Simply Supporting the Teenage Cancer Trust

Simply Supporting the Teenage Cancer Trust

London based Two Create were commissioned to design the latest Teenage Cancer Trust Unit in the brand new state of the art Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Known as the Teenage Cancer Trust YPU (Young Persons Unit) the 12 patient ward consists of four single bed bays, two four bed bays and three social spaces including a study room, cinema room and kitchen/day room.

Patients were consulted throughout the design process and a ‘Boutique Hotel’ theme emerged. Each room is styled differently to the next so that patients returning for treatment are able to stay in different environments each time they visit, such as the 1960’s inspired ‘Pop’ room or New York styled ‘Loft’. Standard fittings were cleverly utilized or adapted like the metal clad wall panels at the bed heads, where Two Create designed die-cut sheet magnets used by patients to personalise their rooms with personal artifacts such as posters and photographs.

Classic furniture pieces and carefully chosen objects were illustrated and converted into vinyl stickers, then arranged to create the backdrops for the rooms e.g. the Loft room contains illustrations of furniture and lighting by Harry Bertoia and Archille Castiglioni and objects such as the classic 1987 Nike Air Max training shoe and even a ‘lucky cat’ referencing New York’s Chinatown.

Two Create also designed bespoke pieces for the ward such as patient lockers specially designed to hold games consoles as well as vital medicines and personal belongings, small console tables able to be lifted by patients pushing drips and AV storage for all the latest technology being installed. The Simply Group was selected to supply a number of bespoke locker cabinets in a variety of colours to compliment the ‘Boutique Hotel’ theme and providing storage space for patients and staff. Simply worked hard with Two Create to tailor the design to achieve the right combination of image and functionality. The Teenage Cancer Trust is a cause that is close to Simply’s heart: the Actress Tricia Penrose (Gina in ‘Heartbeat’), married to Simply’s Managing Director, Mark Simpkin, regularly supports Cancer charities – her recent appearance on ITV’s hit program “Sing If You Can” (and subsequent e-Bay auction of her outfit) raised money for “The Teenage Cancer Trust” as a tribute to her mother Sue who is currently battling Cancer.

The ward launched in 2011 and patient, Rosie Kilburn, who attended the launch, reviewed the ward in her blog,, saying “The new Teenage Cancer Trust YPU at the new Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham is amazing. The walls are metallic and graphics move around so you can hold pictures up with them. There are iPod docks in every section and specially designed chairs and sofa beds. All the windows have different frosted designs on them which just make them cool features rather than a violation of your privacy.”

Debbie Adams, Teenage Cancer Trust Service Development Manager in the Midlands added, “The partnership between Teenage Cancer Trust, Two Create and Queen Elizabeth Birmingham has resulted in a fantastic facility for teenagers and young adults with cancer. Teenage Cancer Trust is proud to be associated with Two Create and hope that we can work together again in the future.”

Every day in the UK, six young people are told they have cancer. Usually placed on a children’s ward or with elderly patients, young people often feel extremely isolated when facing a cancer diagnosis. Teenage Cancer Trust builds units in NHS hospitals that offer young people specialist care, bringing them together so they can support each other in an environment suited to them. Including this new facility in Birmingham, there are now 17 of these units across the country. The charity plans to build a further 16 so that all young people needing hospital treatment for cancer across the UK have access to the dedicated, specialist support they provide.