On the 10th of December, the Robin Cancer Trust will be painting the town red by lighting up Jumbo, we caught up with Toby Freeman CEO of the Robin Cancer Trust to tell us more...
Tell us some more about your charity and why it was set up?
The charity was set-up following the untimely death of my brother Robin, aged just 24. He was diagnosed in early 2011 with a rare form of germ cell cancer, and following a ten month battle he passed away on Saturday 10th December.
Whilst he was ill we swiftly realised that there was a lack of information available regarding germ cell cancers, something we struggled with during his treatment. A few months after he'd passed, we decided that something good had to come from losing Rob, and that started us on our journey to becoming the UK's only dedicated germ cell cancer charity!
Our aim is to raise awareness, reduce embarrassment and save lives through the early detection of germ cell cancers in young adults - through print, online & at events.
What was the inspiration behind lighting up Jumbo on the 10th of December?
This weekend, on Saturday 10th December, marks 5 years to the day since we lost Rob. It's a very poignant anniversary for us and every year we ask our supporters to wear red - our charity colour.
With this year being a major milestone in both our personal and charity lives, we wanted to do something big - both to remember Rob, and celebrate everything we have achieved in his name - reaching millions of people across the world with our awareness campaigns, helping to save young lives.
We founded the charity in Colchester, and have continued to be humbled by the support and love shown by the people of our hometown. Lighting up Jumbo, our most iconic landmark, was a fitting tribute to everything we have achieved together.
How can our readers support #RedForRobin on the lead up to the 10th of December?
In the lead-up to #RedForRobin, we're asking our supporters to add our temporary filter to their profile-pictures on Facebook & Twitter - so far over 300 people have supported our campaign. It has been truly humbling to see so many people, many of whom never had the chance to meet Rob, support our charity. http://twibbon.com/Support/redforrobin
On the day, supporting the campaign is as simple as:
- Saturday 10th December
- Wear something red
- Take a selfie
- Upload it to social media
- Use the hastag #RedForRobin
- Text ROBIN to 70300 to donate £3
How can people get involved with The Robin Cancer Trust?
We are always looking for volunteers to help us raise awareness at events! This year alone we have had over 200 volunteers donating over 1,500 volunteer-hours - helping us reach tens of thousand of people in the community with our life-saving campaigns. You can sign-up via our website to receive our monthly newsletter: http://www.therobincancertrust.org/teamrct or you can join our facebook group to be kept up-to-date with the latest RCT news: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamRCT
Now abit about the people behind The Robin Cancer Trust
The RCT was set-up by my family, and over the years we have had some amazing people join us as trustees - helping us to grow the charity from an idea into what it is today. My Mum and Dad work tirelessly to raise awareness in Rob's name, and are always the first to give up their time and effort (and space in their house!) to help us reach our goals. Alongside them, their fellow trustees are some of the most dedicated, inspirational individuals I've ever met, driving the charity forward and ensuring the longevity and sustainability of our objectives.
How long have you lived in Colchester and tell us one of your favourite things about the town?
Growing up in Wivenhoe, I've always been a 'local' - but I've lived in Colchester for the past 3 years now my absolute favourite thing about our hometown is the history. It's so easy to take for granted what we have in Colchester, especially when you're surrounded by it everyday, but I recently had a couple of friends over from America, and showing them around the town re-kindled my appreciation for how lucky we are...
From the Roman Walls, to Colchester Castle, to the musket ball holes in the Old Seige House and the legends of a fair-few nursery rhymes (regardless of whether they're true!) you can't escape the history of Colchester, and I think it's something we should all be proud of.
There’s been a ton of great independent restaurants pop up recently, which we love! Where’s your favourite place to eat in the town right now? Do you have a go-to spot at the weekend? Colchester has a ton of awesome new bars and cafes and we’re excited to share what’s going on in the town!
Three Wise Monkeys is my go-to venue for food, drinks and entertainment! They've been around for a couple of years now but are always innovating, creating and expanding - there's always something new to experience and I think they bring the best out of Colchester.
I'm also really excited to see Queen St. Brewhouse are expanding into a new space, as the team are always pushing the boundaries and offering something new - so I can't wait to see what that brings to the town.
I also feel I have to give The Nourish Co a shout-out for cooking the best chilli I've ever eaten (vegan or otherwise!) But next-up on my agenda to check-out is Grain, a newly opened independent restaurant - as I've heard great reviews, so I can't wait to try out the menu!
8. So where’s Colchester ‘Best kept secret’ in your option? We’re curious...and excited to find new places!
I'm not sure how secret this is, but I would highly recommend the National Theatre Live at FirstSite to anyone who wants the West End experience at Cinema prices. There's numerous productions throughout the year live-streamed into the auditorium and it's a truly unique way to experience the Theatre.