Online storytelling helps North East children going through cancer treatment


A charity that was started by a mother who lost her son to cancer is helping other children going through treatment in the North East.

Henry Dancer Days was set up in memory of Henry John Dancer, who died at the age of 12 in 2010 from a form of bone cancer.

It runs a project which provides storytellers who go into hospital to read stories to other children facing cancer.

This is currently being done online due to the pandemic, but is still making a difference to children like Saahib from Sunderland, who has just finished his treatment after being diagnosed with leukaemia three years ago.

He has got that friendly face, somebody that he trusts that's not someone that's going to prod him and poke him or do a test or take blood, and it's just someone else he can build that trusting relationship with in hospital.

Gurpreet Randhawa, Saahib's Mum

The aim is to take children's minds off their gruelling treatment and help to put a smile back on their faces.

We can't be there when they're having treatment, when they're having a blood transfusion or chemo given, the very time children need distraction, so we can't do that which is heartbreaking, but we can still give them fun when they're bored because they spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for treatment so it's great we can still be involved in some small way.

Jane Nattrass, Charity Director of Henry Dancer Days