Below are several questions we’re often asked about the Youth Advisory Group.

If your question isn’t answered below feel free to email us on youngpeople@teenagecancertrust.org.

General questions

Who can be a member of the Youth Advisory Group?

We only have a limited number of spaces (up to 30) but we are keen that we can be representative of the young people that Teenage Cancer Trust support. This includes young people of different genders from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicity, experiences, diagnosis and from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

What are the terms of reference for the group?

You can download our terms of reference for the Youth Advisory Group. This document will tell you our vision and mission, as well as giving more detailed information on how the group works.

Is this a peer support group?

The Youth Advisory Group is not designed to be a peer support group like some of our other post-treatment work, although you will meet people who have faced similar things as you. The Youth Advisory Group is your chance to influence the way Teenage Cancer Trust works and provide us with important advice and understanding to help us to help other young people in the future.

I don’t know if I’m ready to apply for the group yet, what should I do?

It is important for you that you’re ready to apply for this role. We suggest having conversations with your Teenager and Young Adult medical team and main contact at the charity such as your Youth Support Coordinator, Lead Nurse or Clinical Nurse Specialist. They will be able to help you decide if the Youth Advisory Group is right for you at this point in time. It’s also a good idea to talk to your parents or guardians about getting involved. If you don’t know who to speak to but would like to talk to someone, please email youngpeople@teenagecancertrust.org with your name and phone number and one of the Teenage Cancer Trust team will call you back.

You can also talk to us about other ways to get involved with the charity if you feel that the Youth Advisory Group isn’t right for you. Just give us an email to let us know you’re interested in getting involved and we can tell you more about what opportunities there are.

Does it cost anything to be part of the group?

All travel, accommodation and other reasonable expenses will be paid for by Teenage Cancer Trust. Being on the Youth Advisory Group should not cost you anything other than your time and effort.

What if I am unwell and unable to attend?

We know that health fluctuates and everyone gets ill sometimes; we absolutely wouldn’t want you to come to a meeting if you were unwell. All we would ask is that you let the Youth Engagement and Development Manager know you aren’t coming so we know not to expect you at that meeting.

What if my circumstances change and I can no longer commit?

We appreciate that circumstances change all the time and sometimes this means members can no longer be part of the group. If this happens, we’d love to have a conversation to see if we can support you to continue to work with us, if you want to. However, we always want young people to do the right thing for them and we would always be supportive of a decision to step away from the group.

Can I extend my term?

Right now, we limit the term to two years for several reasons, including allowing other people to share their experiences of Teenage Cancer Trust and shape our future, just like you will have done during your term. However, there are lots of other opportunities for you to continue to be involved with Teenage Cancer Trust after your term on the Youth Advisory Group, and we can give you all the information about those when the time is right.

Can I bring someone with me to the meetings?

If you’re under 18, you will need to be accompanied on your travel to and from the meeting. We can also facilitate travel support for those over 18 too, if needed. Beyond these reasons, we like to make sure the meetings are limited to just the members of the Youth Advisory Group. Therefore, we ask those who have accompanied young people to a meeting to go off and explore the local surroundings and come back at the planned end time. We often provide suggestions of things to do whilst they are waiting for you!

When do the meetings usually take place?

Meetings usually take place on a weekend and there will be one planned in early Spring, Summer and Autumn. If they take place on a weekday, we can give you letters for work/ school to explain your absence.

Will meetings be in person during Covid-19?​

Until it is safe to do so, all meetings and interviews will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams or a similar secure platform. We will ensure that everyone knows how to safely access these platforms before any meetings are held.

Questions for parents of those aged under 18

Will my child need to be accompanied?

Members of the Youth Advisory Group under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied for travel to and from the meetings by a parent or guardian. They will also need to give their consent to participate, which we will ask for your consent as part of the process.

What will be the travel and accommodation arrangements?

Teenage Cancer Trust will usually arrange the travel and accommodation and liaise directly with you about this to make sure we have all the right information to meet the young person’s needs. We don’t expect parent or carers to be out of pocket and will pay for all travel and accommodation in advance. However, if you do incur expenses, we will reimburse those in line with the Expenses Policy.

What will I do when my child is at a meeting if I have to come with them?

We ask that parents and guardians leave their children at the meeting and go off to explore the local surroundings. We usually provide some information or guide about things to do. There will usually be a place you can wait in the meeting venue (i.e. a hotel lobby) if you’d prefer to stay close.

Do I have to pay for my child to be part of the Youth Advisory Group?

All travel, accommodation and other reasonable expenses will be paid for by Teenage Cancer Trust. Being on the Youth Advisory Group should not cost you anything other than your time and effort.

As a parent of a child with cancer, do you have a group for me to get involved?

Whilst we don't run groups for parents on a national level, there may be local services and groups in your local area. We would suggest that you speak to your local Teenage and Young Adult or Clinical Team to find out about any opportunities.

When do the meetings usually take place?

Meetings usually take place on a weekend and there will be one planned in early Spring, Summer and Autumn. If they take place on a weekday, we can give you letters for your child’s school to explain their absence.