We understand that it can feel scary to come along, especially when you don't know anyone. We asked Jim to tell us about his experience of coming along to his first Trekstock events.

I found out about Trekstock through another charity I’d reached out to. Post-treatment I realised I needed cancer-specific support but unfortunately, this wasn’t available through the NHS. The awesome CNS’s at my clinic introduced me firstly to Maggie’s, who in turn signposted me to Trekstock.

The morning of my first meet up I was so nervous I almost didn’t go; I didn’t know anyone who’d be there and I’d never been to something like this before. A quick call to my family boosted my courage and I decided to head over to the coffee shop to meet everyone.

During treatment, I didn’t speak to many other patients and those I did were quite a bit older than me. Until my first Trekstock meet up I hadn’t spoken to anyone my age who’d had cancer. I enjoyed speaking to new people and sharing my experiences with them, it felt liberating knowing I was talking to people who understand. Listening to other people’s journeys I was taken aback (in a good way) at how relatable they were, even if we’d had different treatments. Going to the meet up made me feel like I’m not alone and I remember walking out feeling so positive.

I also went to the male meet up in March before social distancing measures came into place. Ryan from Cancer Lads Facebooked me the week before, which was a really nice touch and gave me confidence having spoken to someone else who was going. We went bowling and grabbed some food afterwards, the guys chatted about a lot of things; both treatment-related stuff but also all the things that surround it all like family, relationships and friends. It was good to speak with other young men who’d had similar experiences and I’m glad Trekstock do the male meet up’s as part of the support they provide.

It took me a while to realise I needed support and when I did reach out there was no funding in the NHS to provide this. Charities like Trekstock are important as they provide this space for young men in their twenties and thirties, both at the meet ups and on social media. It has been a game-changer for me over the last few months.