Charlene Young is co-founder of 2gether Konnected, a charity which connects cancer patients and their families with the right services. 2gether Konnected have been based in Peckham Levels since 2019.
We spoke to Charlene about her entrepreneurial spirit, her motivational mother and what resources are available to people living with cancer.
Your hard work and perseverance is truly inspiring, you have much deservedly earned the titles, Mother, Entrepreneur, Cancer Warrior & Support Coach, Mentor Public Speaker, Events & Seminar Leader. What was the best piece of advice you were given along your journey and how has it helped you?
One of the best pieces of advice given to me was to always appreciate how far you have come, show gratitude and keep going – no matter the obstacles. This has helped me in all areas of my life, and I stand true to this, especially when the weight of the world is on my shoulders or when my health is not the best. I wake up to daily affirmations on my bedroom wall that keeps me fighting, feeling positive and grateful for everything I am doing and all I have achieved.
Growing up, who was your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration, whilst growing up was my mother. She is a strong black woman who worked hard to provide for me and my sibling. Her work ethic was first-class. Despite all the adversities she went through, her strength and determination has always inspired me to keep pushing forward, never to give up, always aim high and do my absolute best at everything I am involved in.
What experiences motivated you to start a business at just 19?
From a young age I was very entrepreneurial. When I became a Manager at the age of 19, I used to constantly receive CV’s from young people looking for employment. I was always saddened by the way CV’s were presented, grammatical mistakes with no or little information etc. I wanted to help so I started my own CV Consultancy. I have always enjoyed writing them and got great satisfaction knowing that it leads to an interview or job offer. I began writing for family and friends and later expanded.
For someone who wants to turn their dream into a reality, can you suggest three actions they can take today?
– Create a plan of action and set realistic time frames
– Get a mentor/friend/accountability partner who will support you
– Don’t delay – just do it!
You are a brand ambassador for Black Women Rising, how important has it been for you to connect with black women who have shared experiences with their health?
Black Women Rising has been a safe place for me to talk, connect, bond and share my journey. I can openly share my feelings without being misunderstood, without having to explain myself and without being judged. It allows me to tell my story and it gave me the confidence to share my physical scar for the first time, 8 years after diagnosis. This project will always have a special place in my heart.
Are there any resources you would recommend to someone who is living with cancer?
- Get in touch with the charity/organisation that is specific to your cancer
- Find a support group that you are comfortable with
- Contact signposting organisations who will locate services for you
- Document your journey – use a diary, blog, pictures, videos
Is there anything you are currently working on that we should keep an eye out for?Keep an eye out for updates on all my projects by visiting my website www.bit.ly/iamcharlene