The Robots Program

Young people diagnosed with cancer are often forced to spend long periods in hospital undergoing treatment. This means young people, are often isolated, miss weeks and sometimes months of school, start to withdraw from their social life and can feel isolated, depressed and challenged by a raft of other social and emotional issues.
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The Canteen robot is an innovative piece of teleconferencing technology that enables young people to attend school from their hospital bed. We know that our robots give young cancer patients the chance to stay connected to school, friends and family, which can help to improve their coping skills and build resilience that will last them a lifetime. Find out more about Canteen’s evaluation of the robots.


“I get really anxious if I’m falling behind. Just to be in the class, just to hear what’s going on, even if I’m not doing work, just eased me a bit… The robot connected me with my friends, because it just lifted my spirits.” – young cancer patient



Canteen established the Robots Program in 2018 as part of our suite of programs and services providing support to young patients impacted by cancer. When a young person is diagnosed with cancer, it inevitably has a huge impact on their education as well as their social and family life. As they spend weeks and at times months, going through hospitals, they find themselves disconnected from their peers as a result of long absences from school. This often leads to feelings of isolation, leaving them distressed and anxious, as well as contributing to poorer academic outcomes. High absences from school also puts young people at higher risk of bullying when they return to the classroom.

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The recent support that Canteen received from Tour De Cure has enabled us to reach more young people waiting for a robot to become available. The funds went directly towards purchasing new robots, so that young people who were isolated from school can reconnect with their friends and teachers.

We are continually working towards our overarching goal to provide a robot to every young cancer patient who needs one. This community support will go a long way in helping us realise this vision.

Find out more
To register for this service, call 1800 226 833, email support@canteen.org.au or fill in this quick form.