Project information

Teenage and Young Adults with Cancer Nurse

Young cancer patients have unique biological, physiological and social needs during treatment. Traditionally they have been treated as adults or children. With your support we can continue to fund a Cancer Nurse who can provide the support needed for this vulnerable group of young people.

November 2017 - November 2020

Charity information: Cobalt supporting cancer and dementia

Cobalt supporting cancer and dementia logo
  • Need


    Teenagers and young adults facing a cancer diagnosis have unique biological, physiological and social needs during treatment. Traditionally little care has been put into place that delivers according to their specific needs at a vulnerable stage in their life. Patients are often either treated alongside children of a younger age, or with adults. Specialised care is required not just in terms of their illness but also in terms of their educational, financial and relationship needs.


    To be given a life threatening diagnosis at this stage of life can turn a young persons’ world upside down, disrupting future plans and alienating them from friends. Access to a specialist nurse is vital, addressing issues pertinent to their stage of life, as well as their cancer treatment. Through donations we are able to fund a specialist nurse who is able to see 35 newly diagnosed young adults each year, and also contribute to research in early diagnosis and improvements in survival rate.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide emotional support to teenagers and young adults throughout their cancer journey.


    » The TYA Nurse will ensure that young patients receive the most appropriate and supportive care available.
    » The TYA nurse will provide practical support - education, employment, finance, peer and ongoing support framework.
    » The TYA nurse is part of a national programme for early cancer diagnosis, improved treatment and outcomes for young people.

    Testimonials and questionnaire returns show the incredible support this post makes to this vulnerable group.

  • Impact


    The TYA Nurse will ensure that young patients receive the most appropriate and supportive care available.

    The work of a TYA Cancer Nurse crosses the boundaries of health and social care communities and voluntary organisations to encourage a flexible approach to the provision of emotional as well as medical support for teenagers and young adults with cancer.

    By contributing to research it will help ensure younger patients get an earlier diagnosis and therefore lead to better survival rates.


    Since 2011 Cobalt works with the North Gloucestershire NHS Trust to support the role of a TYA Nurse across the counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. Funding is required to continue to support this vital area.

    Cobalt do not perceive any risks associated with the success of this project. The supply of a TYA Nurse is a necessary and vital part of community healthcare.


    Cobalt will provide an overview of the work that Megan, our TYA Nurse does and also an update on the impact of her role in the community, including patient testimonials. Donors will also be invited into an evening event to meet with Megan and find out more about her work.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £56,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £28,000 Salary Salary year 1
      £28,000 Salary Salary year 2

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Charitable Trust £16,500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Nurse services the three counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. Prior to having regional Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) Cancer Nurse, all young adults and teenagers with a cancer diagnosis would have to travel to the Primary Treatment Centre in Bristol for specialist care. The geographical characteristics of the South West meant long travel times and extra costs for these patients.


    Teenagers and young adults with a cancer diagnosis through one to one and peer support
    Friends and family members of cancer patients
    Research networks
    Education and Schools through the specialist support of the TYA nurse
    Wider community through earlier diagnosis
    Health and social care communities
    Other charity partners in the implementation of this service include Macmillan, the NHS, CLIC Sargent for young adults.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Cobalt is a leading medical charity supporting patients with cancer and dementia.

    Cobalt supports the needs of patients locally and nationally through our specialist Imaging Centres in Cheltenham and Birmingham and through a fleet of mobile MRI scanners.

    We participate in leading research. Cobalt provides training for healthcare professionals and education on cancer prevention and healthy lifestyles for the general public. Cobalt have supported the NHS with this post since 2011

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Megan Willsher

    Megan Willsher was appointed as the Cobalt TYA Cancer Nurse in 2011 and is based at Cheltenham General Hospital.

    Peter Sharpe BSc DCR FBIR

    Chief Executive of charity Cobalt.

    Professor Iain Lyburn

    Cobalt Medical Director and a Consultant Radiologist with Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust.

‘Megan’s regular visits during my time as an inpatient have been very uplifting and supportive. From the very beginning she has been a constant presence on my journey with me. '

Alice – young adult with Acute myeloid leukaemia