Participating Project

Project information

#R.O.C.K (Reaching Out to Cancer Kids)

To increase the access that schools offer children with cancer, finding creative ways for them to be involved. Most will be left with learning disabilities and only the severely affected are placed in specialist medical schools. Most struggle to cope & are vulnerable to silent bullying & depression

December 2017 - December 2018

Charity information: Joss Searchlight

Joss Searchlight logo
  • Need


    There are two main issues to be tackled. Accessibility and attitudes. At the core of the problem is that children with cancer are defined by what they lack & only the severely disabled are placed in specialist medical schools. School is a key stress,the majority struggle to cope, have learning, physical & communication disabilities. A focus group of teachers revealed schools have no plans in place in coping with distressed families no training nor appointed management to handle critical illness


    Our activities will be geared to creating awareness of the challenges children with cancer face. The outcome is for the child with cancer to become more visible and less vulnerable to silent bullying and help improve other pupils perceptions of what a child with cancer can achieve.Our online resources will guide teachers in dealing with distressed families following diagnosis and encourage planning about handling such a delicate situation. Our communication will give info about silent bullying

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    We'll focus on kids who are best fitted to help build an environment of inclusion within schools.


    » Produce an insightful film including able-bodied children & children affected by childhood cancer as presenters to campaign for better inclusion.
    » Create reaction videos about ambition (interviewed by a child affected by cancer). The child will ask 'normal' teenagers about their life ambition.
    » Create a day by day digital documentary for use on social media
    » Create 90 second films of children with cancer for online media usage.

    Feedback from Schools, our focus group & our support group of 1,200 parents. We need to find out how well the children are working together to stand by their classmate

    Aim 2

    Link with existing networks of anti-bully child ambassadors


    » We're linking with The Diana Award Anti Bully Charity and their 600 child ambassadors within schools.

    Feedback from the 600 child ambassadors of The Diana Award Anti-Bully Charity and from School Heads

    Aim 3

    To Guide Teachers in dealings with distressed families following a child's cancer diagnosis.


    » To visit schools and encourage planning how to go about handling such a delicate situation and help find creative ways for a child to be included.
    » Produce downloadable school packs to give clear information about silent bullying to lessen the incidence and give guidance of signs to be alert for.
    » To target teachers via online teacher groups, forums, education media and via speaking at The Headmasters Conference.

    Feedback from Schools & teacher forums especially regarding how well our online resources guide teachers to feel more confident dealing with families & if plans are in place.

    Aim 4

    Create awareness to a wider audience of the challenges children face returning to school.


    » Social impact campaign on social media of our film and videos being co-ordinated by Oxford University Alumni (MBA)
    » Golden Goose PR (London) an awarding winning agency will be working to secure media attention in the national press.
    » We'll seek publicity in The Times Ed supplement, The Guardian and online teaching publications such as and

    Feedback from our focus group and online support group of 1,200 parents

  • Impact


    1. Change attitudes from one of pity and inferiority to acceptance and empathy.
    2. For children to better understand what their classmate has been through & be supportive
    2. No longer define & judge the child with cancer for what they lack.
    3. Prepare schools for children to have a loss of self esteem as well as changes in mobility, co-ordination, vision, hearing and communication
    4.Encourage schools to have plans in place for handling delicate situations with appointed management staff


    1. There's a risk that some children closely affected by cancer may be upset by the content and following discussions.
    We'll request that schools message parents so that stress may be addressed/reduced.

    2. There's a risk that some schools may think the content is too emotional for the children.

    Although an emotional subject we'll have some 'light' moments in the films to help avoid upset.
    We'll also be sending the film with a discussion document giving the benefit of expert advice.


    We'll report to donors via our newsletter and via our end of project report.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £8,400 Film production Produce an insightful film involving able-bodied children and children affected by childhood cancer
      £1,820 Reaction videos A child affected by cancer will interview on the street and gauge reactions
      £1,800 90 second films Film clips for online media usage
      £1,500 Digital information packs Downloadable info packs for schools
      £3,600 PR & Marketing Communications PR agency charitable fee
      £1,200 Volunteer Expenses Volunteer travel and lunch
      £1,680 Equipment Hire cost Hire of cameras and sound equipment
  • Background


    Thames Valley Area


    Children with cancer & families: Consultation
    with families rated the understanding of childhood cancer at school as poor, many
    reported no communication at all with their child’s school, half reported bullying as a result of their child’s changed appearance.
    Teachers: A focus group of teachers revealed that they had no training in dealing with distressed families following a critical illness diagnosis, no appointed management staff and no plans of how they would handle a delicate situation

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    This is a brave project. Whilst other cancer support charities have visited schools to discuss cancer, what is it, etc, we are the first charity to create a project that addresses the emotional issues surrounding returning to school. Our trustees include parents closely affected by childhood cancer, film and marketing professionals. This, together with our focus groups and our online support group of 1,200 parents puts us in an ideal position to communicate the key issues that affect children.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dianne Parkes, Support Services Manager

    Dianne will co-ordinate the project and ensure it fulfils its objectives

    Frank W.Smith

    Frank is a BAFTA award winning film director, he will be responsible for the direction of the films

    Robyn & Cara

    Robyn and Cara are part of Oxford University Alumni. They are responsible for planning the social impact strategy and the media strategy

    Miki Haines-Sanger

    Miki owns awards winning PR agency, Golden Goose PR (London). She will promote the project to the attention of the media.

I hope other kids can see that we’re just the same. I hope this project can help children with cancer be more accepted by their classmates. I’d like to be judged by my personality and what I do, not by what I can’t do.

Jack , age 14, Leukaemia survivor