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My TeenFEST Experience

Posted Tue 31st Jul 2018 at 15:18
by Saffron Cook


Recently diagnosed, 18 year old Saffron Cook tells us all about meeting others with TS for the first time and her experience atTeenFEST 2018.

Although new to the Tourette’s world I have so far found it to be a combination of irritating, tiring, spontaneous and funny. As you can imagine this makes my life all the more interesting.


So no matter what I do or where my feet take me, there is one thing I can’t help and that is being the centre of attention. I can seem rambunctious at times and it pique people's interest, which means they stare, of course they do. But on the weekend of the 27th -29th June, myself and several other teenagers living with Tourettes had the opportunity to have a weekend away in Cumbria to take part in activities and make new friends living in the same Tourettes world.


Before this weekend I had yet to meet anyone else living with Tourettes, so for me this was a big step. It would of been a nerve racking journey there even without the one hour train delays and the lovely lady who gave me a lift after spotting me walking along the side of a country road (Thank you so much!). But when I arrived at the centre the atmosphere was instant, everyone was amiable, cheerful and eager to get people engaged and talking. And of course it was loud and part of me thought how on earth would I get through the weekend, but eventually it all became background noise and became so easy to just be myself and not worry about the consequences that usually come with that.


As the evening got quieter it became apparent a) how long teenagers stay awake for and b) How easy it was to make friends.  By morning most of us were refreshed and ready for the day, and some should of gone to bed earlier. But by the time Saturday rolled around, the glorious sunshine had unfortunately given way to thunder and rain, after breakfast we started off the day with some archery, although the wind was against us the rain gave itself a break and worked in our favour. By the afternoon we headed off to a climbing centre to do some indoor rock climbing with the most patient bus driver ever, Jeffrey. Well I should say Michael, but a friends tic had decided differently and of course it caught on to the point where we realised we didn't actually know his real name. Whilst at rock climbing we had races to the top, we climbed in the dark and jumped from posts in the air. And returned to the centre with a very patient and brilliant Jeffrey and very worn out. In the evening we ordered pizza although I don't like cheese so I had mine without, yes I’m weird.  On the Sunday we had brunch with parents and told them about the brilliant weekend we had, the memories and friends we made.


So my little Tourettes world became that much larger for a weekend, so much more enjoyable and held so many brilliant memories. It’s an event I hope will see continued in the future and get so much bigger.

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My TeenFEST Experience

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