WOW, we made it to 3… where did the time go?
I’ll start with an apology, I’ve been incredibly quiet with blogs, social media posts and general
networking, let’s just say 2023 has been busy. But we’re still here and we’re still doing amazing things to support the mental health of people living with a childhood/young adult cancer diagnosis through talking therapy.
You don’t need me to tell you how tough the world is right now, maybe a good time to stop, reflect, and process all that is happening around us.
If you’ve followed us from the beginning, you’ll know we started this small but mighty charity during the pandemic, “why would you do that?” I hear you cry, well it’s simple, it was needed, and we weren’t prepared to sit back and watch people cope alone anymore. We also had no clue we were about to go into a cost-of-living crisis, yikes!
I was recently asked to chat with someone who is about to start a new charity, to give any thoughts or advice…in my heart I couldn’t not warn them that charities are currently in their toughest time for fundraising, in simple terms, there’s not enough money and more charities are asking for a piece of the pot. I was told early on, for every 10 grant applications you submit expect to win 1, I wanted to cry when I heard this having experienced how long each application can take and the amount of emotion, we put into each one and then the excitement as I posted it off and waited for a response.
But my goodness I’m glad someone warned me, I soon toughened up and as each new application is sent, I immediately forgot about it assuming we’d never hear from them again, if we were successful then it was a joyful surprise and celebration all round. What I would say is this was true to life in the first year, the sad reality is that now I would say for every 20 you might be successful in 1. Last week my husband asked me, “If you knew how hard this was going to be, would you go back and still start the charity?” my response “Yes, 100%, this charity needs to exist!”. He knew the answer 😊
In our 3 years we’ve met some incredible people who have come to us for help, who have shared their story, who have supported is in our fundraising tasks, and who have been a champion for the work we’re doing, a huge thank you to you all.
I continue to learn about every role in the charity and try to do my best to make this an organisation that people want to be associated with. Our friends in the NHS, charity sector, corporate world, grant foundations, and local communities are key to us reaching and supporting more people as well as reaching our 3rd birthday. We’re incredibly proud of these friendships and so grateful for your support.
This year we celebrated our much-loved partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, an amazing organisation who are working with young people post treatment. This week we launched our monthly wellbeing support groups and I’m so excited to see this programme grow. Two brilliant charities working better together, and that’s how it should be. A special thank you to all the team @emct who have given me never ending love and support as we grow Mind Over Cancer.
We are learning so much from the data we have been collecting, PTSD is very real in the lives of people living with a childhood/young adult cancer diagnosis but the reality is we don’t talk about it, health anxiety exists in people’s day to day lives, survivor guilt and guilt for not having survivor guilt haunts hundreds if not thousands of people…believe me when I say cancer is both a physical and mental illness. We will shout and raise awareness of all these issues and continue to work with all stakeholders to support people as soon as we can. We’ll give them a safe space to pause, talk, reflect, and process all that has happened and how they can take back control of the thoughts and feelings that come with cancer, the treatment and late effects people are living with.
I’m so proud of this charity and all the work we’ve done. We want to be here to support people when they’re ready to talk, the mental impact of a young person cancer diagnosis can last for years. There’s no date to celebrate when it ends, no ringing of bells when or if the thoughts and feelings stop, this is a life thing, and this charity promises to keep working hard to be here for every person that needs us.
So, thank you for reading. What can you do to help us? Talk about us, share this post, and
encourage others to read it, nominate us as your charity of the year, bake a cake (yum), do 5000 squats in 24 hours (ouch), run a marathon (ouch), host a night of music and dancing (yay), hey, you can arrange any fundraising event you want.
Come and be our friend, we’re waiting to hear from you and together we can change lives.
Take care people xx
#PleaseKeepTalking #SupportSmallCharities #Cancer #MentalHealth