Beads of Courage

The British Polymer Clay Guild is delighted to be supporting Be Child Cancer Aware through their Beads of Courage UK & Ireland programme.


The Beads of Courage Programme is a new concept being introduced in the UK which is designed to support children going through their cancer treatment. It allows them to tell their story using colourful beads. The beads are used as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate different milestones such as blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants, hospital stays, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Their beads build up over time into a unique record of what they have been through. Some days are really tough for these kids. However, the beads are used for encouragement and say to everyone “that was tough….but….I did it”.  This short video explains what its all about.


The initial reaction to the Beads is “aren’t they pretty” but it is not until you see it in action and talk to children and care givers that you can see the impact that they have.  The beads help the children to take ownership of their journey and to make sense of the experience they are going through in a very visible and tangible way. The beads give them a tool to explain it to themselves and others, adults, medical professionals, brothers, sisters, friends and says to everybody “this is my story, this is what I’m doing – its not nice but I’m strong and I will get through it”.


As their string of beads grows, it is something that they can use to remember and retell the story of their treatment. It is also about taking control of a tough situation.  With each procedure or milestone in their treatment, they get a special bead.  It is these special beads that we are asking our members to make and donate.


How can you help?


We would like our members to continue to make and donate beads on a regular basis.  Branch leaders will be provided with the charity's details and collection boxes.  Or you can send them directly to the charity.  But please do take photos are share them on our Facebook page .


Instructions on making your beads can be read here