A CANCER charity fundraising group set up by a Dinas Powys woman is celebrating its second birthday during Volunteers Week.

Teen Spirit, set up by cancer survivor Lara Cowpe, was set up two years ago this June to help Teenage Cancer Trust raise much needed funds and awareness of the charities vital work with teenagers and young adults affected by cancer.

In that time they have raised an incredible £44,192 by hosting events such as 70s nights, coffee mornings, cake sales, fundraising balls, choir concerts and sponsored events.

Volunteers’ Week is a chance for everyone to say a huge thank you to their amazing volunteers. From joining a fundraising group to using their cancer experience to make a difference, thousands of people give their time unpaid to help people affected by cancer across the UK.

The week long event ends on June 7 this year.

Lara Cowpe decided to fundraise for the charity after a member of TCT’s education team came to speak to her sixth form nine years ago, to raise awareness of the campaign to build a unit at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. Two years ago, after meeting a number of people who wanted to get involved with awareness and fundraising, she set up Teen Spirit, in order for the group members to host events and talks in a supported environment.

Lara, who works as an occupational therapist, said: "We now have 15 members. It is fantastic to see young people getting involved and working together to raise money and awareness for Teenage Cancer Trust’s work in South Wales. We have been privileged to be supported by a number of local companies and individuals. The main challenge is spreading the word to new people/groups/businesses. Once they meet us and have the opportunity to hear a talk from one of our members, many have commented that they have been touched by our stories and enthusiasm and have then asked how they can help. We have had great fun at our events and have always maintained that raising awareness of teenage cancer is just as important, if not more so, than how much money we raise."

Teenage Cancer Trust opened its state-of-the-art eight bed unit at University Hospital Wales in 2009. The unit caters for young cancer patients aged between 14 and 25 and includes a chill-out zone, access to media facilities such as the internet, TV and music, a dining area, patients kitchen and parents room with kitchenette. The vibrant wall designs and furniture also help make the unit a home-from-home experience.

To support Teenage Cancer Trust in South Wales by giving your time or holding your own fundraising event for us please contact Debbie Jones on debbie.jones@teenagecancertrust.org or call 07985 471429. For more information on Teenage Cancer Trust visit www.teenagecancertrust.org

For more information about Teen Spirit visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TeenSpirit4TCT or email Lara at laracowpe@gmail.com