Our services for children and families

Support Line nurse

The Irish Cancer Society provides free services to all those affected by cancer, including children and their families.

Parent Peer-to-Peer Support 

Would you like to speak to a trained parent volunteer who really knows what you are going through, and understands what it is like to have a child with cancer?

We run a Parent Peer-to-Peer Support programme along with  Childhood Cancer Ireland and CanTeen Ireland.

The programme connects parents of children with cancer with trained parent volunteers who have children who have been treated for cancer in the past.

This service is also available to other adult family members (eg grandparents, aunts etc).

Creative Arts Therapy

The Irish Cancer Society offers free Creative Arts Therapy support for Children, Adolescents and Young Adults (CAYA) with or in survivorship of cancer (0-24) and their siblings. Creative Arts Therapies include; Art Therapy, Dramatherapy and Music Therapy and can be used to support the psychosocial needs of a young person.

If you’re interested in availing of Creative Arts Therapy support sessions, please email creativeartstherapy@irishcancer.ie and one of our team will be in touch.

Learn More About Creative Arts Therapy

Residential Barretstown Camps

The Irish Cancer Society runs various Barretstown camps for children, their families living with cancer. Attendees enjoy a free weekend away full of activities, adventure, creative play, and relaxation. 

24/7 medical support behind the scenes and information on cancer resources and support are also available.

We run camps each spring and autumn. For more information on dates and the applicant process for the camps, please email us below:

Email the CAYA team

Julie Wren Complimentary Therapy Service


The Julie Wren Complementary Therapy service in the National Children’s Cancer Centre in Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin opened in December 2011 thanks to the generosity of Esther Wren & supporters in loving memory of her daughter Julie who sadly passed away of cancer at the age of eight.  Irish Cancer Society took over funding the service in CHI in 2023.

The Complementary Therapy Service in the Haematology/Oncology unit at Children’s Health Ireland provide a range of holistic complimentary therapies to patients and their parents/guardians when in hospital. The complementary therapist provides ongoing support through a range of therapies that include Massage, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Baby Massage Aromatherapy, Mindfulness, and Meditation. These therapies are conducted in a warm, safe and confidential space.

  • Treatments: Treatments are gentle and relaxing. Applied appropriately, they do not cause unpleasant side effects. However, you may feel sleepy afterwards. When deeply relaxed, some people find that emotions surface. If this happens, your therapist will support you and may suggest someone to talk to if you wish. The majority of people just feel pleasantly relaxed during their treatment and refreshed afterwards.
  • Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils (plant extracts) to help promote health and well-being. Aromatherapy is used during treatments, and the oils are absorbed through the skin during massage. The essential oils are diluted in a carrier oil or beeswax balm. Inhalation of essential oils occurs during treatments, while using a diffuser and aroma tissues.
  • Meditation: Meditation can help to relax and calm the mind and body. The practice of meditation involves focusing your attention on one thing. There are many types of meditation. All methods work by really concentrating on something specific and when the mind wanders to refocus the attention back to the original object of concentration. Our meditation practices include guided visualisation, breathing, body scan and mindfulness.
  • Reflexology: Meditation can help to relax and calm the mind and body. The practice of meditation involves focusing your attention on one thing. There are many types of meditation. All methods work by really concentrating on something specific and when the mind wanders to refocus the attention back to the original object of concentration. Our meditation practices include guided visualisation, breathing, body scan and mindfulness.
  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of purposeful, focused awareness on the present moment without judgment. Practising mindfulness can help to create resilience and hope. Mindfulness practices may involve breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to help relax the body and mind.
  • Indian Head Massage: - Indian head massage is carried out using a variety of massage strokes and acupressure points along the head, face, neck, shoulders and upper arms. Indian head massage is used to promote relaxation and relieve tension.
  • Massage: Massage involves the gentle rhythmical touch with movements varied to suit individual needs, to promote relaxation and ease tension or pain.

How to make an appointment?

Referral to this service is through your Children’s Health Ireland Cancer medical team. If you would like to receive treatment, speak to a nurse or any healthcare professional in the Cancer Unit in CHI at Crumlin.  A member of the complementary therapy team will contact you to discuss your referral and arrange an appointment, which will take place in the Julie Wren complimentary therapy room or in your own patient room.

This service is provided: Monday – Friday. You will be allocated an appointment time, and each session will last from fifteen minutes to one hour. Your therapist will adjust the length of your treatment depending on your needs.

You can find out more information about the complimentary therapy by contacting the service on 01 428 2792 0r 4096100.

Claire McCall Cancer Co-coordinator at the Irish Cancer Society T: +353 1 968 3745

Email Claire

Speak to a parent who's been there

To be referred to one of our trained parent volunteers please call the Irish Cancer Society Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700 or by email supportline@irishcancer.ie.

two mothers talking

The Irish Cancer Society's Children's Fund

The Irish Cancer Society’s Children's Fund offers financial support to the parents of children with cancer. This is to help them with the unexpected expenses that a diagnosis brings, such as travel expenses to cancer treatment appointments, heating bills and childcare costs. 

This one-off payment of €3,000 is not means tested. To qualify, the child:
-Must be under the age of 18
-Must have been diagnosed with cancer and currently be receiving treatment
-Must live permanently in Ireland

More information on this is available from the medical social worker in your child's hospital or by calling our Support Line on 1800 200 700.

In-hospital support

Our Children's Cancer nurse will be visiting Crumlin, to support to parents and families. 

Read more about in-hospital support.

Our Transport Service for Children  

Our Transport Service has recently expanded to provide transport for children and adolescents with cancer attending the National Children’s Cancer Service, Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin (CHI) for chemotherapy and / or radiotherapy in CHI.

Read more about the service and how to apply.

Information about childhood cancer

We produce booklets specifically for children with cancer. These books are sponsored by the Irish Cancer Society or produced in partnership with specialist paediatric centres and healthcare professionals: 

We cover design, print and distribution costs for these materials, working with specialist paediatric centres and healthcare professionals on the content.

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.

Help with transportation costs to hospital

Travel2Care is a fund, made available by the National Cancer Control Programme and managed by the Irish Cancer Society. It is for patients who are having difficulty getting to and from their treatments while attending one of the centres of excellence or their satellites.

Free support over the phone and email

Our Support Line nurses can give advice on all types of cancer, coping, supports available and more. You can ask to talk to our Children’s Cancer nurse. Our Support Line is free to call on 1800 200 700 for parents of children with cancer. You can also email the nurses at supportline@irishcancer.ie.

In-home end-of-life nursing care

We provide end-of-life care for cancer patients in their own home. Our specialist palliative care nurses care for patients of all ages, including children.

Read more about palliative care and our Night Nursing service for children.

One-to-one advice and information

Our Daffodil Centres are located in 13 hospitals nationwide. The centres are staffed by cancer nurses and trained volunteers who provide confidential advice, support and information to anyone affected by cancer, including children and family of children going through cancer.

For more information

Icon: Phone


1800 200 700

Icon: Email


Childhood Cancer Fertility Project

The Childhood Cancer Fertility Project is a partnership between the Irish Cancer Society and Merrion Fertility Clinic which aims to ensure that, where possible, lifesaving treatment for children does not come at the cost of their future dreams of parenthood. Read more about the project and its aims. We also have information on fertility and children's cancer.