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Josh visits Parliament
A TEENAGER from Northwich has been to Parliament after his role as a figurehead for a national campaign.
Joshua Hill, 13, and his mum Lynda were invited to watch the debate on education for children with cancer after taking part in a CLIC Sargent report.
The Hills, who founded Northwich children’s charity The Joshua Tree, featured as a case study in the report ‘No Child with Cancer Left Out’.
The debate was called by Labour MP Mark Tami after he read the report.
It prompted a Government commitment that pupils with cancer deserve as good an education as any other pupil.
Lynda said: “We are delighted that the report was debated so quickly in the House of Commons.
“CLIC Sargent has worked tirelessly to effect change in this area and it was a privilege to be invited to hear Mark Tami MP talk from the heart.
“He was spot on.
“Clearly this is a national issue and we really hope that the outlined concerns will be taken seriously, resulting in a co-ordinated package of care for children diagnosed in the future.”
Josh, who is now in remission, was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was five.
He missed half of his first year of primary school and could only attend for 80 per cent of his second year.
Lynda said the school was supportive but funding for extra help was an issue.
Lorraine Clifton, chief executive of CLIC Sargent, said: “Sometimes parents, already struggling to cope with their child's diagnosis, have to fight to get the help their child needs – and they can feel really let down by the system.
“Our report has shown that when schools, hospitals, local authorities and other partners work together effectively, children with cancer do not have to be left behind out school, but at the moment too many are.
“We want to work with Government and other partners to promote the good practice we’ve identified and ensure every child with cancer gets the support they need.”
The charity will meet with the Department for Education to discuss how the needs of young cancer patients in education are met.