Youth cancer charity CanTeen hits refresh with new CEO
May 1, 2019 – Youth cancer charity CanTeen New Zealand has appointed CEO Nick Laing to lead the organisation into a new phase of service delivery following a restructure last year.
Nick comes from the NZ AIDS Foundation (NZAF) where he was General Manager of Operations for almost five years. He brings significant health sector experience, having also held senior roles at the Auckland District Health Board.
“I strongly believe that no young person should go through cancer alone – whether they’ve been diagnosed with cancer themselves or have a family member impacted by the disease,” he says.
“I’m confident I can lead our team in developing a robust fundraising strategy to secure our long-term financial stability, plus ensure the successful implementation of our new services model which will enable us to continue to support young people facing cancer.”
CanTeen is also adding Lucy Barnes to its leadership team as Psychosocial Support Manager. Lucy will lead the implementation of CanTeen’s new delivery model focusing on supporting the individual needs of young people impacted by cancer.
She will oversee a team of Psychosocial Support Workers and Youth Workers to create opportunities for face-to-face individual support, peer support, therapeutic group work and recreation events.
Jess Hamilton, a youth Member Director on the CanTeen Board, says she is excited to be a part of this new chapter of CanTeen.
“I joined CanTeen as a patient member after being diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Adamantinoma. From the start, I had such a passion for CanTeen and all that it stands for,” she says.
“Interacting with other young people who were going through similar traumas and major changes in all aspects of their life helped me get through mine. I believe that these changes within the organisation will allow us to continue to fulfil our purpose to support and empower young people living with cancer.”
CanTeen’s new ‘hubs and spokes’ service model includes hubs located in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Each hub is made up of youth workers and social workers who provide individual support and peer support programs, such as specialist grief and loss programs for young people going through cancer for the first time.
Supplementing these hubs is a new online service offering peer support and counselling via www.canteensupport.org.nz, as well as access to a phone counselling service.
“I’ve chatted to many CanTeen members who were a little apprehensive about trying out the online services at first but have since realised their value. The online support includes professional counselling seven days a week and a moderated online peer community where young people can share their experiences and support one other,” Jess explains.
“I encourage all young people who are impacted by cancer to reach out to CanTeen because the support and advice they’ll receive is invaluable.”
CanTeen has supported young Kiwis who are impacted by cancer for more than 30 years and its vision remains unchanged – to make sure that no young person faces cancer alone.