Cancer charity aims to support Fifers

Jennifer, right, was at the Kingdom Centre at the weekend raising awareness of the foundation. Photo: George Mcluskie
Jennifer, right, was at the Kingdom Centre at the weekend raising awareness of the foundation. Photo: George Mcluskie

A cancer support foundation which plans to build a care centre in Glenrothes, is increasing its presence in the area.

Jennifer Watt, a newly appointed young people and families co-ordinator, will be working throughout Fife from a base in Glenrothes.

Jennifer works for the Team Jak Foundation, formed by the family of Jak Trueman, following his death to a rare form of cancer in 2015.

The role is a new one in Fife, and was created in response to the needs of the area.

“I am try to create a community of support for children with cancer and related illness and their families within Fife,” Jennifer explained.

“Team Jak is mainly established in the Lothians but there has been a demand for it over in Fife.

“There’s a need in Fife because going to Livingston is quite a trek for sick children.

“What I’m trying to do is organise events for children, whole families, parents, grandparents, setting up support groups, doing activities and having fun, and trying to ease the journeys for these families.”

Plans to build a cancer care centre in Glenrothes were announced in April.

The facility, which would be incorporated into the wider redevelopment proposals for Warout Stadium, would provide support and respite for families.

A £3 million centre already exists in Livingston, which has proved a great success.

Jennifer said that the plans were part of the reason she would be based in the town.

“It is central in Fife and we are hoping to open a Jak’s Den here – a facility just for children, similar to the one in Livingston,” she said.

“There are plans afoot for that but nothing concrete. We have no premises yet so in the interim we will be hiring out venues for our meetings and workshops.”

The events will be starting in January, with Fifers who wish to attend urged to contact the Team Jak Foundation.

Jennifer, a part-time special education teacher, said the events were about bringing families together.

“It is about making them aware that there are other people in a similar situation, going through the same journey with their children, and supporting them through that,” Jennifer said.

“You’re not on your own. There are people who care and want to support you.

“Also bringing together the parents of the children is a huge support, because it makes them aware they are not the only ones going through this.”