Nov 13, 2018

The stroke of a pencil to a splash of lip colour

Getting ready
Getting ready

In our last report, we were preparing for the next in our series of beauty workshops for young people battling cancer. In the middle of September, we made our way to the London Head Quarters of global tech company, our corporate partner, Ricoh. The building itself is quite something to behold, and the young people headed to the 22nd floor, where they were greeted by a wall of glass, perfectly showcasing iconic views across the London Skyline.

Joining us for this event were our old friends, the very talented ladies from Look Good Feel Better, who join us every time, bringing with them their “Confidence Kits”. As they always do, these lovely ladies got to know who they would be looking after on the day, taking time to understand their skin tones and skin condition, and any special “needs” that they had, so that the gift bag they received was totally personalised.

The young people at the workshop were taught professional techniques to help them deal with an uneven skin tone, recreate missing eyebrows to frame their face, and how to create the effect of eyelashes that are so often lost through treatment. From the stroke of a pencil to a splash of lip colour, these amazing ladies volunteered their time to teach the young people all sorts of tips and tricks that help to rebuild confidence and self-esteem.

As well as the workshop, the young people enjoyed a delicious lunch together, a real opportunity to get to know others in a similar situation, and this is where the bonds were really formed, with many of them walking away with phone numbers and social media connections of new friends and a whole new support network.

As the workshop came to a close, while still taking in the incredible views of our iconic Capital City, we enjoyed some relaxing and pampering mini treatments - we were treated to hand massage and nail painting as we watched the sun set.

Here's what some of the young people said about the event

"I've learnt new ways on how to apply makeup, making me feel more confident." - Caitlin, 15, Ovarian Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumour Stage 3B

"I was able to meet others like myself and just be myself and be understood, I learnt some mistakes I was making whilst applying makeup."  - Maarya, 22, Duodenal and bowel cancer

"The activity helped me feel more positive and has provided me more friendship and support…. Meeting others and getting to know them. Doing the makeover with help/guidance from the makeup artists. Learning new makeup tips and a free make up bag full with amazing products. Also, the view was beautiful."Husna, 17, Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia

Learning new techniques 1
Learning new techniques 1
A new look
A new look
The group and the view
The group and the view
With the lovely ladies from Look Good Feel Better
With the lovely ladies from Look Good Feel Better
Sep 6, 2018

Getting ready for a new workshop and a new venue

Since our last report, we have been busy getting ready for another workshop from our Positive Steps program, all designed to help young people, aged 13-24, deal with the effects of a cancer diagnosis and its treatment, encourage a positive outlook, increase confidence and self-esteem and teach new and life affirming skills.

The Beauty Workshops are part of the "Getting to Know Me " series in the Positive Steps program, which include yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, as well as beauty techniques.   The effects of cancer and its treament can be life-chaging and the added stress that the side effects can have on ones appearance can be demoralising and very hard to cope with, especially if you're a young woman or a teenager.

These workshops are always very well attended, and very popular with the young people as not only are we joined by the very talented ladies from Look Good Feel Better, who teach us how to apply our make up. We discover some top tips from the experts and every one of the young people attending receives a gift bag full of make up, worth over £100. Ahead of the workshop, the Beauticians get to know the young people, their skin tones, and their skin condition, so that the gift bag is totally personalised.

As well as the workshop, the young people attending will enjoy a delicious lunch together, a real opportunity to get to know others in a similar situation, and this is where the bonds are really formed, with many of them walking away with phone numbers and social media connections of new friends and a new support network.

This time, with a new venue, on top of a fantastic workshop, personalised gift bag and delicious lunch, we will have  incredible views out over this iconic City of ours.  We're heading to the offices of Corporate Partner, Ricoh, situated in the Broadgate Tower, in itself an icon defining the London Skyline, and with floor to ceiling windows, which will offer perfect views across the Capital as we follow the workshop and lunch with some relaxing and pampering mini treatments such as hand massage and nail painting.

This workshop takes place on 12th September, and we will update you how it went, and show you the young people being rightly pampered the next time we report.  In the meantime, we thank you for your continued support of our work, which is helping to bring together more of the seven young people, aged 13-24, who everyday in the UK hear the words "you have cancer".

Aug 20, 2018

Relaxing steps forward

This report shares some very recent work that we have been doing with the young people we support, so recent in fact, the young people are still at the event as we prepare this report.

For a five day period in August, twenty young people, who are somewhere on their own cancer journey come together for an unforgettable, positive and uplifting time.  They make new friends that will stay with them always, as they share something in common that they can chose to talk about or not.

Over the five day stay, they challenge themselves physically and mentally, some of them for the first time since their diagnosis.  During the stay, they get to express their thoughts and fears through the creative process with art workshops, they do some physical challenges such as archery, rock climbing and bell boating, and they take on our Apprentice Challenge, preparing them for a return to work or education.  They'll take part in a "traditional school sports day" and enjoy a BBQ before relaxing in the gardens, or playing games such a giant Connect 4, giant Jenga, or card games. They'll get social and enjoy a quiz night, karaoke and a bit of beat boxing

But before all that starts, there is a gentle pampering session where the young people are treated to some relaxing hand massages as they get to know each other over a delicious pizza.

Sessions like this, and the Thai Chi and relaxation sessions that they participate in on the second day are so important for a young person following a cancer diagnosis and treatment.  Cancer and its treatment can be stressful and the relaxation treatments and techniques that the young people learn, help to calm the mind and sharpen their ability to focus.  The combination of deep breathing and meditation learned in these sessions enable the young people to transport themselves, emotionally, to a place in which they feel safe and secure and better able to deal with things.

On the final evening of their stay, the young people attend a formal dinner to celebrate their achievements.  Ahead of the dinner, a team of beauty therapists come to pamper the young people, giving them a professional make over, helping them to come to terms with their new physical appearance, teaching application techniques and professional processes that will help to rebuild their confidence.  This confidence in turn helps the young people to move forward in all aspects of their lives.

To all of the supporters of this project, we offer our sincere thanks.  With your generous help, we are able to unite more of the seven young people aged 13-24, who, everyday in the UK, hear the words "you have cancer".

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