The last six months have thrown up challenges none of us could have anticipated. Our priority has been, and will remain, ensuring we unite 13-24 year olds living with and beyond cancer, to live their best life.
Transforming our programme of four in-person activities per month to four virtual sessions every week has meant that we have quadrupled our service provision and are still here for the Teens. Alongside increasing our service provision, we have also improved accessibility for those not usually able to attend due to distance, treatment, or physical health. As a result, we have seen more young people register for our support.
While the shape of Teens Unite has undoubtedly been impacted by Covid-19, the pandemic has affirmed our strategy to create an even better, more accessible service, available to more young people battling the long-term effects of cancer. We are the only UK charity providing ongoing support outside of the medical environment.
Our Positive Steps activities are proven to address the long-term effects of cancer. Helping these young people learn new skills, progress, and benefit from the support of others who genuinely know what it is like to face cancer.
The activities lend themselves to digital delivery, and the young people still learn new skills, meet new people and feel part of a very special community where cancer is not the thing that makes them different, but the thing that unites them.
We have hosted online yoga and Zumba to encourage a return to activity; online escape rooms and treasure hunts to encourage working together, time management, questioning and listening skills, resilience and working towards a common goal. Our “expressing myself” workshops have ensured the young people have had an opportunity to express their thoughts and fears through the creative process – these have included music workshops and a variety of crafting activities coupled with acrylic painting techniques and iphone photography classes. Each week the young people have the opportunity to just “click and connect” taking part in a quiz or a game of bingo.
To everyone who has supported the project, we thank you for not just making a donation, for making a difference to the young people we are helping to live their best life while others search for a cure.