Sep 1, 2020

Global Pandemic doesn't call a halt to community

A community who genuinely understand
A community who genuinely understand

The social distancing measures imposed by Covid-19 have massively impacted our ability to deliver face to face sessions to combat loneliness in young people fighting cancer. However, despite not being able to bring the young people together physically, we have moved our beneficiary services to online delivery and have ensured that the young people we support have an opportunity to come together to learn new skills, improve their confidence and self-esteem, and importantly be part of a community.

During the Global Pandemic, the young people already isolated by their cancer were further isolated by the need to shield. As a result, Teens Unite’s usual face-to-face delivery of the Positive Steps program had to stop but all activities moved to online delivery instead. And now, rather than taking place three times each month, activities are held four times every week.

 Embracing technology and delivering activities more frequently has meant that Teens Unite has been able to extend support much further than before. Young people from anywhere across the UK are able to access the sessions, as well as those too unwell to make a return journey in a day, or even those currently in hospital meaning anyone who needs support can join our activities to learn new skills, regain confidence and most importantly, be connected with other young people who genuinely understand what it is like to face cancer.

 As a result, demand for the service has hit an all-time high, with an increase of 66% in registrations from the same time last year but at a time when income has dropped by 75%, due to the cancellation of all fundraising events and activities.

 All our work, including digital workshops, aims to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, provide a sense of achievement, improving self-confidence and self-esteem and ensure the young people create support networks with others who genuinely understand what it is like to face cancer in your younger years. The post digital activity surveys show that 100% attending feel more connected, more confident, have a sense of achievement, and feel part of a community. All attendees would both attend further sessions and recommend them to other young people fighting cancer.

 With your support, we will continue to provide online support for these young people until we can bring them back together for face to face activities.

Sep 1, 2020

Social distancing doesn't stop delivery

The social distancing measures imposed by Covid-19 have massively impacted face to face skincare and beauty sessions which give young people fighting the longer-term effects of cancer some much needed self-confidence.  However, the restrictions have not stopped us from delivering support to our beneficiaries.

Since the start of the lockdown, we have switched our face to face deliveries to online digital sessions.  The young people have been continuing to learn self-care techniques, an essential and vital part of happiness and health during and after cancer treatment. 

Regular self-care can reduce stress, sleep disturbances and anxiety.  Time spent prioritising yourself, even if it’s just for an hour can help take a young person’s mind off the real fear, stress and worry that comes during, and after, cancer treatment - making them feel physically better and better able to cope with what’s in front of them.

The young people have spent time online with a skincare expert, who helped them to understand the changes that they see in their skin as a result of treatment, dryness, redness and irritation, and they received advice on a proper skin care routine for the morning and the evening, using gentle, natural products to nourish and protect their skin.

We’ve also delivered two digital sessions to help the young people with make-up advice, colours to choose and those to avoid as well as application techniques which help them create the effect of eyebrows and lashes. Experts delivered the online sessions which focussed on the eyes for the first session and then later delivered full face colour selection and application advice.

The confidence that these workshops give the young people enables them to move forward in all aspects of their lives.  To everyone who has supported this project, joy, happiness and gratitude from some of the seven young people, who every day in the UK, hear the words “you have cancer”.

Jul 29, 2020

Staying United

For so many people, the current pandemic has been isolating and lonely.  For our beneficiaries, already isolated by their illness, the period has been particularly difficult.  However, we have been continuing to do all we can to ensure that these young people have the opportunity to learn new skills, increase their confidence, regain their self- esteem, and most importantly have the opportunity to connect with other young people who genuinely know what it is like to face cancer in your teenage and adult years.

Since March 2020, when Government Advice was to “shield” and to stay home to stay safe, we moved our Positive Steps program to online delivery, utilising an online platform to deliver the same regular activities, inspiring these young people to recognise their potential now and in the future; empowering them to live every moment to the full.

Rather than three face to face activities each month, we have been delivering four “digital” sessions each week – supporting more young people than ever. The young people have taken part in a number of different activities, all with the same overriding objectives, to rebuild confidence, improve self esteem, teach some new skills, and to connect them with others who genuinely know what it is like to face cancer in your teenage or young adult years.

After each of our digital sessions, the young people are sent a survey to help assess our delivery against objectives.  100% of the beneficiaries feel more connected as a result of the sessions, 92% feel that they have learned something new or achieved something, 97% feel that their confidence has increased and 100% feel part of a community that genuinely understands them.

SO, to everyone who has been supporting our staying united through Covid-19, a huge thank you.  Your support has ensured that, even during the global pandemic, we have been able to continue to unite these young people and help them to see that there is life beyond cancer.

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