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Teenage Cancer Trust

Say hello to our new interns

In 2013 we did some work with the Teenage Cancer Trust, running marathons, wearing silly outfits and raising funds where we could; but this year we’re taking on two new remote interns, Matt and Pete.

Matt and Pete are currently undergoing treatment in Bristol. Both are just over 18, and if they hadn’t been diagnosed, they’d be hunting down the first steps on their career ladders. But they were worried that gaps on their CVs would hamper their chances of getting a job in the future.

The Teenage Cancer Trust got in touch with us to see how we could help.

“We’ve run a work experience programme before, but it was predominantly for young people who had finished treatment,” says Simon Hewett-Avison, Regional Education and Advocacy Manager at Teenage Cancer Trust. “Meeting these two lads, it was obvious they weren’t going to be able to do that for a while; but that wasn’t going to stop them if they could help it.”

Simon wanted to provide a meaningful, practical experience that would benefit Matt and Pete in the future. “They really wanted something to do,” he adds. “Keeping them interested and keeping them motivated through treatment is really important.”

Matt and Pete have now started a full internship at Bray Leino, working remotely over the phone and internet. They’ll be carrying out real work on real accounts, and we’ll be looking for a high standard from them.

“It's amazing to be given the opportunity to do this remotely,” says Matt (right), who was already working before being forced to take time out. He’s now looking for a media area to specialise in.

“Instead of huge gaps on my CV, I’ll have done an internship with a big agency,” he says. “We’re not able to work during the days, but this is flexible and gives us something to focus on in the evenings.”

Pete (pictured below) was just finishing college before being diagnosed, and wants to develop his creative production skills, eventually moving into video production; and while the treatment is likely to take at least six months, it’s time he can spend developing some worthwhile experience.

“I wanted the time I spent in treatment to be worthwhile,” he says. “Simon from Teenage Cancer Trust suggested a placement at Bray Leino after I told him my concerns about gaps in my CV.

“Being able to carry out a real agency internship remotely is a great opportunity to gain experience,” he adds. “The remote aspect means that I can put the long periods of time where I'm in partial isolation to good use.”

We’ve got a list of tasks planned that’ll fit the remote-working model, and we'll provide mentoring support over the phone, Skype and email. We’ll have to run things on a semi-flexible timescale, depending on how well they feel from week to week, but that’s the only concession. The only real difference between this and a usual placement is that they won’t be expected to make the tea.

Another Teenage Cancer Trust contact is James. He completed his treatment last year and finished a placement at Bray Leino just before Christmas. Like Matt and Pete, he also worked for a lot of the time he was in hospital, producing some impressive healthcare-themed design work for charities and the NHS.

He says the experience has made him ‘mega-determined’ to succeed. “I tried to get on with what I enjoyed doing to the best of my ability, with or without cancer,” he says. “It's great that there are people out there like Teenage Cancer Trust who can create opportunities like this that aren’t usually open to young people.”

To find out more about the great work Teenage Cancer Trust does all the time for people like Matt, Pete and James, visit: www.teenagecancertrust.org

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