Recreation Room on T13 at University College Hospital, London
Tom was treated at UCLH in London on T12, a teenage cancer ward. Here teenagers can stay until they reach 20. They are then transferred to T13, a unit for young adults aged 20 to 25. Currently they have no space beyond their ‘bedroom’. If they are well enough or motivated enough to, they can use the space for teenagers on T12 or travel further still to the social space on the Cancer Centre. However, often neither option is appealing or practical – even a short walk downstairs can be impossible for young people during treatment – thus leaving adults isolated.
The Tom Bowdidge Foundation are thrilled to be funding a dedicated social space which will take the form of a coffee shop. Within this design, facilities will be bright and modern; with music, gaming and drinks facilities. The new space will provide a much needed escape from the monotony of the ward and a great place to meet other young people.
This comfortable and inviting space will also play an important role for visiting siblings and friends, helping to encourage visits and keep young people connected with life and friendships outside the unit; this in turn can also help ease the transition back into life post-treatment.
The official opening finally took place in March. Nikki and Richard were thrilled with the finished room. LUSHERarchitects assisted the young adults with the concept and design of the room. The bluebells are a nod to Tom and relate to the beautiful bluebell wood in West Bergholt, where Tom walked for many years. Designed to bring this patient community together, the Young Adult Living Room offers an age-appropriate environment within a hospital setting for young adults to meet each other, relax, watch a film, play games and make a hot drink. Doing such normal things during hospital based cancer treatment helps isolation and loneliness and is important for people’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
“We’d like to thank all those involved in this collaboration, it has allowed us to create this unique space, where young adults being treated for cancer at UCLH can temporarily distance themselves from medical issues and focus on being themselves.”Louise Soanes, Teenage Cancer Trust Nurse Consultant, CYP Cancer Services, UCLH.