Charity Of The Year

So I’m back with entry number 2. It’s been another busy week at YouCan. As this is such a new charity there’s a million things to do. Okay, slight exaggeration, but you get the idea. We’ve met some amazing people who want to get involved – the most wonderful people who have skills ranging from nutritionists to yoga teachers, sports coaches to people who grow organic vegetables. Most of these have had real experiences with cancer and have found new and positive ways to deal with the effects that the disease has had on their lives. They want to share their thoughts with us and with young people in the hope that others might experience the same positive changes to their lives and their wellbeing. Some of them will be contributing to this blog by sharing their stories, their advice and even the odd rather delicious recipe  – you’ll find these on the nutrition page of this blog once we’ve tried them out!  Such a tough job sometimes 🙂

A big part of what we do is, of course, getting people to support the work we do by fundraising for us and helping us raise awareness. It’s always exciting to meet people who tell us that they love what we do and want to be involved. This week we were delighted to be able to announce that the De Veres Devonport House Hotel in Greenwich have adopted YouCan as their local Charity of the Year for 2016. We all went off to the hotel to meet managers and staff, have our photos taken for the local press (check out our fabulous t-shirts) and tell everyone what we’ll be up to over the coming months. As well as some staff fundraising and organising events the hotel will host a workshop for some young people, which will work brilliantly for the young people that we are working with up in south London.


On a slightly serious note, you may well have seen things in the press recently that don’t always paint charities in the best light. It’s a shame when the actions of the very few affect the vast majority who are trying their very best to make a difference to difficult lives and situations. Can I just assure you that here at YouCan we can promise you that we take our responsibility to both our supporters and service users very seriously – we have just been on a course to make sure we’re fully up to date with new fundraising regulations and will continue to ensure we comply with all charity legislation. We really do want to do the best we can for everyone involved with YouCan!

So onwards we go. Let’s see what the next week brings.

Sarah x







Who we are..

A blog. What a strange word! Short for weblog …an on-line diary where you can tell the world what you’ve been up to. Blogging – updating your blog, keeping people up to date with what’s going on. The world of the blog is new to me but I’ve volunteered to venture forth into this unknown territory and to attempt to give you some idea of what we all get up to here at YouCan. Perhaps you’ll get to know us a little better and we’ll be able to tell you why we do what we do, why it matters to us and how we want to try and make a difference to young lives that have been affected by cancer.

So, first up …let me introduce you to the team. For now, there’s just the four of us – Natalie, Terrie, Kate and myself (Sarah). We’ll start with Natalie because, in many ways, she’s our inspiration and through her we have seen and understood what a life impacted by cancer looks like. Natalie was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her 30s and, as we’ve all known her for a very long time, we have seen why the progress through this particular illness is so often called ‘a journey’. You’re set aboard the ship without map or compass and you’re at the mercy of the elements as you navigate your way to an unknown destination. Some of the storms are mighty rough and it gets lonely at times on that strange sea. But Natalie made it through and life begins again in a new place where she has to find her way again, discovering new things and a new way to live. She knows what it’s like to have lived with cancer, in a way that those that haven’t experienced it can never understand. So now she’s our ‘Captain’ (well, Head of Fundraising …but in our world that’s much the same thing) and we three others the Crew.

We three – Terrie, Kate and myself – all have official sounding titles but in reality we’re pretty much all doing whatever needs to be done. You might find us all manning stalls at a Christmas Fair (as we did in Rochester back in December), one us will be talking to a young person about their experiences with cancer while another is packing up t-shirts to send to a supporter who’s doing a 5km run for us at the weekend or someone will be meeting with a local oncology unit team while another is writing a blog entry (that’ll be me for now!). We’re a busy team and we love what we do.

My instructions for writing this blog are that I should tell you what we’ve been doing, update it regularly and only post interesting things. I can’t help feeling that my appointment as blog author might be slightly flawed. For one, we do so much that actually being able to choose the odd thing to write about is going to be tricky. And what’s interesting? I’m generally fascinated and intrigued by everything so who knows where this project might end up! So bear with me and we’ll wing it together. Already wondering what my next blog entry will be …

Sarah x










YouCan – Youth Cancer Support

Panoramic shot of a row of friends watching the sunset

We are YouCan – a new project set up by The Children’s Development Trust who have been established since 2008.

We aim to support young people aged 10-30 whose lives have been impacted by cancer.

Where we are right now..

We’re just starting out on the YouCan journey. We’ve got lots of ideas and plans and lots of amazing people who want to be involved and really believe in what we’re trying to do and that’s to offer support to young people, aged between 10 and 30, who have had to face cancer in their lives.

Within the YouCan team we have experience of what it’s like to be young and be told you have cancer. We know that the medical care you receive is amazing. There are fantastic support agencies out there while you’re going through treatment and we’re pretty sure that they all make a positive difference to how you get through those horrible cancer-dominated days.

We want to be a part of the support that helps you find the positives in your life again. Our Get Togethers have been designed to help you see beyond cancer and to regain confidence. We’ll help you move forward into a life without cancer. You’ll be able to meet other young people who are experiencing the same thing. YouCan Get Togethers will cover positive thinking, fitness, nutrition and other aspects of well-being.

From summer 2016 we will be offering you – whether on your own or with your friends or family – the chance to have a break at our house on the Kent Coast. Who doesn’t feel better just being by the seaside? Short breaks and themed weekends are our aim and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors very soon.

Panoramic shot of a row of friends watching the sunset