People often ask if Teens Unite is a sad place to work, and here is what I tell them,
Every day in the UK, seven young people aged 13-24 will hear the words “you have cancer” – that’s a fact.
Survival rates for cancer are improving and 84% of these young people will survive for five years or more – that’s also a fact
The second of these is what Teens Unite chooses to focus on. We want to support these young people and help them to live while others search for a cure.
And, even though the Charity supports young people fighting for their lives, Teens Unite is an incredibly positive place to be. Our focus is on uniting these young people, helping them to create support networks, and friendships, and showing them what they CAN do, not focussing on the “C word” or allowing that to define them.
Since founding the Charity in 2007, I have made sure that my team recognises the positive impact they and the Charity has on the young people we support. I am very keen to ensure that there are outlets for sharing and expressing emotions, opportunities to grieve when we need to and above all, opportunities to remember with great positivity what the Charity gives to young people and their families.
I love that our office is full of photos of the young people smiling and laughing, enjoying life with friends they have made through the activities and workshops Teens Unite hosts. Videos capture those life enhancing memories too and we regularly get together to play them back.
We very much embrace a culture where everyone pulls together to achieve a common goal. There is a real sense of unity, mutual respect and a genuine sense of collaboration. In this environment, communication is key, it has to be. Expressing emotion is never seen as a weakness, and I encourage everyone to talk and to share their thoughts and feelings.
As well as the positive relationships the team develop, allowing them to support each other, the Trustees and I agreed to provide access to professional face to face counselling services for the team, and they are encouraged to take advantage of these to ensure that the develop self-care strategies.
It’s very easy when you work here to immerse yourself in everything and want to be involved with all the young people at all the events, but a work-life balance is essential to ensure that we renew our personal strength and take time to maintain our physical health.
So, in answer to the question, yes there is sadness, but the young people we have the privilege of meeting, and getting to know are so incredibly inspirational, that we are able to maintain a very positive outlook.
Co-Founder & Chief Exec’
Detailed below are our events for Teens, Volunteers, Fundraising and Challenges.
Volunteering with Teens Unite has changed my personality and outlook on life. When I hear all the amazing things the teens say about Teens Unite, I can tell they mean every word.
Teens Unite isn't just a charity to me, it was the beginning of restarting my life.
When Elliot started receiving the support of Teens Unite, I could see a change in him straightaway. His outlook on life was becoming positive again and I gained strength from seeing my little boy accepting what had happened and starting to move forward.
I needed help and that's where Teens Unite came in. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and the reason I met Teens Unite was to save my life.
With Teens Unite, I finally realised that I could climb out of this massive hole that I had been digging because I wasn't alone anymore.
If it wasn't for Teens Unite, I wouldn't be where I am now. They have been really supportive and given me the strength to push myself and not give up.