conditions will benefit from both during the pandemic and as circumstances change in the medium and longer term (Counselling & Family Support).

To build a peer network of young people living with cancer in Cumbria who can make links and support each other (Counselling & Family Support).

If you would like to print a copy of this then please open this page as a PDF – Counselling and family support project

Initial pilot project funded through the National Lottery Community Fund

When young people are able to do the things that they love and to discover new interests and passions cancer’s power is lessened. Connection with art, with nature and with each other at Flynne’s Barn will help young people to feel more fulfilled, more in control and more like themselves again.
Dr Sian Macfie