Creating the first cancer support center in Sweden

Kraftens Hus is a non-profit organization that aims to provide emotional, societal and practical support for cancer patients and their families. The organization launched Sweden’s first support center in Borås in 2018.

THE STORY OF Kraftens Hus is a unique one due to the fact that it was initiated by families and relatives of cancer patients. They highlighted one of the main problems cancer patients experience.
– When you ask what the hardest part of being diagnosed as a cancer patient is or living with a cancer patient, they say anything but being in the clinic. The hospital takes care of the tumor, but what is hard is to get everything else together, such as Försäkringskassan, employment, family and child-care, Andreas Hellström (University and Scientific Leader at the Center for Healthcare Improvement) says.
AFTER ALMOST TWO years of building the concept, the center is open three days a week for various kinds of activities to provide emotional, societal and practical support to cancer patients and their relatives with two full time employers and many volunteers.

IT WAS NOT CLEAR in the beginning that the project was eligible for support from the Innovation Office.

– It took time for both us and the Innovation Office to understand how to fit the project into their framework, since it is not a classical innovation project. After a while we realized that the same innovation principles apply to this project as in the others. What differs is that Kraftens Hus is a social innovation, with other ways to measure success than the ordinary innovation, Andreas says.

THE SUPPORT FROM the Innovation Office has been considerable.
– We got fantastic help with ideation in the pilot process, consultation for different topics and funding opportunities. The next step for Kraftens Hus is to scale up and open support centers in other regions, since many other actors have shown interest in getting their own centers. Here, the Inno-vation Office may come handy again, helping out with legal advice and building financial structures, Andreas says.