Puppet show receives praise

AN INNOVATIVE Ipswich puppet show helping school children cope with cancer has today been given national praise.Christine Bickers and Mary Sokanovic, who work at Ipswich Hospital, have been taking the show into schools in Suffolk for six years.

AN INNOVATIVE Ipswich puppet show helping school children cope with cancer has today been given national praise.

Christine Bickers and Mary Sokanovic, who work at Ipswich Hospital, have been taking the show into schools in Suffolk for six years.

It is designed to help answer youngsters' questions so when a child who has had cancer returns to school, they are not bombarded with questions or isolated.

Now, the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) offshoot website www.childcancer.org.uk have featured the puppet show as an example of good work.


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Mrs Bickers is based at Ipswich Hospital as a social worker for the children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent and Mrs Sokanovic is a paediatric oncology nurse specialist.

Mrs Bickers said: “We were finding that many of the children we worked with had difficulties when they returned to school after treatment.

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“A lack of understanding can often manifest itself as fear, especially in children, and it is this fear that can lead to distress to the child in the playground.

“It was clear that children needed to be given an opportunity to learn more about cancer and what was happening to their friends.”

The puppet show follows a puppet patient through a cancer journey.

It talks about hair loss, weight gain from using steroids and explains what a Hickman line is and what it is like spending a long time in hospital.

The puppets are made so they can change gender and ethnicity and can demonstrate the changes that occur during the illness.

Teachers are encouraged to start a message box after the puppet show where children can send the child with cancer messages.

n. Has the show visited your child's school? What did you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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