As 2017 comes to a close here at YouCan we have been looking back at the past year. And what a year it has been! Here is a little post with what we have got up to…
Pamper and Well-being Days
YouCan kicked off the year strong with a Pamper and Well-being Day in January, organised by Kate. With the help of one of YouCan’s wonderful therapists, Jeni, they organised a fabulous day with plenty of stalls and guided meditation and yoga sessions. There were many stall including Indian Head Massage, Shellac Nails, Reiki, Reflexology and mini facials. The day raised just under £1000 £and lots of awareness about the charity. This day was such a success that it was repeated in November again with the help of Jeni. The November Pamper day raised just over £1000! Amazing work Kate and Jeni.
Launch of exercise programme
Also, early this year the 12 week exercise programme was launched as well as weekly boot camp with one of our fab personal trainers, Shelley. I have taken part in both of these exercise options and feel like they have been invaluable to my recovery after cancer treatment.
In April we hosted our second Well-being Weekend at Blue Door Barns, Lewes. A group of young people we support and their plus ones came to stay in this picturesque location for a weekend of rest, relaxation and amazing food. The weekend included:
- a yoga session
- a massage
- a facial
- a life coaching session
- a morning with an amazing nutritionist in her shop Tina’s Kitchen learning about food
- an art therapy session at the new Macmillian Centre in Brighton
- amazing food cooked fresh by the owners of Blue Door Barns
- quality time to spend with other people who just ‘get it’
A good time was had by all and Nat and Sarah really enjoyed organising it. Watch this space for well-being days and weekend coming up in 2018.
Opening of Hinton House
Our massive news this year is the opening of Hinton House in June. Sue has blogged about the opening here:
Needless to say, we are super proud of the house and what it represents. Since the opening we have been fully booked with the young people we support and their families. We have had some excellent feedback from everyone and we are looking forward to more families and friends making memories in Hinton House in 2018. If you would like to make a booking please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest or click http://www.youcan.org.uk/what-we-do/holiday-breaks/ for more information.
This summer we were lucky enough to be involved with The Swan, West Malling and their Summer Social. The event was held at Kentfield Country Estate and Nic Fanciulli and friends played disco and house whilst a BBQ and fizz was served. They raised over £3000 for us – thank you so much guys!
Towards the end of this year we held our second YouCan Run at Leeds Castle. Again, Sue did a detailed blog about the event here:
The run raised over £11,000 this year. A massive thank you to everyone who took part and a particularly special thanks to those who were able to fundraise for us. This money has gone directly to help the young people we support.
Our support group, Freddie’s Friends, has gone from strength to strength this year. We have done lots of new activities this year:
- Dinner at The Swan, West Malling
- Dinner at Artimis Greek Restaurant, Maidstone
- Pottery making
- Reiki evenings
- Reflexology evening
- Nutrition and Exercise evening
- Victoria Derbyshire Book Launch in London with dinner at Nandos
- Look Good Feel Better Workshop
- Chat and catch up evenings
- Pub Quiz
- Christmas Party
We have enjoyed working with the medical professionals at Maidstone Hospital to help run the Freddie’s Friends Support Group this past year. To find out what we will be up to in 2018 and if you would like to attend please click:
We are extremely grateful to everyone who has fundraised or donated any money to YouCan this year. You may not be aware but 100% of these donations go directly to the 60+ young adults and their families in the South East that we support, by way of alternative therapies, counselling, exercise classes, a seaside break but to name a few. So, we are saying a huge thank you to the individuals, groups, teams, businesses and community groups that between them have run, walked, cycled, shaved heads and organised events. What stars you all are and what a difference you have made. We literally couldn’t do it without you.
We would also like to say a special mention to three organisations who have made three rather large donations, most of which was spent on refurbishing and opening Hinton House. So a massive THANK YOU to:
- The Friends of Shelby Newsted for donating £25,000
- The Metropolitan Lodge for donating £25,000
- Saint Pauls Lodge for donating £25,000
Our ambassadors have both donated money and time this year to YouCan. It was lovely to have both Victoria Derbyshire and Dave Berry in attendance at the opening of Hinton House. Victoria has also raised money and awareness on her book tour for ‘Dear Cancer, Love Victoria’. Thank you Dave and Victoria for everything this past year.
We are also tremendously appreciative of people who have donated their time to us this year. We have had some amazing volunteers at our events, helping us renovate and upkeep Hinton House and some volunteers in the office. We had our first YouCan intern, Emily from the University of Kent, come and work with us this summer. She was very helpful around the office and wrote an extremely useful report about the benefits of alternative therapies and exercise. Thank you Emily! We also have had Sue come and volunteer with us the past few months. She has been assisting with the YouCan social media and has taken over our blog. We hope you like what she’s been writing for you all!
Panto Horse Race
We have just finished off our year with a little festive madness in the form of The London Pantomime Horse Race. Great fun was had by all on the streets of Greenwich, even if it was the coldest day of the year and our feet are still thawing out! But the event has raised £12,000 for YouCan so we must say a big thank you to the organiser, Mark Biddiss, for adopting us as the beneficiary charity and for putting on such a great event.
And finally, a few personal updates from the office team…
- Kate got married this year! Congratulations Kate and Andy
- Lola the Schnauzer was born. She’s a new office therapy dog! Good job she loves cuddles.
- Sue is joining the team officially from January 2018. Welcome to the team Sue!
So, a massive thank you for all your support in 2017. Please like and share this post to help raise awareness for YouCan and help us support more young people impacted by cancer in 2018.