Back to School Boost for Children’s Cancer Unit Charity


The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity received a back to school boost following a successful application for a special classroom robotics initiative which has been awarded by the Energy for Children Charitable Trust.

The special robot is designed to ensure children with cancer can keep up with school work and school friends even when they are too ill to attend school.

Using technology to provide a live link to the classroom the robot takes the place of the pupil in class giving the child a physical presence in the classroom when they can’t attend school during their treatment and recovery.

As well as supporting educational needs the robot helps ensure young people with cancer can stay connected to their school mates throughout their cancer treatment and reduces the anxiety of returning to school once their condition allows.

Eva, aged 13 from Belfast has been using the new robot to help stay on top of her school work having been diagnosed with leukaemia earlier this year and her family believe it has really helped with her treatment.

Kelly Royal, Eva’s father said: “Eva’s been so strong throughout her treatment but she was really anxious about falling behind in school and missing out on establishing new friendships as she was in her first year at a new school when she was diagnosed.

“Having the robot has had such a positive difference for us.  Eva can keep up with school work, get homework and participate in the class like any other student.  Just having a sense of routine and the normality of going to school like every other child has had such a positive impact on her mental health and motivation but more than that she has a connection to the other pupils in the class and has time before and after lessons to chat with her classmates, helping her form new friendships that will be of immeasurable benefit when she is able to fully return to school again.  I genuinely can’t thank the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity and the Energy for Children Charitable Trust enough for their support.”

Charity Liaison Officer, Gillian Orr said, “I’m delighted to see how much of a difference this equipment has made to Eva and her family and it’s great that this equipment can be re-used by the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity to help make things a little bit easier for other children living with cancer. 

 “This is exactly why the Charity exists, to help local children who are most in need and to provide facilities and equipment to make things better for them”, added Gillian.

Energy for Children is an initiative of Phoenix Natural Gas and the wider natural gas industry. The Charity was established in 2005 to provide financial support to groups and individuals that may slip through the net of the wider charity network.

Founded on the principle that ‘all monies raised go directly to local children and young people’, the Trust aims to reach deeper into the heart of local communities throughout Greater Belfast and beyond in order to really make a difference to disadvantaged children’s lives.

Since its formation, the trust has helped over 9,000 local children and every month continues to help those who need it most.

For more information on the Energy for Children Charitable Trust, visit