Project information

Be Child Cancer Aware Beads of Courage Programme

Beads of Courage is designed to support children going through cancer treatment and allows them to tell their story. The beads are used as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate different milestones such as blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Be Child Cancer Aware

Be Child Cancer Aware logo
  • Need


    Ongoing evaluation of the Beads of Courage program indicates that the program helps to decrease illness-related distress, increase the use of positive coping strategies, helps children find meaning in illness, and restore sense of self in children coping with serious illness. The program also provides something tangible the child can use to tell about their experience during treatment and after.


    The beads help the children to take ownership of their journey and to make sense of the experience they are going through in a very visible and tangible way. The beads gives them a tool to explain it to themselves and others, adults, medical professionals, brothers, sisters, friends and says to everybody “this is my story, this is what I’m doing – its not nice but I’m strong and I will get through it”.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Continue to provide Beads of Courage programme to every UK Child and Teenage Oncology Ward


    » We will continue to fundraise so that we can ensure continuity of the programme in every oncology unit throughout the UK

    What success will look like

    Success will be enrolling c 2500 children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer throughout the UK and continuing support of those already on the programme

  • Impact


    The childrens’ beads of courage collection helps others to understand what these children go through and shows their strength and courage. As their string of beads grows, it is something that they can use to remember and retell the story of their treatment. It is also about taking control of a tough situation.

    With each procedure or milestone in their treatment, they get a special bead. Each bead is their way of saying “this isn’t easy, but I did it”.


    This programme becomes part of the daily routine in the hospital setting and becomes part of the child's daily treatment. We need to continually engage with hospital staff to ensure we meet their needs and that the programme is a help to staff as well as families receiving it. We offer refresher staff training to preserve the ethos of the programme and provide support to the hospitals as we are always conscious of the busy environment that goes along with very sick children.


    Funders will receive a 6 monthly project update along with regular email updates throughout the year with details of ongoing activities.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £15,000 Programme Bead Supply to maintain bead stocks in hospitals throuout the UK.
      £3,500 Postage US and UK Postage
      £1,500 Import Import Duty

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Maria Watt Foundation £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Beads of Courage programme has been implemented in all oncology/haematology hospitals throughout the UK. Since 2011 we have trained 102 hospitals in the use of the programme.


    Children, parents, care-givers will all benefit from the programme. This programme has been implemented in 102 hospitals. We now need to ensure we can continue to support children on the programme and newly diagnosed children. There will be 2500 new diagnoses thus year and we need to ensure we can provide the programme to these children as well as those already on the programme. We support children and their parents and caregivers.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    As the license holder of this fantastic support programme we are the only charity able to provide Beads of Courage to our UK hospitals. This programme supports 50,000 children with serious illness worldwide and BCCA provides it to all children on cancer treatment in the UK.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Hospital Staff

    All members of staff involved in a child's treatment are encouraged to get involved in supporting their patients using the Beads of Courage programme