For teens and young adults
Being diagnosed with cancer as a young adult changes everything. Without warning, your life is on hold, and your ambitions and dreams are suddenly very far away.
Our Young People’s Service is for young adults aged 16-24 who have been diagnosed with cancer, their families, and the people they care about. It’s available across the UK, in both main cancer hospitals and local hospitals.
We get that everyone is different, so we don’t offer a one-size-fits-all service. We base our work on what each young person tells us they need most. Our help can include:
- Support with day-to-day issues from one of our Young Lives vs Cancer Social Workers or Community Workers
- Opportunities to connect with other young people with cancer, such as joining our Participation group.
- Events that help boost confidence and career opportunities
- The chance to influence our work to make lives better for young people with cancer.
Can this help you?
Shortly after you’ve been diagnosed one of our friendly social workers or community workers will get in touch with you to discuss how we can help you. What you need might change as you go through treatment and beyond.
Soon after you’ve been diagnosed you’ll hear from a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker. They will talk to you about:
- Who they are – you’ll be meeting a lot of different people at this time and we know it’s important that you get to know and trust them. One of the key things your Young Lives vs Cancer worker can do is to help you understand who is who
- What you need help with – they’ll support you with what you need the most, be that a chat about how you’re feeling, talking to your college or uni, support filling in forms, or anything else
- Applying online for a Young Lives vs Cancer Registration Grant to help you cope with sudden extra costs like getting to and from the hospital and food and bits you’ll need when you’re there, like pyjamas, entertainment and phone credit
- Our Team Young Lives Facebook group where you can chat with other young people with cancer.
If you’d like more support your Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker will invite you to a face-to-face meeting, where they’ll listen to what it is you need. They’ll talk with you about the ways they can help you and record what you agree in a care plan. They’ll revisit the care plan with you on a regular basis as your needs change throughout your treatment.
During treatment, you can access our expert advice and information, as well as connecting with other young people who’ve experienced cancer:
- Online information – if you’re looking for advice about any aspect of living with cancer or life afterwards, we have it covered. Read about everything from side effects to dating, friendships to your emotional wellbeing
- Videos – our YouTube channel is regularly updated with videos of young people, and the important people in their lives, talking about life with cancer. Make sure you subscribe to get the latest updates!
- Young People’s Facebook Group is a friendly, welcoming space where you can talk with other 16 to 24-years-olds who have experienced cancer. You can get involved in any way you like – ask questions, share what’s going on for you or get tips and advice from other posts. We hold regular Q&As on the Facebook group, giving you the chance to ask any burning questions you might have, and get expert advice on a range of topics from money, to life after cancer, to anxiety
- Access to our Homes from Home – free accommodation close to your place of treatment
- Welfare Advice Service – get free access to expert advice, helping you deal with issues like money, housing and problems at work
- Grants Search – access money from other organisations and charities to help with the extra costs of cancer
- Benefits Calculator – this tool can help you understand what extra money you could be eligible for
You’ll also get ongoing support from your Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker with things like coming to terms with what’s happened, managing friends and family relationships, and talking to your school, college, uni or employer.
Towards the end of treatment we can give you positive things to focus on, and put you in touch with people and services to help you deal with your worries and get used to life after treatment. We do this through:
- Connecting you with other young people with experience of cancer. Our Team Young Lives Facebook Group is a safe and supportive space where you can talk with other 16 to 24-years-olds who have experience of cancer to share what you’re going through, and get advice and support
- Our Participation Service, where you can meet other young people and take part in a range of activities to share your views, influence our work, and improve things for young people with cancer in the future.
- Our Music Programme, where you can have fun with other young people, gain skills for the future and boost your confidence
- If you’re looking for advice about any aspect of life after cancer, we have it covered with our online information. Our articles cover everything from long-term side effects to dating, relationships and your emotional wellbeing.
Your social worker can help you access any of these services. They will also talk to you about how you’re feeling and what you need, and give you the tools and support to move forward.
If you’ve had a terminal diagnosis, your Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker will be there for you every step of the way. They’ll be part of the team planning your care at this stage so will make your wishes known, and can be a great source of support through this time. Some of the things they can help you with include:
- Making lasting memories, including cards, letters and gift boxes for future birthdays, weddings and other events
- Talking through palliative treatment and end of life decisions, and communicating your wishes to your medical team
- Helping you plan the funeral you want, including readings, music and whether you want to be buried or cremated
- Connecting you with someone from your religious community so you can carry out any spiritual or faith-based things you want to do, like confession or last rites
- Helping you write your will and plan your digital legacy, like what happens to your social media accounts and the data on your devices
- Supporting your parents, friends, partner, children and wider family.
Haven’t heard of us before?
Some young people are treated at a local hospital, rather than a specialist treatment centre for young people. If this is you, you might not have heard about the support we provide, like our grants, articles about living with cancer, and how to connect with other teenagers and young adults with cancer. This isn’t right and it isn’t fair.
If you are in this situation and haven’t met or been contacted by a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker, please get in touch!
Or apply online for a Registration Grant, and get in touch with us that way.
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