Shine London was born when Shine's directors, Emma and Ceinwen, met and discussed expanding the original networks around Dorset into new and unchartered territories! It was clear that the gap in support that was plugged by Shine in Dorset was also the case round much of the country. Shine London was officially launched as a network in 2010 and was run by Ceinwen and Christopher until 2017 when they handed the baton over to Clare, Jess, Rae and Conor. What started as a few members has now grown to over three hundred and fifty!
Shine London aims to offer support and identification to young adults in London living with a cancer diagnosis. However, we also try to be more than just your average support group. We aim to organise meet ups that appeal to younger adults; you're more likely to find us killing it at a pub quiz or taking advantage of east London's nightlife than sitting quietly discussing our diagnoses. This means we can talk about our experiences when we want to but there is no obligation to do so - at our meet ups you just know you're with people who get it.
We try to meet once or twice a month - mixing up evening and daytime meet ups. We are really keen to take full advantage of all the amazing things London has to offer and try to mix up the types of locations and activities we take part in. We try and vary which part of London we meet in too to give everyone the opportunity to have easier access to our meet ups. We always welcome suggestions for things you'd like to do. And we totally understand that attending a meet up can be daunting at first so are happy to meet you beforehand to reassure you and give you someone to walk in with! We also hold a friends and family picnic in the summer in one of our beautiful parks and an annual fundraiser to help support the work the network do.
Meet the volunteer Network Leaders!
Hey there, I’m Conor and I became a network leader for London in January, 2019. I had been attending various Shine events for a couple of years and was thrilled to be asked to get even more involved. We don’t all have friendship groups that allow us to feel comfortable talking about the more serious aspects of our treatment and recovery (I certainly didn’t) and so Shine has been very impactful in my life in that regard.
A month before my 25th birthday, I was diagnosed with a Ewing’s Sarcoma in my rib. A tumor the size of a melon had formed. During my 9 months of treatment, which included chemotherapy, radiotherapy and major surgery, I didn’t meet a single person close in age to myself who had or was experiencing something similar. Within hours of my first Shine event, I met my friend and fellow network leader Clare, whose story isn’t so dissimilar from my own. If you’re feeling down on your luck and that there’s no one out there who could possibly know what you’re going through, well you may be right, but you should also consider coming to a Shine event and hearing first hand about all the unusual and remarkable stories people have to share about themselves.