May 24, 2018

Looking Good and Feeling Better

Since our last update, we have held another of the series of workshops in which we support young people, on their cancer journey to tune in to their new body, deal with scarring, hair loss, and changes in body shape. Helping to rebuild confidence around body image

This time, we headed to a totally new venue, and were totally spoilt as we went to Belgravia at the beautiful COMO Halkin Hotel. Our room had a ceiling of glass receptacles filled with spices forming wave-like contours! The setting made everyone feel relaxed and very much looked after as we opened the cosmetic bags which were tailored to the needs of the individuals and their skin,and went through a beauty and skincare masterclass.

Throughout the day, we could feel the confidence rising as we chatted, had lunch and were joined by a couple of volunteers who came to talk us through how we can incorporate massage, essential oils and well-being into our everyday lives, if it’s right for us and where we are in treatment.

At the end of the day, we received some amazing feedback that helped to demonstrate that we achieved what we set out to achieve at the beginning of the day

"the workshop has given me the opportunity to get out, and do something fun and help me feel more confident". Leana, 17, Brain Tumour

"It helped me to feel beautiful again, and to learn how to use make up like I've always wanted to. It gave me a supportive environment in which I was able to try new stuff without being afraid of being judged....Laughing with new friends, talking to the team and the volunteers and looking gorgeous after applying make up" Amanda, 22, Hypoplastic MDS

Apr 17, 2018

Positive Steps - Update

Outside of the Escape Rooms
Outside of the Escape Rooms

Since our last update, we have been creating some new sessions for the young people we support. All with the objective of

  • Encouraging young people to think positively about life with and beyond their illness.
  • Setting realistic goals to increase motivation.
  • Developing skills such as team work, problem solving, public speaking and active listening.
  • Gaining an insight in to a diverse range of businesses and experiencing the working world.
  • Rebuilding confidence and motivation to return to education or employment and plan for a future beyond cancer.

We have been working with a Wellness Coach and Trainer who has been helping the young people to improve their communication skills and set some life goals. Through these sessions the Teens learned the art of active listening, identified barriers to effective communication, and learned the difference between coaching and mentoring. They picked up some great questioning skills too, which they put in to practice in the second session.

The second session encouraged the young people to set themselves two goals. With a partner they asked each other lots of open questions to work out how they might achieve their goal, making sure that they used the SMART criteria to understand how to clarify their ideas, focus their efforts and utilise their time to achieve their goals.

Outside of the workshops, we have been working with a new corporate partner who is offering structured work experience placements to the Teens who are looking to start, or return to, work and are considering a future in a trade, logistics & planning or a Customer Service role. We have a number of young people who had started their working life, but due to their illness are unable to continue, who are now looking forward to these opportunities.

A Business Coach has also been working with a number of the young people who are ready to return to the workplace, offering advice on CV writing, submitting a strong letter of application and coaching them ahead of interviews.

In the last few months, we introduced a new workshop, called The Escape Rooms, a physical “adventure game” where the Teens had to work together to solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete a set of objectives.  This provided the young people with an opportunity to learn and utilise key transferrable skills, such as problem solving, time management, conflict resolution and team work, as they worked together to solve the clues, and escape the room in the given timeframe.  You'll see that we were only able to take photos outside of the room, just in case we give any clues as to what you need to do to escape!

It’s been a very busy few months, but we certainly feel like we have helped many of the young people to take some very positive steps, and we thank you for your donation which is enabling us to continue to support more of the seven young people, aged 13-24 who, every day in the UK, hear the words "you have cancer".

With kindest regards

Active Listening
Active Listening
Goal setting
Goal setting
Feb 22, 2018

Beauty Workshop - an extra special day

Zoe and Virna
Zoe and Virna

At the beginning of December, we hosted a beauty workshop with a difference.

We were given an incredible opportunity for 4 young people we support and a family member or friend to enjoy a spot of pampering before capturing a range of natural and posed photos. 

This amazing day took place at the Daily Mail studios, giving the whole day a real sense of occasion. 

The young people and their guests were all treated to hair and make-up with Virna, and styling from Amy, with the most beautiful range of clothes and shoes, before Natasha captured the perfect shot!

The 4 young ladies who joined us all bought along their Mum, giving them some real quality time together, capturing them and their special relationship.

It also gave Mum’s and Teens the opportunity to meet one another and share their own experience. The whole day felt incredibly special and a perfect treat before Christmas. 

Virna, Amy and Natasha went above and beyond to create a beautiful day for them all and we cannot thank you all enough for providing this opportunity to Teens Unite and the young people we support.

We are incredibly thankful for your continued support, enabling us to support these young people.  Finding out you have cancer can be daunting and life-changing, and the added stress that the side effects of treatment can have on your appearance can be demoralising and very hard to cope with, especially for young women and teenagers.

Cancer treatment can often cause skin irritation, dryness, sensitivity and the professionals on this day helped the young people care for their skin and recommend which products to use and avoid. They tried try skincare and beauty products, and with the help of experts learn application techniques.  The confidence that this workshop gave will enable the young people to move forward in all aspects of their lives.

Here are a few quotes too…

I haven’t laughed like that in a very long time’ Cathy, Mum to Teen

‘It has been so much fun. Everyone is so lovely. It has really boosted my self confidence.’ Zoe, 17, Hodgkins Lymphoma

We had lots of fun, it helped me relax and enjoy life.’ Leana, 22, Brain Tumour

It allowed us to spend time together’ Lauren, 22, Glioblastoma

Mum and daughter time
Mum and daughter time
A bit of pampering
A bit of pampering
Leana and Virna
Leana and Virna
Special time together
Special time together
Mum gets treated too
Mum gets treated too
 
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