Integrated KNOWledge & coaching service to support people with cancer in How to remain in Or return to Work. | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Integrated KNOWledge & coaching service to support people with cancer in How to remain in Or return to Work.

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Social Innovation

Lead partner

Artevelde University College


Start Date


End Date


Project budget

4 050 818

ERDF amount

2 430 251

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    Improvements in detection and treatment are resulting in increasing numbers of cancer survivors, as survival rates have risen to 70% while mortality rates are dropping. As 50% of people diagnosed with cancer are of working age, the link between cancer and employment should receive more attention. Employment is crucial for people with cancer to fully reintegrate with society, as it provides income, social contact, structure and strengthens feelings of control. Research shows that only 62% of people with cancer re-enter the workplace within two years after the diagnosis. Cancer patients are 1.4 times more likely to be unemployed than healthy people. An ongoing issue in regard to this issue is the lack of support for employers and employees who are often unable to navigate services that enable them to remain or return to work. I-KNOW-HOW aimed to address this by creating new user led services for employers, employees, (para)medical professionals and job coaches.

    Main Achievements

    Overall, I-KNOW-HOW has demonstrated the added value of combining 3 perspectives (employee, health care professional, employer) in order to facilitate the return to work journey. The project revealed a significant gap, there were no clear guidelines on the topic of facilitating return to work for employees, health care professionals and SME employers. It delivered a comprehensive roadmap with hands-on information and tools. In addition, training sessions for health care professionals and job coaches and SME employers were created.

    I-KNOW-HOW products have already been applied in a number of different organisations, such as a hospital (Centre Oscar Lambret in FR), Therapy Centre (Sarah Lee Trust in UK), volunteer organisation (RVA in UK), and a payroll service for SME (Securex in Belgium); in the Netherlands, the information service tool has been shared with a wide audience.

    In Belgium and France and  the Netherlands, the interactive roadmap with toolbox linked to it has been spread in the area by means of a specific website. In the UK, the gained knowledge has been spread by the workforce of Sara Lee Trust who have direct contact with cancer patients.The roadmap, toolbox and trainings are the result of extensive cocreation processes between the end-users and key partner organisations. A generic roadmap has been developed over the 4 Member States. The social innovative aspect of I-KNOW-HOW was to bring together the three perspectives of employees, health care professionals and SME employers. 

    Throughout the project, it became clear that the most effective approach was to depart from a common framework, the roadmap and to integrate all concrete tips & tricks and sharing of stories departing from this journey. This integrated approach facilitated effective communication and understanding among stakeholders. While the end results from the work packages all refer to that same roadmap, as the cross-regional outcome of this project, each partner implemented it in its own way and targeted specific audiences that were most relevant for their ecosystem.


    I-KNOW-HOW provides answers for employees and employers when someone is confronted with long-term illness.

    We often hear people say they wished they had this tool before they had to deal with illness and work.

    Our purpose is to advice patients in their needs. The main purpose of the caretakers is to surround, with everybody involved, the patient, so they can return to work in the best possible way.



    ZB Planbureau en bibliotheek van Zeeland

    Rother Voluntary Action

    Sterpunt Inclusief Ondernemen vzw

    Hogeschool Zeeland

    The Sara Lee Trust

    Centre Oscar Lambret

    GTB vzw

    Métropole Européenne de Lille