Cancer is tough, but it doesn’t have to be lonely, and we are here for our beneficiaries every step of the way. We let the young people know that they are not alone in feeling the way that they do, and our activities, under the umbrella of Positive Steps, bring together young cancer patients in their teens and early twenties who get what each other are going through.
Beneficiaries sign up to our digital and face-to-face activities and come along as soon as they feel ready – the activities are free to attend and there’s no limit on how many they can come along to.
Some young people are in need of a distraction from treatment, some are looking to regain their fitness, some feel ready to think about a return to education or early employment, and some just want to socialise with others their age.
Since our last report, we have been encouraging beneficiaries to get creative with a series of activities which include cooking and baking, upcycling, music and arts and crafts.
For one of our early returns to face-to-face activities, all done in line with Government Guidelines and ensuring we do all that we can to protect the young people and their already weakened immune systems, we took them to the iconic Leake Street Tunnel in London – the City’s largest, legal graffiti wall. It’s over 300m long and hosts an everchanging collection of amazing street art.
The origins of graffiti are incredibly relevant - originally graffiti was used to create a motif of “connection” for soldiers during difficult times, cementing their unique brotherhood – Teens Unite brings together young people who share a common experience, fighting cancer in their teenage and young adult years.
On the day, the young people were hosted by Street Artist Danny who goes by the moniker ZincStyles. Using the skills that he has honed over the last ten years, he inspired them to create a six-foot mural of the word “Unite”. There was lots of encouragement among the beneficiaries as they explored their own creativity, expressed themselves and were distracted from everyday life for a while.
They then headed to another great venue – Draughts, London’s seminal Board Game Venue with over 1000 Board Games, great food, and a real opportunity to disconnect from technology and really connect with each other, getting to know each other, talk, laugh, and celebrate what they had achieved.
To everyone who has supported our project, a huge thank you. With your help, we are able to support thriving social connections for young people living with cancer and its long-term effects.