Natalie, Regional Fundraiser – London and Surrounding Counties (Secondment)

Natalie, Regional Fundraiser - London and Surrounding Counties

What made you want to work at Teenage Cancer Trust?

Somebody close to me experienced cancer as a young person, so I was in and out of hospital with them a lot. They were treated on an adult ward with no one else their own age – and so I experienced first hand how isolating cancer could be.

At the time I didn’t realise there was a charity out there who provided specialist services for young people with cancer, so it was amazing when I found out about Teenage Cancer Trust! I felt a very close personal connection to the cause; I was really motivated to work here and make a positive change for young people.

How would you describe the culture at Teenage Cancer Trust?

The culture here is really open, friendly, and engaged. Everyone I’ve met has been so kind and friendly, but also so passionate about the cause and focused on making a positive change. Everyone’s working towards the same goal.

Although not everyone that works here is a young person themselves, everyone’s really youthful! People are always striving for better, open to change, and coming up with new and bold ideas.

How does Teenage Cancer Trust support your learning and development?

When I joined the charity, I was part of the Supporter Care team, where I was given fantastic opportunities for growth. For instance, I attended a study day to learn more about teenage and young adult cancer. I’ve also volunteered at support events such as our Find Your Sense of Tumour under-18s weekend and the Ultimate Backstage Experience at the Royal Albert Hall. Seeing first-hand the incredible work we do with young people made me come back even more committed to raising as much money as possible!

I’m currently on a secondment in a regional fundraising role. When the opportunity came up, my manager was super supportive about it, and told me to go for it! I feel really supported by both my old and new managers, and I still get invited to my old team meetings so that I can keep up to speed, as I’ll be returning after four months. I’m learning a ton in the new role which I can take back with me.

Ellen, Policy & Public Affairs Executive

Ellen, Policy & Public Affairs Executive

Why did you want to work at Teenage Cancer Trust?

I have a very personal connection to the charity. When I was 14 I was treated on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit, so I knew I wanted to give something back to the organisation who helped me through that time.

I was initially hired in the Education and Awareness team, to deliver cancer awareness presentations in schools. I had trained as a teacher, but knew I didn’t want to go into teaching, so the role seemed perfect for me – I was able to support a cause I cared about, while still working with young people!

How did Teenage Cancer Trust support your transition into the policy team?

It seemed like a natural step to make. In the education team it was great to see the direct impact I was making on young people, but by moving into policy I can help to shape more widespread change.

The transition between jobs was very smooth. My old manager was really supportive, and able to talk to my new manager about handover. It was great as I didn’t feel that I’d left any loose ends in the previous role, and my replacement was able to come to me with any questions.

How would you describe the culture at Teenage Cancer Trust?

The best thing about working here is definitely the people! It’s such a fun, friendly and collaborative environment. What makes the culture here unique is that everyone is really approachable, regardless of their different experience levels – I can go and chat with anyone, even Kate our CEO. It’s very non-hierarchical.

How does Teenage Cancer Trust support staff’s wellbeing?

There are set rules in place, for example we have an email curfew at 7pm. This is great, because once I’ve finished my day, I know I can switch off and relax, and I don’t feel obligated to reply to emails right away. If you do ever need to work out of hours, the charity ensures you get the time back.

Mickella, Trusts and Foundations Manager

Mickella, Trusts and Foundations Manager

Why did you want to work at Teenage Cancer Trust?

The cause is so vital and motivating. My background is in international development, but I had been very interested in health-related causes and had previously done some voluntary work for the African and Caribbean Leukaemia Trust.

When I came for my interview I was bowled over by how warm and professional the team were, and was struck by the supportive and encouraging atmosphere right away.

How would you describe the culture at Teenage Cancer Trust?

What’s special about Teenage Cancer Trust is that people here are invested in the cause above and beyond their day job. Staff are really encouraged to take part in challenges and volunteering; I’ve volunteered as part of a cheering squad, cheering on our runners at Royal Parks Half!

How does Teenage Cancer Trust support your learning and development?

The charity are really keen to develop people in their roles, and I’ve been given lots of great opportunities. I initially came in as a Regional Trust Fundraiser, but just before going on maternity leave I progressed to a Trust and Foundations Programme Manager role.

To help me step up into the new role, I’ve been able to do some great in-house training on management, project management and recruitment – Teenage Cancer Trust definitely prioritise development and take it very seriously.

How did Teenage Cancer Trust support your return to work after maternity leave?

While I was on leave I had the option of ‘keeping in touch days’, so I was able to come in for special meetings and events like Staff Day and Fundraising Day.

When I did come back, I applied for flexible working – so now I do 30 hours over four days. The organisation were really accommodating and supportive of me, and the process was very smooth.