Shining a light on – Trekstock

Jemima Reynolds, Health Programmes and Engagement Manager

8th February 2019

Helping young adults with cancer get moving again

Every day in the UK 34 young adults are told the life shattering words ‘you have cancer’, stopping them in their tracks. Trekstock is working hard to be here for each and every one of them.

At Trekstock we are passionate about supporting young adults in their 20s and 30s to get moving again, by equipping them with the tools they need to find their new ‘normal’ and thrive with, through and beyond cancer.

Over the last few years there have been advances in the early detection and treatment of cancer, but for many young adults an early diagnosis is still not common. Many have made countless trips to the GP before their cancer diagnosis is discovered or due to their age, cancer is often not on the GP’s radar. This often sadly results in an unnecessarily late stage cancer diagnosis. Like C the Signs, we want to see this change.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis at any age is hard enough but being diagnosed at such a key stage of your life presents a whole range of challenges that often get overlooked. Imagine facing cancer at this pivotal time of your life, dealing with a multitude of long term effects, including: debilitating chronic fatigue, premature questions around fertility, difficulties with finances and holding down a job whilst also coping with all being in your 20s and 30s can normally bring. This is especially difficult whilst your peers continue through life, going up the career ladder, getting married and having kids. It’s no wonder that a higher incidence of depression, anxiety and PTSD is found amongst this age group. Trekstock works hard to support young adults get moving again physically, socially and psychologically, through varied programmes and events. All of our programmes are designed to meet the support needs of our community – from meeting others, getting active to getting their confidence back.

Currently 89% of our beneficiaries are telling us they need psychological support and 71% are asking us for help to become more physically active to regain their strength. We recognise they still want to have fun, still want to be active and still want to socialise, so our programmes do just that. All of our programmes aim to tackle the key needs of this age group ensuring they are seen as young adults first and foremost and not defined by their cancer.

To tackle social isolation we have an active and supportive Facebook group, as well as social gatherings where they can meet others in person who just get it, no explanations needed. We also offer support to young adults wanting to get active again through our online and offline resources from our yoga and exercise YouTube videos to our 12 week 1-1 exercise programme RENEW, delivered by cancer Rehab trainers in a gym, open to those on and off treatment.

We recently combined social and physical support through our regional Meet & Move events, held across the UK. These one day events encompass wellbeing in partnership with the charity Maggies, bringing young adults together in a beautiful and safe environment to get active and try and learn from experts who are there to inform and empower. Trekstock also runs Style Nights with top stylists to help build confidence and improve body image. All Trekstock events help young adults to live well with cancer, find their tribe and thrive.

“When I finished chemotherapy I felt so fatigued and unconfident. I could never see myself back in my old life again, but I was determined to move on and Trekstock gave me the perfect motivation and support when I needed it the most.” Olivia, 32

To find out more about our programmes head to https://www.trekstock.com/getsupport

To sign up young adults to our exercise programme: https://www.trekstock.com/Pages/Category/exercise-programmes