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

July 2013 - July 2015

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

    To implement the Beads of Courage programme into every UK Child and Teenage Oncology Ward


    » We will continue to fundraise so that we can a) ensure continuity of the programme and b) implement further programmes

    Success will be.enrolling the 10,000 children and teenagers currently on cancer treatment through the UK

  • 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..


    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

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      Amount Heading Description
      £15,000 Programme 5 full sets of programme materials - to cover 4 main hospitals and 25 shared care hospitalstals
      £3,500 Postage US Postage
      £1,500 Import Import Duty
  • Background


    The Beads of Courage programme will be implemented in all oncology/haematology hospitals throughout the UK. Since 2011 we have trained 77 hospitals in the use of the programme. We aim to reach all hospitals by the end of 2016.


    Children, parents, care-givers will all benefit from the programme. This programme has been implemented in 77 hospitals to date and is supporting 5000 children at present. We aim to support 10,000 children and their parents and care-givers nationwide.

  • 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 30,000 children with serious illness worldwide and our aim is to provide it to all children on cancer treatment in the UK initially and to roll out to other children with chronic and serious illness to support, acknowledge and document their treatment journey.

    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