Why I Became a Y-Teamer, by Poppy
February 17, 2022
From the very start, our Youth Management Team (Y-Team) has been a massive part of what we do; for those of you who don’t know, the Y-Team is a group of young volunteers who have all had someone they love be diagnosed with a serious illness – they now give up their time to help fundraise, come up with new ideas for sessions and activities, represent Hope in the community, and offer peer support. Poppy, who was our Y-Team Events Officer before she headed to college, tells us why she joined…
I first got involved with Hope in 2012 when my mum passed away from lung cancer.
I started attending the youth sessions where I was able to be around other young people who had been through a similar situation to me. I found great comfort in knowing there were other people who knew what I was going through and having experienced it themselves – you didn’t have to be discussing what you had experienced, but just the knowledge that they knew what you were going through made me feel at ease during youth sessions.
The youth sessions supported me in my journey of loss which led to being able to discuss my experience with other people, accept and find ways to cope, and understand my own stages of grief.
It taught me that grief comes in many different ways and at different stages which allowed me to understand the different stages my family and I were going through and how to cope with the loss of a loved one.
After all the support Hope provided for me, I wanted to give back to them, so I decided to volunteer. Being part of the Y-Team allowed me to get a better insight into what goes on behind the scenes of Hope and how important the work that goes into providing support for young people is. During my time with the Y-Team I helped organise an online raffle, in which we raised over £700 for Hope – knowing I had helped give back really gave me a sense of worth.
The Y-Team also allows you to meet many others who have gone through what you’ve gone through, discuss with them ways we can help Hope develop and support more young people.
Being Part of Something
The Y-Team is a non-judgemental, confidence giving and caring team of young people who have all had experience of a loved one being ill. It is a great way to meet people and gain life skills that can be extremely beneficial later in life, and be put into place outside of Hope. Being part of the Y-Team meant I felt more confident in speaking to people, applying for college and supporting other people – I was given the role of Events Officer, which also allowed me to gain responsibility and organisational skills.
I even helped present a presentation to around 100 university students which, although daunting at first, gave me a great sense of achievement once I had done it!
If you’ve been inspired by Poppy and want more information about the Y-Team, including if they’re recruiting, head to our Y-Team page now!