Teenage Cancer Trust is a cancer care and support charity in the UK that exists to improve the cancer experience of young people aged 13–24. Founded in 1990, the charity’s key service is providing specialist teenage units in NHS hospitals.
Peer Power Programme
Last year The Hospital Saturday Fund generously awarded a grant to Teenage Cancer Trust in support of their Peer Power Programme for young people with cancer. Eleanor Hall, Trusts and Foundations Programme Manager got in touch to update us on the impact Peer Power has had on young people over the past year.
Eleanor explained that Peer Power consists of two elements, Find Your Sense of Tumour and The Way Forward, events for young people coping with the challenges that life after the end of cancer treatment can bring. At the end of 2019, a total of 335 young people had attended Peer Power events, with attendees from across the UK with different types of cancer, treated either on their specialist units, in local hospitals or at home
Teenage Cancer Trust has collected feedback from young people attending their Peer Power events in 2019 and from those running the events and, with the support of charities like The Hospital Saturday fund, has achieved the following outcomes
• Young people receive support that is appropriate for their age
• Young people benefit from hearing or sharing information with others
• Young people gain relevant knowledge about their health, wellbeing and post-treatment planning
The Way Forward
The Way Forward is Teenage Cancer Trust’s unique event aimed at supporting young people following the end of cancer treatment. These events are delivered in small groups, with around 12 attendees to allow for focused discussion and reflection. At the end of 2019, a total of 75 young people had taken part in a Way Forward event, with feedback from evaluations demonstrating the positive impact of the events:
“A refreshing, enjoyable and supportive environment great to meet people”
“A great way of helping you to regain confidence after cancer.”
“A relaxed experience where you can meet kindred spirits and feel part of a community.”
Find Your Sense of Tumour November 2019
In November 2019, Teenage Cancer Trust held their Find Your Sense of Tumour event for over 18s. The residential weekend was attended by young people from across the UK with different types of cancer. A total of 260 attended across the under and over-18 events in 2019.
Feedback from attendees was extremely positive, and demonstrated the value of being able to come together with others who understand the challenges they face due to cancer.
The event was designed to provide a broad range of activities to ensure that young people came away with practical knowledge and support, but also with the opportunity to enjoy themselves and to make new friends.
“Our work with young people over the years has shown us how profoundly isolating a cancer diagnosis at this age can be. Find Your Sense of Tumour can be especially meaningful for young people treated outside of our specialist units in local hospitals or at home, as it can be rare for these young people to meet peers going through the same experience. Going to an event with a huge number of other young people in the same situation can be incredibly reassuring.”
Eleanor Hall, Trusts and Foundations Programme Manager
To find out more about this Charity, please visit: https://www.teenagecancertrust.org