It’s CCAM and LATCH is marking its 40th anniversary

This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is particularly significant for LATCH Welsh Children’s Cancer Charity as it celebrates its 40th year of supporting children diagnosed with cancer and launches its new campaign £40k for 40 years.

LATCH was established forty years ago in 1983 by a group of families and friends who recognised that children diagnosed with cancer or leukaemia and their families not only needed medical
support but also practical, emotional and financial support to ease the burden they face.

The charity supports hundreds of children, young people and their families across Wales every year who are being treated at the Paediatric Oncology Unit at the Children’s Hospital for Wales. In partnership with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, LATCH also supports the Paediatric Oncology Unit through funding medical equipment and a range of clinical, capital and research projects.

Since launching four decades ago, the Welsh charity has provided more than £15 million of free support services.

LATCH provides:

  • A team of social workers who advocate and provide practical and emotional support for children and their families from diagnosis.
  • Free family accommodation on the same premises as the Paediatric Oncology Inpatient Ward at the Children’s Hospital for Wales to ensure children have their families close whilst receiving treatment.
  • Financial grants to support families with the unexpected costs they face when caring for a child with cancer.
  • Events and activities for the whole family to enjoy and a chance for families to have a holiday in a seaside caravan.
  • Funding for clinical research focused on cancers affecting children and young people.

Menai Owen-Jones, Chief Executive of LATCH, said: “LATCH works in partnership with the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to provide holistic support to children and families under the care of the Paediatric Oncology Unit.

“Today, the charity helps on average 120 families at any one time. Over the last 40 years we have supported thousands of families in Wales through their most difficult days.

“I want to say a personal thank you to everyone who has contributed to the charity over the past forty years, for their unfailing commitment and support. Whilst we mark the last 40 years, we are looking ahead at how we can continue to develop the support we offer to families and help to improve outcomes for children diagnosed with cancer.”

LATCH has already begun celebrating its 40th anniversary with patients and their families this summer and has several events and activities planned over the next few months. Earlier this year, LATCH also appointed its first patrons, including Professor Meriel Jenney, Executive Medical Director at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, to mark its milestone year.

This month LATCH is launching its new campaign £40k for 40 years and is encouraging supporters to get involved by donating, undertaking a fundraising activity or a challenge with a 40 theme, such as running 40 miles or donating £40. The charity hopes to raise a total of £40,000 from the campaign which will go towards helping the charity to improve its family accommodation, holiday caravan facilities and its family support services.

To find out more about LATCH or to get involved with its £40k for 40 years activities please visit

You can donate directly to LATCH, via this link: Please use the ‘40kfor40th’ reference, when donating.

#40kfor40th #childhoodcancerawarenessmonth

Did you know?

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death in children aged 1-14 years in the UK and survivors can face a lifetime of serious health issues as a result of the intensive treatments used to treat their cancer.
  • Incidence rates of childhood cancer are on the rise by approximately 15% per annum.
  • Around 10 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK.
  • There are approximately 80 new paediatric cancer diagnoses in South Wales per year.
  • Fifty years ago, three-quarters of children diagnosed with cancer died; today more than three-quarters survive for five years or more.
  • Approximately £20 million raised for LATCH by the public through donations and fundraising over forty years.
  • LATCH has provided over £5 million to families as direct financial grants over the past forty years.
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