In 1989 I lost my grandfather, who was my idol to cancer and I really struggled. I was 15 at the time and was upset but never really talked much about it and bottled things away and this led me to feeling unhappy and isolated. Nearly ten years later things came to a head and I was diagnosed with depression and sought help and eventually I felt I had regained control of who I was.
More recently I lost a very much loved uncle and some old wounds were re-opened and although I now have to tools to deal with grief it made me realise how hard I found it as a teenager with everything else going on in life.
In 2019 CancerCare started the RE-Fresh Young Person's Peer Support Group at their Slynedales centre in Lancaster. The group is for young people aged 12 to 17 years affected by cancer, life limiting illness or bereavement through any reason.
This means that if a friend or family member has cancer or someone close to them dies they can be supported.
The group comes together in a safe, non-judgemental space and sessions are led by young people who are fully trained Peer Supporters. The sessions include a variety of activities including listening to music, playing games and being creative with the aim of having fun, building friendships and boosting confidence.
Young people also have the option of sharing their stories and experiences to enlighten and support other members.
On occasion the group also likes to adventure out into the community to escape the stress of home life and over the summer organised an exciting program of activities and trips.
CancerCare would like to expand this group to cover their other centres in Kendal and Barrow-in-Furness but obviously they need to raise funds to do this.
After cycling to Bristol to raise money for them in 2017 I have decided to ride 5000 miles for them across 2020 - all outdoors with no indoor riding or turbo trainer sessions to count.
Thankfully 2020 is a Leap Year so I get an extra day to ride but it breaks down as follows:
13.7 miles a day or 92 miles a week or 416 miles a month.
Please give what you can so CancerCare can help support these young people.
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