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Guest blog: Shine Cancer Support


Guest blog: Shine Cancer Support


We asked our friends at Shine Cancer Support to tell us more about the work they do and the unique support they offer to people in their 30s, 40s and 50s living with cancer in the UK.


About Shine Cancer Support

Shine Cancer Support is the only charity in the United Kingdom that is exclusively focused on supporting men and women in their 20s, 30s and 40s who have received a cancer diagnosis.

Shine is run by people who have first-hand experience of cancer who know how scary, depressing and disruptive cancer can be to life plans. We work to identify the unmet needs of people in this age group , and to develop innovative solutions that help them to live their lives to their fullest.

We believe that young adults with cancer can provide support to each other that is just as important as that offered by professionals.  We work hard to make sure that our activities are accessible by holding them in the evening or on the weekends, making them fun, and ensuring that they are informal and focussed on the issues that our community cares about.

Have a look at this video to find out more about us and have a look at our staff page to find out more about our individual experiences of cancer.


How Shine Supports Young Adults With Cancer

Shine provides online support and information, in-person support and activities, and advocacy and training. Read on to find out more!


Our Facebook Groups

We run a closed Facebook group with over 1700+ members from across the UK.  Membership is open to anyone in our age group with any type of cancer, at any stage.  The group is a friendly and supportive place to:

  • Connect with others in a similar situation
  • Receive emotional support
  • Ask questions and receive answers

We also have two growing Facebook groups; one is Shine Plus Ones  (with 180+ people) and this is for the partners, friends and family of younger adults with cancer.  We run occasional workshops for Plus Ones as well as ensuring there are links between our Networks and local Plus Ones.

The other group is Shine Lifers (with currently 100+people) and is for younger adults who are living with incurable cancers.  Like our other groups this is moderated by members and is a supportive environment in which people facing advanced diagnoses can discuss their issues.

Online info, podcast, blog and YouTube channel

We have a podcast, Not Your Grandma’s Cancer Show, which is available on our website and via iTunes.  It covers topics including living with uncertainty, living with incurable cancer, coping with anxiety, cancer research and what it’s like to be a Plus One.  Twelve episodes are currently available.

Our blog is available via our website and features writing from our community members on topics which are important to them. Our blogs are a great way to learn about the experiences of others, and we’re also always looking for writers who are keen to share their thoughts and stories.

Our YouTube channel contains a range of videos from our events, information on Shine, and also interviews on key topics such as fertility, sex after cancer, coping with anxiety, depression and PTSD- and more- under our Shine TV brand.

In addition, we’ve recently created the first in a series of ‘Real Life Guides’ to life after cancer.  Our first guide covers travel insurance after cancer- something we know is a hot topic for our community!  This guide is available for free download via our website.


Shine Networks

We have 14 networks across the UK.  Each Network is run by volunteers who are younger adults with cancer.  They meet up regularly for drinks, coffee and evenings out. They're informal and friendly (we promise!) and a great way to meet people with similar experiences.  Get in touch with our volunteer network leaders to find out more about what is happening in your area.


Great Escape

The Great Escape is our flagship retreat-style event, bringing together 22 young adults with cancer for 3.5 days of specialist advice, information, peer support and fun.  We run the Escape in Bournemouth (January) and Manchester (October) each year.  You can watch a video of our 2018 Great Escape here.


Shine Connect

Shine Connect is a one-day conference for young adults with cancer and healthcare professionals.  Topics are chosen by our community and have included: dating after cancer, coping with anxiety, managing fatigue, building resilience, returning to work after cancer-and we even have free massages and therapy dogs! We hope the video below from the 2018 Shine Connect event will give you an insight for the day and what it can offer you.


Shine Camp

Shine Camp is an annual event for Shine members as well as friends, partners and family.  It is held in Dorset in July and is a low cost weekend (most food is provided and Shine members go free).  Shine camp does not have a strict agenda but the emphasis is on meeting others and relaxing.  Activities have included walks, yoga, pancake breakfasts, quiz nights.  In 2019 we are celebrating our tenth camp and the event is being funded through a grant received from the Aviva Community Fund.


Workshops and Coaching

We frequently run topical workshops for our community.  In the past these have included workshops on working after cancer and coping with anxiety.  Keep an eye on our events page for our next workshops.

Shine also runs a unique ‘Coaching after Cancer’ programme which focuses on enabling young adults to think about the future and supporting them to make positive choices, particularly in relation to their working life.  


For More Information About Shine Please Visit:

Our website:

Our Facebook page:



Email general enquiries:


Can You Help Us To Shape The Future Of Support For Young Adults With Cancer?

Please click here and tell us what you think.  It will take 10 minutes and as a thank you, you can enter to win one of three £25 Amazon gift cards.  Questions? Email us at Thank you!


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