If you’ve been living here more than a couple of years, you’ve probably heard of the local charity Team Jak Foundation or seen their collection tins in local shops and organisations.
Jak Trueman was the teenager from Mid Calder who touched everyone’s hearts with his sudden and short fight three years ago with the rare cancer T-Cell Lymphoma. In his short time he set up a charity as he wanted other young people touched by cancer – themselves and their siblings – as well as their families, to have emotional and practical support to ease the journey. Jak ploughed through a bucket list of activities before he left; and this energy and sense of grasping life for what it is, is what infuses the charity Team Jak today.
I met last month with one of their stalwart volunteers, Hazel McLinden, and the chairman of the board and Jak’s grandpa, Walter Barr, to see where they are up to. At their premises in Livingston, “Jak’s Den” offers counselling, activity days, magic shows, teen days, X-Box and PS4 challenges, arts and crafts, coffee mornings, music therapy, counselling, pamper days, alternative therapies and much, much more. They are currently supporting over 100 families with their activities in Livingston, and have also started offering outreach services at hospitals and “pop-up Dens” elsewhere in Scotland.
“Support for Team Jak has been phenomenal,” says Hazel, “but people move on, another cause comes along, which is understandable. We need to get the message out that we still rely very much on volunteers to deliver our services, and we need more volunteers to enable us to carry on delivering them and to develop the charity.”
People can help in just about any capacity with the activities of Team Jak. Whether you have some specialist skills, or just a few hours a month to contribute, your help will be very welcome. Please contact Team Jak if you can help, contact details below.
Team Jak needs volunteers to:
* drop off and pick up the collection tins in local shops
* help at events
* help with office and admin work
* raise funds, through events or grant applications
* help with marketing, social media, website and technical
* join the board to help direct the charity going forwards
* provide befriending services, for children and their parents
* cleaning at the Den and offices
“Volunteering for Team Jak is rewarding and gives me a sense of achievement knowing I am helping make children with cancer smile a little during treatment “
“I love volunteering for Team Jak, I have also learned so many new skills as Team a Jak makes sure I have training opportunities to help me help others.”
“Team Jak is a fabulous charity to volunteer for, I really feel appreciated and I can see volunteers are an integral part of the team.”
“I was delighted to receive an award at last year’s volunteer award ceremony. A lovely event that made me feel special and has actually made me aim for my next award all whilst helping families living with childhood cancer.”
To find out more about the recruitment activities happening during this week visit the website on www.teamjak.org.uk or Facebook
Every day 11 children are diagnosed with cancer. 3 won't survive. Help us create smiles and ease the journey of these families. A donation of:
£5 could provide snacks for 2 kids
£10 could provide art and craft activities for a child in Jak's Den
£20 could provide an hour of outreach support from a Support Worker for a week in hospital
£25 could pay for a counselling session for our warriors or siblings
£50 could provide 2 counselling sessions for our young people
£100 could pay for an activity session for our warrior and angel families in Jak's Den
Team Jak Foundation was Jak’s personal vision. It provides practical, social and emotional support to children and young people with cancer, related illnesses, their families and those bereaved. "Creating smiles, easing the journey"
Geddes House, Kirkton North, Livingston, EH54 6GU 01506 412302 | www.teamjak.org.uk
Facebook: Team Jak Foundation- Jak's Den
Team Jak Foundation is a charity registered in Scotland, SC045586
First published in Konect October 2018
Author: Helen-Jane Shearer