Thanks to your donations, we’ve funded two Oncology Learning Mentors on the cancer wards at Leeds Children’s Hospital and the Young Adult Unit at Leeds Cancer Centre.

The fantastic work of the learning mentors has only been made possible thanks to The Emma Maltby Memorial Fund, a charitable organisation aiming to provide educational support to children, teenagers and young adults living with cancer in hospital.

Thanks to the charity’s generosity and tireless fundraising for over a decade, they founded and supported the two Oncology Learning Mentors until last year, when Leeds Hospitals Charity began funding the mentors, alongside continued support from The Emma Maltby Memorial Fund.

The learning mentors are part of the Medical Needs Teaching Service and support young people from five years old up to the age of 24.

Harry Hawcroft is one of the mentors who works with young cancer patients at Leeds Children’s Hospital, he works with children up to 15 years old.

When children are first admitted to one of the wards whether it’s for a few weeks or on a longer-term basis, Harry works with the child’s school to help break down the barriers to learning in hospital.

Harry holds engagement sessions with children to establish a relationship with them and tailor educational opportunities to their likes and interests.

Harry says, “I am extremely grateful to Leeds Hospitals Charity for providing me with the opportunity to perform what I consider an important role within the hospital and for granting me the privilege of working with some of the most extraordinary young people between the ages of 4 and 15.

It is a blessing to providing a sense of routine and normality to what is otherwise a very traumatic time for the pupils and I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of creating individualised engagement sessions!”

Year 4 pupil Uzair loves learning with Harry

One of the patients Harry supports is Year 4 pupil, Uzair, his mum said, “Harry has allowed my son to remain engaged in his education and prevent him from falling behind. He also helps to take Uzair’s mind off his treatment with activities like robotics and educational sessions on superheroes which help him stay happy, even when he is in hospital! Since the first time Harry came to see my son, they have had a strong bond, Uzair is always happy to see him and always asks about him!”