Trekstock interview

Hey guys! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me. So, as we prepare for the Trekstock fundraiser on the 17th of March, I thought I would gather some info for people who might want to discover more about the organisation and what you do! 
So let’s start at the beginning… When did you start Trekstock? 
Our CEO and Founder Sophie Epstone founded Trekstock after a close family friend was diagnosed with cancer. Sophie wanted to do something to help so she signed up to an Everest trek to raise funds and awareness. Back then it was just an idea while she was working in fashion… The fundraising began with a gig called ‘Trekstock’. The support for it grew and grew so she registered as a charity in 2009, the following year we launched at Downing Street, Mark Ronson became a Patron and we’ve never looked back.
And what was it that spurred you to start Trekstock ? 
We all remember what we were doing in our 20s or 30s and often take it for granted, this isn’t the case for those who are told they have cancer – everything suddenly becomes a lot more complicated. Every day, 34 young adults are diagnosed with cancer in the UK, which leaves visible and invisible imprints, such as feeling isolated, navigating relationships, defining yourself after treatment ends, getting moving again and planning for the future. Not only that, teenage and young adult services stop at 25 – it’s at that point that people feel like a ‘lost tribe’… We’re here to help them thrive. We’re passionate about helping people take back control over their physical and psychological wellbeing, create meaningful connections with others and make positive lasting changes that will aid their recovery and rebuild their lives after cancer.
So your primary objective is to “support young adults with cancer”, can you please outline for the Resonant Frequency followers exactly what this support system consists of? 
A cancer diagnosis for a young adult leaves invisible imprints; isolation, defining yourself after treatment ends, getting moving again and planning for the future. We feel more strongly than ever that this group of young adults need and deserve dedicated support programmes to help them deal with the emotional and physical impact of cancer, and to help get them moving again once treatment ends. We get them moving physically, psychologically and socially through and beyond cancer. We’re there whenever people need us and for as long as they need. Trekstock delivers practical and social support programmes tailored to the needs of young adults, to give them a better chance of living well through and beyond cancer.  All of our programmes are developed in collaboration with the people we support and work to improve their physical and psychological wellbeing, their quality of life and provide them with the tools they need to get moving again through and beyond treatment. We run nationwide social support meet ups, events that with a focus wellbeing, exercise and confidence, run a tailored exercise programme and reach our beneficiaries through digital support services.
For anybody who’s been diagnosed with cancer, how would they go about finding Trekstock and gaining access to this support? 
People can find out about us from a google search, through our active social media platforms or from Healthcare professionals and other charities signposting too. They can access our support by signing up to our events on our website, heading to our Facebook page or joining the community by filling in our online sign up which enables us to know the exact support someone needs.If you have any questions about the support we offer please email and Jemima our Health Programmes Lead will happily get in touch.
It seems very common to see a big enthuses on cancer charities/organisations who’s primary goal is to cure cancer, rather than offer support and advice like Trekstock focuses on, getting the main spotlight. With this said, how do you go about putting your name out there and proving (quite rightly!) that a support system and advice is just as important as the cure research side of cancer charities to people who may not be going through the struggles of the condition? 
Whilst finding a cure will continue to be a priority, now that cancer is recognised by The World Health Organisation as a long term condition, the focus needs to change. More people are surviving cancer but at what cost to their mental and physical wellbeing? Being diagnosed at any age with cancer is debilitating, but being diagnosed in your 20s or 30s, at such a key stage of an individual’s life where the building blocks of life are built, stops all of this in its tracks.  People tell us this is so isolating as they are the youngest in the waiting room, as the average age of people with cancer is 70+. This is why the support of Trekstock is so important, alongside research into curing cancer, as the visible and invisible imprint cancer has on people’s lives is life changing and can be hugely debilitating. The tailored support Trekstock offers young adults to find their new normal and navigate getting moving again physically, socially and psychologically plays such an important part in their recovery at such an important point in their life. Our events and physical activity programmes provide a chance to meet and get active together with others who get it too. The power of peer support can not be underestimated.
For anybody who might want to support Trekstock and do some fundraising projects can you explain how they might go about doing so?
There are so many ways for you to get involved and support Trekstock. It’s our 10th anniversary this year and we want to reach more young adults with cancer than ever before. There are several opportunities to help us achieve this. 
Our Jurassic Coast trek is a tough one day challenge which will have you trekking 30km along the stunning South West Coast Path. Whilst the distance alone would make this a tough challenge, the nature of the undulating terrain will have you ascending over 1700m of ascent, greater than climbing to the summit of Ben Nevis! The team at Trekstock have all signed up to mark our tenth anniversary and we’d love you to join us. We have full and half trek options available.
Challenge your colleagues, customers and friends to join us on a 10-mile urban trek from Greenwich Grind to Frame, Kings Cross to celebrate Trekstock’s 10th anniversary. We’ll supply the map, snacks and good vibes. Grab your spot now.
I became aware of Trekstock through my friend Saima and her work with her blog “Curry and Cancer”. One very important point she raised was about Cancer and the way it’s not discussed within certain cultural circles and belief systems etc. Do you see this first hand with your dealing with certain (or lack of) nationalities at Trekstock ? 
Yes we do and this is something we are keen to talk about more and will be publishing a story about life as a 24 year old living with brain cancer coming from a Chinese culture. It is something that is so important to raise awareness about in all age groups but particularly for 20-30s where sometimes parent child relationships are more tricky.  Also its something we are working with Saima on and other people in our Trekstock community and are excited to be continuing to address this by setting up a BAME meet up group so other people can meet others in their 20s and 30s who get the cultural issues and difficulties having cancer brings.
We are keen to shine a light on this more and more by continuing to open up the conversations and support Saima and others like her to continue to do so.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us guys!!! 

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