Children’s Cancer Foundation Embraces the Power of Art and Design in New Community Care Centre

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CHINA – 16 September 2019 – The Children’s Cancer Foundation Lions Clubs Community Centre opens its doors in September, offering a vibrant new space to further the Children’s Cancer Foundation’s mission to improve the quality of life for young cancer patients and their families by caring for their physical, psychological and social well-being. The foundation’s existing Rehabilitation Centre in Pak Tin Estate is set to close by (end of September) due to redevelopment plans.

Redefining the standard of care centres in Hong Kong, the new Children’s Cancer Foundation Lions Clubs Community Centre in So Uk Estate, Kowloon, does not just focus on function and utility, but also uses art and innovative design to complement and enhance programmes. Research has shown that incorporating visual and performing arts in healthcare environments is effective in reducing sickness, anxiety and stress[1], thus forming a more holistic environment for healing.

In line with these findings, the design of the centre, of which the renovation is supported by funding from Lions Clubs International District 303 — Hong Kong & Macao, China, embraces the power of art therapy in the design of all facilities, from staff work spaces to corridors to the pantry. Every wall is decorated with colourful artwork and murals by local artists and the children themselves. This special, gallery-like experience has been arranged specifically to inspire a “can-do” attitude in patients and their families. The centre brings together beautiful yet simple art pieces and creative programmes to create a safe space for patients to express themselves and find comfort and motivation to stay strong and positive throughout their treatment.

Colourful artwork and murals by local artists and the children

The new centre is designed to accommodate the Children’s Cancer Foundation’s wide variety of services that cater to children of all ages undergoing cancer treatment or during the recovery stages. The facility houses a revamped classroom called the Sunshine School for academic programmes and art classes funded by the United Overseas Bank in Hong Kong, a playroom for children and their parents to forget their troubles and have some fun, a youth corner for the young adults to relax and ocialize, a fully-equipped kitchen for cooking classes, intimate interview rooms for counsellors to hold sessions with patients and their parents, as well as a 600 sf. Multifunction room that can be transformed into a dance hall, a yoga studio, a lecture theatre, or a party room.

In creating a beautiful place for relaxation, learning and self-expression for patients and their families, the centre also provides a conducive environment for staff to contribute to this vision. The open office layout and flexible amenities such as the smart TV and multifunctional kitchen, which also serves as both a meeting space and learning centre, help foster a more creatively-driven work environment and a stronger bond among staff, which is then extended to visitors. Sound-proof facilities are also available to ensure that due attention is given to every patient and that privacy can be maintained for sensitive cases.

The multifunction room in the new centre can be transformed into a dance hall, a yoga studio, a lecture theatre, or a party room

Furnished with bright-coloured sofas and paintings, the waiting area can be used by children and parents to relax and mingle

Tony Ho, Chairman of Children’s Cancer Foundation, says, “We are delighted to be bringing a new level of care through our brand-new centre, the Children’s Cancer Foundation Lions Clubs Community Centre. We have been able to create a unique space that is focused on both the physical and mental healing of young cancer patients, drawing on the powerful impact of art, creativity, and social activities on the recovery process. We hope that this space comforts, motivates and inspires all those who visit and work here, and can help improve the quality of life of our patients and their families.”

Since its establishment in 1989, Children’s Cancer Foundation has been dedicated to helping doctors to improve survival rates of children with cancer through the sponsorship of expensive drugs, researches, diagnostics and clinical tests. The organisation works with an extensive network of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals to provide professional and holistic psychosocial services for childhood cancer patients in Hong Kong Children’s Hospital, major public hospitals, as well as outside the hospitals. These services include family counselling, clinical psychology, Child Life (formerly hospital play), palliative and home care, long-term follow-up services, rehabilitation and half-way homes.

Children’s Cancer Foundation relies solely on donations from the community to support ongoing services and programmes. It established the Children’s Palliative Care Foundation in 2018 with the aim of extending palliative home care services to serve more non-cancer patients with life-threatening and life-limiting diseases.