About us Our story Our Story Trekstock was founded in 2009 by Sophie Epstone after she became aware of a huge gap in tailored support services for those diagnosed with cancer in their 20s or 30s. Sophie witnessed the lack of support for young adults diagnosed with cancer after a family friend had treatment for lymphoma around this time and found himself in hospital surrounded by people much older than him (a trend we now know is all too common). The people in those spaces had different concerns - they weren’t worried about fertility or navigating their early careers. Their concerns about body image and taking care of young kids weren’t the same as people in their 20s or 30s undergoing treatment were facing. There was no age-appropriate support and Sophie wanted to do something to help. So she signed up to climb Mount Everest. Obviously. A cause with music and fundraising at its heart To fundraise for her trek, she decided to host a gig and, playing on the name of iconic music festival Woodstock, call it Trekstock. She made some I <3 Trekstock badges and took them to Glastonbury when fate stepped in and allowed her to meet some celebs (and not just any celebs - think Mark Ronson, Beth Ditto of The Gossip, Florence Welch and many, many more), who posed with the badges to support the cause. The name spread and Trekstock quickly became a ‘thing’. Before long, trekking and hosting secret gigs to raise money for young adults thrown the curveball of a cancer diagnosis when they should have been living their lives became a regular part of Sophie’s year. When she was made redundant from her marketing job, she made the decision to register Trekstock as a charity. After meeting at Glastonbury, Mark Ronson came on board as a Patron and the charity was launched at Downing Street on 17th March 2010, at an event hosted by Maggie Darling. Community and connection Having not been directly impacted by a cancer diagnosis herself, Sophie knew she couldn’t speak for the people she wanted to help, so she set up the first Trekstock Young Person’s Panel to find out exactly what they needed. The panel, made up of friends and voices from within the cancer community, including Sophie’s good friend Ruth who also became a driving force behind Trekstock, pulled together a list of all the things they needed support with. They wanted more community, connection, fitness, health and wellbeing, being seen as a human rather than just a cancer patient and emotional support to deal with the cancer fallout. And so Trekstock set about figuring out how to provide solutions to these problems. Our way of speaking to the community to find out what they need and responding by creating services to meet those needs was born. People, as well as music and fundraising, quickly became the heart of Trekstock. Sophie saw a gap that she felt she could help fill - but this is a charity founded on connection. Daring to be Different Many people helped us get to where we are today. There were the big names at the fundraising gigs played by Bloc Party, The Gossip and The Klaxons to name a few, and Patrons and Ambassadors like Mark Ronson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne who helped us get our name out there. Not to mention worldwide celebrities who posed with their I <3 Trekstock badge from The Kings of Leon and Coldplay to Beyonce. But it’s the people behind the scenes who made Trekstock what it is and continue to make us what we are. The people who supported Sophie as she sat at the kitchen table making bold plans to change the world. Six degrees of separation got Trekstock into Downing Street for the launch of the charity, the Young Person’s Panel who shared their experiences so generously, and our first trustee, Andy. Andy encouraged us to “dare to be different”. He was living with cancer in the early days of Trekstock but he was dedicated to the charity and instrumental in its inception. He believed we could make a difference. Andy died eight years ago, but he still plays a huge part in what Trekstock is now. With him in mind, we still dare to be different. The connections that got us to where we are now are the crux of what we do - a charity that focuses on cultivating connections and community amongst a group of people at a time when they need it most.