How Finery Is Supporting Trekstock
Chances are when you think of cancer your mind doesn’t automatically jump to adults in their twenties and thirties. Instead, those later in life are the ones we most often associate with the disease. Trekstock - a charity based in central London - is challenging that perception through the work they do supporting men and women of this age. With 34 people aged between 20 and 39 being diagnosed each day, there is clearly a need for something like this, which is why we have partnered with them to donate £2 per every purchase made during Black Friday. We spent time with founder Sophie Epstone to talk about helping people to thrive, Mark Ronson and why exercise is key.
What would you do if you found out one of your close friends had just been diagnosed with cancer? Send them a card and flowers? Sign up to run a marathon in their honour? Or just simply check in on them each day? While all of these things are incredible, Sophie Epstone went one step further after discovering a family friend had the dreaded Big C. After returning from a fundraising trek up Mount Everest, she started a gig called ‘Trekstock’ which quickly snowballed into a charity in its own right. ‘The support for it just grew and grew,’ remembers Sophie. After registering Trekstock as a charity in 2009, it officially launched the following year at Downing Street. Since then, Sophie and her team of five have gone on to support young adults at a time when they need it the most.
‘We all remember what we were doing in our twenties or thirties and often take it for granted, but this isn’t the case for those who are told they have cancer. Everything suddenly becomes a lot more complicated’. At a time when many of us are coming of age in terms of careers and relationships, facing a challenge like cancer can leave patients utterly blindsided, which is where Trekstock steps in. ‘TYA (teenage and young adult services) stop at 25,’ explains Sophie. ‘It’s at that point that people feel like a ‘lost tribe’ - we’re here to help them thrive.’
Trekstock does this in a number of different ways. From helping with psychological wellbeing to social support, the charity finds a way to help. Exercise and getting people moving again is also a core element. ‘We run a 12 week exercise programme called RENEW and I’ve seen firsthand how it can be life-changing for so many. The impact hasn’t just been physical, it also dramatically improves chronic fatigue levels and psychological well-being.’ Developed to empower young adults to get moving again and regain their strength, RENEW works with qualified Level 4 Cancer and Exercise Rehabilitation instructors to ensure each person has a fitness regime tailored to their needs. ‘73% of the young adults we support tell us they need help getting moving again physically after cancer, so it’s programmes like this that we want to scale across the UK.’
Scaling these programmes requires not only more funds, but increasing awareness of the charity. Mark Ronson, a Trekstock ambassador since the beginning, has helped with this, as have Harry Styles and Ella Mills (otherwise known as Deliciously Ella). ‘All our ambassadors have been so amazing in helping us get the word out there. Mark believed in us from the beginning when he took a chance and got behind my vision for Trekstock. Harry and Liam [Payne] catapulted us in front of an enormous of amount of young people to raise awareness, not to mention helped us fundraise and I’m so grateful to them for their continued support.’
These ambassadors have also been instrumental in growing the charity’s social media presence, something which Sophie says is vital. ‘This is such a useful tool for us to engage with those both looking for support and who want to support us.’ This increase of awareness clearly works. ‘Just last week, Toby - who we’ve been supporting - told me that he found Trekstock after buying a T-shirt we did in collaboration with Bastille as part of our Yellow Bird Project.’ Another string to Trekstock’s bow, the Yellow Bird Project creates exclusive band T-shirts with 100% of the profits going to Trekstock.
One thing that Sophie and her team are keenly aware of is how cancer can decimate someone’s confidence. To help with this, they run events such as Mingle & Move that allows guests to swap clothes, get advice from stylists who work with the likes of Lady Gaga and Julianne Moore and simply spend time with people who are in the same boat as them. ‘Cancer comes with a complicated set of physical and emotional challenges that can put life on hold when you least expect it, let alone have prepared for it,’ says Sophie. ‘It’s lonely and isolating and we recognise the impact it can have not just at the treatment stage, but throughout life after cancer.’
It is this commitment that first attracted us to working with Trekstock. ‘We set up this partnership because we were inspired by Sophie and her amazing team, their story, who they help and the way they do it,’ says John Hind, Finery’s CEO. ‘For us, it’s personal. We have sons, daughters, sisters, brothers and friends and we think Trekstock is making a real difference to a group of people that is often overlooked when it comes to cancer. Not young children, not older people, but younger adults who have been fit and healthy. They and their families are facing the greatest challenge of their lives and Trekstock is supporting them and helping them fight to live a full life. This is such an inspiring goal and one which we are all very proud to be part of.’ Fortunately, it’s a sentiment shared by Sophie. ‘We’re more committed than ever to making a real impact but we can only achieve that with the support of our brilliant friends and partners like Finery. We’re really grateful to the team for fundraising for Trekstock this Black Friday.’
This Black Friday we are donating £2 from every net order to Trekstock. To make a donation of your own please click here.
Shop Black Friday now and receive 40% off* all collections with code BLACK40.
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*Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Expires midnight Monday 26th November 2018. Trekstock is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under number 06919669 and Registered as a Charity Number 1132421.