Southampton Children's Hospital has appointed Youth Worker, Andy Beeson (pictured below), to help kidney patients aged 11 years and over in the region thanks to funding from Kidney Care UK and the Wessex Kidney Patients Association.
Andy has 12 years experience as a youth worker, having worked within the Early Help Youth Service of Bournemouth Borough Council where he delivered peer-mentoring training to young people as part of the Youth Health Champions Project, and supported young people with information, advice, and guidance in groups and on a one-to-one basis.
Andy said: “Studies show many young adults with kidney disease feel isolated and can suffer with depression and anger; some have difficulty maintaining diet and fluid restrictions, and face difficulties trying to co-ordinate taking various medications at different times. I’m here to help find ways to motivate, empower and support these young adults as they move into adult services and ultimately support them to help them live their lives to the full.”
Andy can be found in the paediatric nephrology department, working closely with Dr Arvind Nagra, paediatric nephrologist who developed the ‘Ready Steady Go’ programme - a holistic programme to help empower patients. He'll help to develop new and innovative ways of working to support young people with kidney disease as they transition from children’s to adult services. These new ways of working will be shared locally, nationally and internationally, to benefit all young adult patients across specialities.
Suzan Yianni, Hospital Grants Manager at Kidney Care UK, adds: “Being a teenager is hard at the best of times, facing changes to education, possibly finding a job for the first time and forming new relationships. To throw chronic kidney disease, dialysis or transplantation into the mix means this is a really vulnerable group of people and we’re delighted to be able to help them by working in partnership with the Wessex Kidney Patient Association to co-fund Andy in this new role.”
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