The LEGO Group is the global leader in providing children with the tools to make learning inspirational and fun. The company has set out to reach eight million children by the end of 2022 through the power of play and to ensure that every one of those children has a bright future. Young Lives vs Cancer has collaborated with The LEGO Group to help the company reach children with cancer in the UK.
Each year Young Lives vs Cancer supports around 7,000 children and their families. Treatment can last up to three years and can have a catastrophic impact on a child’s education and early years development. Spending prolonged periods of time out of school and ‘normal’ home life takes its toll and simple things like being able to learn, play and interact with other children, suddenly feel very far away.
Jo Hancock, Head of High Value Fundraising Development, Philanthropy and Partnerships at Young Lives vs Cancer, said: “We believe that through playing with LEGO bricks, children with cancer will be able to experience the joy of learning and have time to play with their siblings and friends. We want to ensure that children can thrive in life beyond cancer and not just survive it.
“Together we will better understand what children and young people diagnosed with cancer are going through so we can give even greater support, harness the power of play to reduce isolation and loneliness for children and their siblings, and give moments of joy for families during such an unimaginable time.
“We are thrilled to be working together with The LEGO Group on initiatives to make that happen.”
Since launching the partnership, The LEGO Group has sent LEGO Systems Bricks and DUPLO playboxes to Young Lives vs Cancer’s Homes from Home for children and their siblings staying in the homes to play with. In addition, The LEGO Group hosted Play Agent training for staff at the charity.
Rian was diagnosed with cancer when he was 14. Throughout his treatment and isolation in hospital during a transplant, Rian found the power of play with LEGO bricks both for himself, and his siblings.
Rian said: “My siblings would come and see me in hospital all the time but they were 11, so they would go off and play with other kids in the playroom. Seeing me bald and ill was hard for them but seeing other children on the ward looking like me really helped. Playing with LEGO bricks helped them communicate without having to talk. It helped them understand, made things feel more normal and that it was okay.”
Sarah Macshane, Social Impact and Partnerships Manager for The LEGO Group said: “We’re thrilled to be supporting Young Lives vs Cancer this year as part of our UK Social Impact programme. The LEGO Group believes play is key to supporting children, their siblings and parents and can transform potentially difficult moments into joyful ones. We look forward to collaborating and reaching more children with Young Lives vs Cancer through Learning through Play.”