Teenage Cancer Unit sets up new wig service for young people

Communications TeamNews

Hospital staff caring for young people with cancer are launching a new service to help them when they lose their hair.

The Teenage Cancer Unit at Castle Hill Hospital is teaming up with the Living With and Beyond Cancer team at the Queen’s Centre to set up a new wig service.

Young people who come to the unit for treatment will now be able to purchase wigs in modern styles and in vibrant colors including ombre, blue and purple to help boost their morale if their hair falls out during treatment.

Claire Swift, Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Teenage Cancer Unit, said: “Losing your hair during treatment for cancer can be traumatic for everyone but it’s especially difficult for young people.

“This new service can make someone feel better about themselves when they’re already going through so much.”

Claire and Youth Support Co-ordinator Charlene Kent realised there was a need for the service after referring their patients to the Living With and Beyond Cancer team at the Queen’s Centre.

Charlene said: “They have a wigs service but the wigs they have were not really age-appropriate for the people we look after in our unit.”

Working with Sarah Guest from the Living With and Beyond Cancer team, they were given some free samples of modern hairstyles from Welsh wig company Lush to pass onto patients for feedback.

Charlene said: “They loved them so we knew this was something we wanted to do.”

The team has purchased a small number of wigs from the company and patients have added to the stock by donating wigs they no longer need.

Patients will be able to purchase a wig for £15 with available packages including the wig, a wig stand, hair brush and products to wash, condition and style the wig.

Jane Griffin, who volunteers for the Living With and Beyond Cancer team, will help them choose the wig that suits them best, fit it and show them how to care for their new hairstyle.

*If you have a wig suitable for a teenager or young person that you would like to donate, please contact the team on:01482 461091/01482 461326 .

*Photograph: Charlene Kent, left, and Sarah Guest with their new display cabinet for young people’s wigs