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No two days are the same at CanTeen

12 Nov, 2018

No two days are the same at CanTeen

CanTeen is all about caring

Hello, I’m Kate and I’ve worked at CanTeen for four years now. Having my own family fuelled my desire to work with young people facing adversity. I therefore made a career change and joined CanTeen after meeting a then member who spoke about her experience of cancer and how CanTeen helped her.

Young people facing cancer are inspirational

Being a Youth Support Coordinator at CanTeen is part of who I am. I’m a ‘giver’ and I’m curious about learning. I’ve worked in the education sector as well as facilitated a programme for children and young people experiencing grief and loss. I’m a volunteer with our local surf lifesaving club, and I have just finished a trauma care qualification.

I try and balance the stress of my job by finding a sense of calm and stepping back with emotional intelligence. My family is my primary focus: I have two very active daughters (13 and 9) so my free time is busy. Travel is high on my list though – going to new places when time and budget allows.

No two days are the same at CanTeen

I remember how working at CanTeen was initially challenging due to the vast scope of the job – there was so much to learn. But my colleagues were (and still are) supportive: we share a lot to best support young people facing cancer.

Working at CanTeen is more than a job: it is about connecting, growing and learning. I remember attending an activity suggested by a young person I’ve been supporting for nearly four years. Due to cancer, she has been dealing with depression and anxiety daily. She found a hobby and seeing her in this environment, happy and confident, sharing it with her CanTeen whanau was truly inspiring.

CanTeen offers valuable educational programmes

I’ve been fortunate to be involved with one of the CanTeen educational programmes: I felt empowered to be able to help shape the workshop on nutrition, activity and self-care initiatives for young cancer patients. It matched my personal values around healthy lifestyle choices. I see first-hand how cancer impacts a young person’s overall physical health and well-being beyond treatment.

People wonder how I can do my job

The most common response I get is the statement “I don’t know how you do that” or “that must be really sad.” And yes, it can be both: there are some sad moments. But they are far outweighed by the fun, inspirational and purely magical moments we get to witness whilst working with young people.

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