Teens Unite Fighting Cancer
Teens Unite Fighting Cancer is a Hertfordshire based charity, set up ten years ago, providing the on-going emotional and social support that studies and experts agree is desperately needed for teenagers. Teens Unite is the only charity in the U.K. that provides help for teens at this time, uniting young people and rebuilding lives from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.
In September 2017, a Charity Photo Evening was held in St Albans in Harry-Krish’s memory and we chose to support Teens Unite Fighting Cancer directly for this event with the funds raised going towards a very exciting 1 day music project for the teenagers.
The teenagers wrote their own song in record producer Paul Hardcastle’s studio. Paul worked with them and produced their song which was used for the charity’s 10 year anniversary events.
“I’m sure Anna-Ruby that your brother would be very proud that you are working so hard to continue to supporting in his memory the good work that Teens Unite do. Well done x”
Junk Percussion Workshop, June 2018, Covent Garden.
Cancer diagnosis, and treatment are just a part of the picture for the 13-24 year olds supported by Teens Unite. Treatment can completely change physical appearance
and physical abilities, the effects mental health can be catastrophic.
Research from The Bevan Foundation, Clic Sargeant and Cancer Research UK show that as a result of cancer treatment in young people within this age group:
90% experience anxiety, 83% experience loneliness, 70% experience depression and 95% experience a negative impact on their physical ability.
Many of the young people suffer from a loss of self-confidence and self esteem, and need support from others who know what they are going through.
TUFC told us that recent studies have shown that drumming lowers both blood pressure and stress. It’s fun, it’s physical, and it’s a great diversion from other stress-
filled activities. Drumming is seen as meditative, inducing relaxed mental states that reduce anxiety and tension. Additional benefits include increased concentration and improved listening skills. An improvement in confidence and a sense of achievement.
TUFC hold workshops to help the young people to identify their feelings; express their feelings through creativity; improve their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Working together they improve social and peer support networks – meeting other young people.
It reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness. The workshops help to provide a sense of achievement, improving self-confidence and self-esteem.
They encourage team work and interaction. In June 2018, we donated £1500 to host a Junk Percussion workshop in Covent Garden for 12 young people aged 13-24 who are battling or who have battled cancer.
TUFC told us that their workshops are fun, exciting, very hands on and inclusive way of making music and they invited us along to meet the people involved. When we arrived they insisted that we join them and we did have a great time!
The teens had had an afternoon together in London and it was lovely to meet them and some of their families.
Quotes from Teens who attended the previous Junk Percussion workshop said ‘It gave me the opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone’
‘Great exercise, fun, made me feel like the life of the party, so gave me confidence!’ I was able to relieve stress and let it out’
In March we also donated £1500 in March to Teens Unite Fighting Cancer for a junk percussion workshop during a one day “Discover You” event they held in London for 100 Teens to attend with their families as part of a day of seminars for ‘getting together’, advice, wellbeing, nutrition, employment, education etc.
The event is aimed at helping the Teens to create social and peer support networks with others who know what it is like to deal with a diagnosis, treatment and the long term effects of cancer.
The “musical energiser” allows the Teens to express their thoughts, fears and anxieties through a creative process – music being an important part of this.
90% of young people diagnosed with cancer experience anxiety. This activity allows the young people to work alongside professional musicians and with others in the group to create collective pieces of music full of positive energy and to:
- Identify and express feelings through creativity; improving physical, mental and emotional well-being
- Reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness
- Have a sense of achievement, improving self-confidence & self-esteem
- It, encourages team work & interaction