Teenage Cancer Trust honours Island pupils

Teenage Cancer Trust, a national charity which helps young people across the UK fight cancer visited Sgoil Lionacleit on the Isle of Benbecula to present awards at the school’s annual prize giving.

Former pupil Iona MacMillan and now Teenage Cancer Trust’s Education and Advocacy Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, attended the prize giving alongside headteacher Miller Macdonald and afterwards gave a short talk to pupils giving them an insight into the world of work away from the island.

This is the second visit Iona has made to the school this year as S3 and S4 students received a free talk in February about teenage cancer and how it may affect them or those close to them.

The talk was aimed at raising awareness of cancer in young people, encouraging prevention and promoting healthy living. Every day six young people across the UK are diagnosed with cancer.

Young people often get some of the most aggressive and rare forms of cancer and if you add the emotional upheaval of adolescence into the mix, a cancer diagnosis becomes even harder to cope with.

The interactive talk helped clarify the myths of cancer, including not being able to catch cancer from kissing or from eating coloured jelly babies!

Discussions also involved what different types of cancer there are, what types of treatments are available, what are the main symptoms and how Teenage Cancer Trust supports young people who are diagnosed.

The free talks are specifically aimed at students aged between 11 and 18 years and are the first of their kind to be run by a charity.

The talks also satisfy objectives set within the Health and Wellbeing section of the Curriculum for Excellence, and are beneficial to young people’s overall personal and social development and self awareness.

Iona MacMillan, comments: “It was a pleasure to come back to the school and be part of their annual prize giving. It was also a perfect opportunity for me to talk about what life is like after education and the work I do for Teenage Cancer Trust.

“The school has been incredibly supportive of my job, allowing me to visit the school to talk about teenage cancer and help educate pupils and teachers about teenage cancer. Our aim for the future is to ensure that every student who leaves education has received one of our free cancer awareness talks.”

To arrange a free talk at your school email: education@teenagecancertrust.org or call 020 7612 0370.