Press Releases 2014-2015

Call for Young Volunteers to Take Part in Online Cancer Counselling

06.03.2014

Young people across South and West Wales who have been affected by cancer in some way in their lives are being offered the chance to take part in a six-week pilot study of avatar-based online counselling.

The C:EVOLVE project, funded by the cancer charity Tenovus, is run by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD). Over the past six months researchers from UWTSD’s School of Psychology and Counselling and School of Applied Computing have been working with their own students and students from Olchfa School in Swansea to create an innovative avatar-based online counselling world for young people affected by cancer.

The project team are now seeking participants between the ages of 13 and 25 years either with a personal diagnosis of cancer or who have a family member affected by cancer. They would need access to the internet and should be familiar with using online games and social media.

Study participants will be able to create their own avatar and access a weekly online counselling session with a qualified counsellor to talk about their worries or concerns. Additional support will be provided through the project team and Tenovus’ own counselling service.

Dr Ceri Phelps, UWTSD Senior Lecturer and Project Lead, said: “This online counselling world is in a format familiar to many young people today who use online games through X-boxes and Playstations. If shown to be successful, there is huge scope for offering a wider alternative to face-to-face counselling for all age groups across Wales.”

Tenovus is Wales’ leading cancer charity and funds over £1 million of research in Wales every year. Tenovus-funded research has led to discoveries that now help treat millions of cancer patients worldwide.

Dr Ian Lewis, Head of Research for Tenovus said: “Our Tenovus Innovation Grants offer new research opportunities to discover ways to reduce the impact of cancer. With cancer incidence in Wales amongst the highest in the world, we need to develop new and innovative ways to help support people not just throughout the duration of their cancer treatment, but beyond.”

Note to Editor

  1. For more information please contact Steven Stokes, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 07872 423788 or email steven.stokes@sm.uwtsd.ac.uk
  2. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University.
  3. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.
  4. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014.

Further Information

For more information or to take part in the pilot please contact Dr Ceri Phelps on 01792 482084 or email c.evolve@sm.uwtsd.ac.uk