CHECT is planning to create a Teen Focus Council, in order to better support teenagers affected by retinoblastoma, and to give them a voice within the charity. CHECT member Kelsey Trevett spoke to Harry Harrison to find out more about the idea…
Q: Can you tell me what the Teen Focus Council will be?
A: The Teen Focus Council is an opportunity for teenagers to have a voice within CHECT. The idea is to enable teenagers to have a voice in planning events and activities aimed at our age group, as well as to support one another, and those younger than us, after having had retinoblastoma.
Q: What are the main aims of the Teen Focus Council?
A: Our main aim is to promote the teen voice within CHECT, giving our views and opinions to help make the support CHECT offers to teenagers as good as it can be. As well as this, we aim to support one another when needed, in relation to having had retinoblastoma and the questions/concerns that can cause. Additionally, we will be able to offer younger children the ability to see someone older, who also had retinoblastoma, to encourage them to become more confident and comfortable within themselves. This can be done at members’ days, weekends and CHECT events.
Q: Does CHECT have an online presence for teenagers?
A: Yes, the Teen Focus website is a place where articles written and contributed by teenagers are posted and shared. We would like to continue working on this website, but would also like to develop a Teen Focus social media presence. We would like to start Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, as well as using Snapchat as a way to share moments from CHECT events and weekends. We think this is the best way to interact and share content with people of our age — almost all teenagers have at least one form of social media.
Q: Why do you think the Teen Focus Council is important?
A: The Teen Focus Council allows for teenagers to really get involved with CHECT, and give our opinions and views on how best to support teenagers who have had retinoblastoma. Lesley and Patrick always do a fantastic job, but they have very little input directly from teenagers, which we think would help keep their support for teenagers as good as it is now. It’s also important to give younger children the opportunities to see people older than themselves living a normal life after having had retinoblastoma.
Q: Why do you want to be involved in CHECT’s Teen Focus Council?
A: CHECT have supported me through the years, and given me some amazing opportunities, like the teenage weekends and the members weekends. I want to give something back to CHECT, and those it supports, and I think this is a great way to do that.