How CanTeen is building resilience in Youth

How CanTeen is building resilience in Youth

CanTeen, one of our 2014 Community Grant recipients, is empowering youth to achieve what they want out of life.

With applications for our Staff Community Fund’s 2015 Community Grants program having recently closed, I took a moment to reflect on the amazing work of last year's recipients.

CanTeen supports young people when cancer turns their world upside down. Their program helps youth to cope with the physical, emotional and practical impacts of living with cancer – whether they are ill themselves, or have a parent or sibling who has been diagnosed with cancer.

After supporting one of CanTeen's three day camps, we caught up with Angie Elder, CanTeen’s Division Manager for Sydney and Central NSW. Angie filled us in on what the camp means for the youth involved.

“Young people often come to their first camp feeling so alone in the situation that they are facing, but return home knowing that they have the support of a whole community of people – both their peers and the team at CanTeen”, said Angie. “They move forward with a sense of being held throughout their experience, and knowing that they always have someone they can turn to for support.”

The camps provide youth with the skills and knowledge to achieve what they want out of life. “Linking young people to resources that are going to help get them through their cancer experience is one of the most important outcomes for the youth who attend. We help them create and identify external resources like support networks, but also internal resources and strengths to sustain them through the hard times. Young people are often stronger and more capable than they realise, and through the work done on our programs, they begin to discover, explore and develop their own resilience.”

CanTeen have been running camps and retreats for the last 30 years, and are able to provide youth with an environment where everyone is comfortable exploring their fears and experiences in a supported way. 

This year we’re awarding $2 million in Community Grants of up to $10,000 each to youth-focused organisations across Australia. We look forward to helping other organisations just like CanTeen make a difference to the lives of young people.

Stay tuned, our 2015 Community Grant recipients will be announced on Wednesday, 10 June.