Charity which provides holidays for youngsters with cancer appeals for help

Bournemouth Echo: GREAT FUN: Young people enjoying a holiday organised by the Youth Cancer Trust GREAT FUN: Young people enjoying a holiday organised by the Youth Cancer Trust

A BOURNEMOUTH charity is appealing for public help to expand its work supporting teenagers and young adults living with cancer.

The Youth Cancer Trust, based in Alum Chine, provides therapeutic holidays for those aged 14 to 30 to help young people restore and rebuild self-confidence, try new activities and make new friends.

Teenage cancer has been brought to the public’s attention following the social media campaign of 19-year-old Stephen Sutton, who set out to raise £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust as part of a bucket list of things he wanted to achieve before he died.

Stephen, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer aged 15 and lost his battle against the disease on Wednesday, raised more than £3.2million for the cause after the appeal went viral.

Youth Cancer Trust was founded in 1997 by Brenda Clark after she lost her only daughter, Tracy Ann, to cancer aged 21. During her illness there was nowhere she could go to be with other young people who had cancer.

Brenda said: “We receive such an incredible amount of positive feedback about the peer support holidays we provide for young people living with and beyond cancer. Siblings or friends who can come as companions also get the chance to share their experience of supporting a loved one with cancer whilst gaining support from others going through a similar experience.”

The trust currently has room for 250 young people, along with their siblings, each year, but is very oversubscribed and, before the recession, launched an appeal to raise funds to buy a larger property so it never has to turn a young person away due to lack of space.

Brenda said general donations had, unfortunately, decreased as people had to tighten their purse strings. But the trust is now re-launching the appeal and asking the local community to help raise funds for the new property.

To donate, call the Youth Cancer Trust on 01202 763591 or email admin@yct.org.uk Alternatively, visit youthcancertrust.org or facebook.com/ YouthCancerTrustYCT

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