I was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2011, and soon after my diagnosis, Young Lives vs Cancer (formerly CLIC Sargent) reached out to my family and I and provided emotional, practical, and financial support.
I successfully completed my cancer treatment in February 2012, and became more involved with Young Lives soon after. I became a member of their Children and Young People’s Advisory Group (CYPAG) in the same year, and also told ‘my story’ at a number of staff induction events. The purpose of CYPAG was for the charity to put young people at the centre of the decision-making process, and a number of the group’s proposals were later taken to the executive and trustee board, and implemented in full. For me personally, I grew immensely as a person as a result of meeting, conversing, and making friends with people who had been through a similar experience.
In 2014, I joined the newly-formed Young Person’s Reference Group, and through this medium, I was part of a group of young people who were similarly heavily involved in the charity’s future direction.
Further, at the start of 2017, I was appointed to Young Lives’s board of trustees and continue to enjoy the role immensely. I’m delighted to be able to give something back to an organisation which has become fundamental to the wellbeing of thousands of children, young people and their families.