Children with Cancer UK is delighted to support the Beads of Courage Oncology Programme in the UK. The Beads of Courage UK programme offers support and strength to families when they need it most.

Our Partnership

Beads of Courage UK logo

Our partnership with Beads of Courage UK will ensure that the Beads of Courage will be available to all young cancer patients being treated in 110 childhood cancer wards across the UK. Over 4,500 children are diagnosed with cancer every year. The first bead that young cancer patients receive will also be branded as the Children with Cancer UK bead to show our support for these brave children.

This is part of our commitment to providing hope and happiness to children and young people with cancer.

Thank you for supporting children through their treatment

With your generous support we were able to raise £232,613 for the Beads of Courage UK oncology programme to support children, like Ted, who go through difficult treatment journeys. Thank you for your support.



Beating Cancer: the Beads of Courage and Ted's Story

Ted was diagnosed with infantile acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at just 6 months old. Now in remission, Ted and his father share their experience of the road to recovery and how the Beads of Courage helped to articulate Ted’s journey and story. Watch their story.

What are Beads of Courage?

Ted with his Beads of CourageAt every stage of cancer treatment, children receive a new Bead of Courage. The beads join together to form (often long) physical representations of their recovery, keeping a record of every hospital trip and treatment on their courageous journey. The Beads of Courage help to decrease illness-related distress and increase positive coping strategies to support children and their families.

A few examples of these beads include:

  • Yellow bead: an overnight stay in hospital
  • White bead: a course of chemotherapy
  • Blue bead: visits to the clinic
  • Glow-in-the-dark bead: a course of radiation treatment
  • Glass bead: an act of courage
  • Special star bead: a special accomplishment
  • Purple heart bead: completion of treatment!


Explaining my childhood cancer journey

Ted was diagnosed infantile lymphoblastic leukaemia at just six months old. Since then, throughout his treatment he has received a bead to symbolise each different point of his story. Watch Ted’s story.

This video was shortlisted for the 2020 Charity Film Awards.  

Laraib explains her Beads of Courage

Laraib has a rare form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – ABl2 – and has collected more than 2,000 beads during her treatment. Each bead has a specific purpose and represents a different aspect of her recovery. Watch as Laraib explains her Beads of Courage.

Running with a special Bead of Courage

On 28th April, many of our wonderful Virgin Money London Marathon runners carried a special Bead of Courage for a child with cancer.

Runner's bead of courageTwo of these unique, handcrafted beads were carried by each runner as they took part in this most famous of all marathons – a personal achievement for any runner. At the end, they kept one bead and returned the other with a caring note to encourage a child or teen coping with serious illness.

A simple bead goes a long way to encourage and honour their fight for life.


When Sam met Sam

In March we introduced ITV children’s presenter, Sam Homewood, to childhood cancer survivor Sam. TV presenter Sam Homewood ran the Virgin Money London Marathon for us this April. 11 year old Sam asked Sam Homewood if he would run the marathon carrying his brightly coloured Rainbow Bead, given to him for his physiotherapy sessions. When Sam was receiving his physiotherapy sessions, he was confined to a wheelchair as a result of his treatment. When Sam Homewood completed his marathon, he returned this bead that had completed the marathon, back to young Sam at the finish.
Watch their video.

This video was shortlisted for the 2020 Charity Film Awards.