adolescents young adults aya

Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA)

It’s a tough journey when facing a cancer diagnosis for adolescents and young adults – we at the Irish Cancer Society understand your family's needs and are here for you as always. We have teamed up with Barretstown to offer camps throughout the year, and we have many supports available to guide you however you need.

Irish Cancer Society Barretstown Camps 2024

Every year, the Irish Cancer Society teams up with Barretstown to run a variety of camps specifically designed for children, adolescents and young adults living with cancer. These camps allow children, adolescents, young adults, and their families to come together to enjoy new adventures, create magical moments, make new friends, and find support. There are fun surprises around every corner, and it’s all free.

Barretstown Camp Calendar 2024

Crowley Family - Barretstown

Child and Family Camps

Enjoy a weekend away for all the family full of activities, adventure, creative play, and relaxing family time together. This camp is for children up to 17 years of age and their family members.

Other Child Cancer Supports

Young Adult Camps

Young Adult camps are for young people aged 18-24 who are living with cancer. Spend the weekend in Barretstown, meeting other young people who have been affected by cancer. The Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) Programme plan has been shaped by research from the NCCP (HSE National Cancer Control Programme) and Barretstown’s 28 years of experience delivering serious fun through therapeutic recreation-based programmes. There will be no children at Barretstown on young adult camp weekends.

What happens at the camps?
  • Meet and make friends with other children and young people affected by cancer.
  • Enjoy the state-of-the-art 500-acre site and facilities of Barretstown, in Co. Kildare.
  • Try your hand at activities such as high ropes, archery and canoeing, to name just a few.
  • Take part in workshops tailored to your needs and interests.
  • Learn about how to access resources, information, and services available to you.
  • Enjoy activities such as mindfulness and other workshops delivered by Barretstown and external professionals.
  • Enjoy free time to get to know each other.
  • In the evenings, enjoy social activities such as game shows, table quizzes, movie nights, silent baking, and lots more.
What else do I need to know?
  • You do not need to have been to Barretstown before.
  • Your accommodation and meals are provided as the programme is residential.
  • You will stay in our onsite accommodation.
  • There is 24/7 medical support behind the scenes.
Testimonials from participants

“Making great new friends, meeting people who understand our experiences, having such a fun weekend”

“It was an excellent experience, would absolutely come and do it again. It was such a good opportunity to connect with other people and have fun at the same time”

Supports Available – what we fund

Call Us!

Our Support Line Nurses give confidential information, support and advice on supports available to anyone affected by cancer. You can ask to talk to our Children’s Cancer nurse.

Our Support Line is free to call on 1800 200 700. You can also email the nurses at

Need Transport?

Our Irish Cancer Society Transport Service is available for you when undergoing chemotherapy treatments at our partner hospitals.

Patients must attend one of the hospitals participating in the programme and be referred by the hospital. Ask your hospital social worker or nurse for more information.

Call the Volunteer Driver Service team on (01) 231 0522.

Volunteer Driver Service | Irish Cancer Society

Travel2Care Grant

This nationwide transportation assistance fund is to support people in meeting some of the costs of travelling to current appointments.

The fund is made available by the National Cancer Control Programme and administered by the Irish Cancer Society. Up to €450 is available to cover transport costs you encounter when attending treatment.

Travel2Care | Irish Cancer Society

Contact our Travel2Care team at (01) 231 6643 / (01) 2310522 or

Mental Health Support

We understand that living with cancer can bring so many challenges to your life.

The Society funds professional one to one, telephone and video-call counselling. Should you require access to psychology services, we can refer you to one of our partners.

How to access it

Our cancer nurses can tell you about services available and can refer you for support. Call our Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700.

Fertility Service

We run the “Childhood Cancer Fertility Project” in partnership with Merrion Fertility, which is open to anyone living with cancer up to the age of 24.

  • Adolescents and young adults have access to an enhanced fertility preservation service for cancer patients operated by Merrion Fertility Clinic
  • We invite female survivors of childhood cancers aged 18-24 to have their fertility needs assessed, and referred for further treatment or investigation where fertility treatments may still be an option.

Childhood Cancer Fertility Project | Irish Cancer Society

How to access this service

Please speak to your medical team who can discuss this further with you, and can refer you to the services available.

Other Supports



Download our Booklets and Factsheets on your type of cancer.  These include details on; cancer types, tests, treatments, side-effects and how to cope.

Cancer types  Tests  Treatments and Side Effects  How to cope

All of our publications are available by calling the Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700 or in hospitals and Daffodil Centres across the country. You can also download them on

Benefits and Entitlements

Your financial stability is important.  You and your family may be entitled to government supports including Illness Benefit, a Medical Card or Carer’s Allowance.  Check-out the benefits which may apply for you.

Benefits and entitlements | Irish Cancer Society

Disability Access Route to Higher Education

The DARE (Disability Access Route to Higher Education) process now includes childhood cancer survivors. People up to the age of 23 can apply for this scheme through the "the Significant Ongoing Illness" in their application.

More information is available here:

AYA Shared Care Centres

Three hospitals have been designated as “Shared Care Centres” for teenagers and young adults with cancer. Shared care means some of your care can be given at a designated centre in your local area, closer to home and easier for you to get to.  This means you get the best care possible and don’t have to travel long distances to your hospital appointments.

Each Shared Care Centre also has a Daffodil Centre on-site.  These are our Irish Cancer Society local cancer information and support centres which you can visit to meet our cancer nurses and trained volunteers available to answer your questions and help you.  Daffodil Centres are located in hospitals where you will always find one of our experts ready to listen in confidence and offering support, advice and suggestions on local support groups.  Your needs may include travel assistance, financial guidance or medical queries – visit our Daffodil Centre teams or call our Support Line and we will assist you every step of the way

Cork: Daffodil Centre Cork University Hospital | Irish Cancer Society

Dublin: Daffodil Centre St. James's Hospital | Irish Cancer Society

Galway: Daffodil Centre University Hospital Galway | Irish Cancer Society

Real Cost of Cancer

Cancer patients and their loved ones face a significant financial challenge while undergoing treatment.

The Irish Cancer Society's ‘Real Cost of Cancer’ campaign aims to raise awareness about this issue and ensure it remains a Government focus to improve the supports available to you.

Real Cost of Cancer | Irish Cancer Society

Pre-Budget Submission

We understand that the costs associated with cancer cause immense anxiety and distress during a physically and financially vulnerable time.  Additionally our ever increasing cost of living has made this intolerable reality, worse.

Our Pre-Budget Submission to Government proposes positive recommendations by investing in young adults with cancer and the services available.  Read our submissions here:

Prebudget Submission 2023 | Irish Cancer Society

Advocacy Champions

We always welcome cancer patients, survivors, family members, caregivers and anyone passionate about improving outcomes for young adults with cancer to lend their voices to our vital campaigns.

By joining our Advocacy Network, you can help to ensure that your voice as a young person affected by cancer is heard and represented to bring better supports:

Advocate for change | Irish Cancer Society


For more information

Icon: Phone


01 231 0500

Icon: Email