Thursday 7th February 2019
We're so excited to announce our new partnership with Bristol Volksfest, a traditional grass roots Volkswagen show and family camping weekend held at Birches Farm, Long Ashton on 14 – 16 June!
The festival started in 1992, bringing like-minded VDub enthusiasts together to share their appreciation for the iconic vehicles. Now it’s developed into an action packed family weekend celebrating all things Volkswagen with an array of traders, independent caterers, live music, DJs, a kids zone and entertainment.
“Bristol Volksfest is all about sharing our passion for VWs whilst enjoying time with family and friends," said festival organiser Peter Ashby. "In our lifetime most of us will be affected by cancer in some form; whether that is a personal fight against the disease or something we support our family and/or friends through. Nothing can prepare you for this battle, but just imagine having to go through this as a young person, still finding their feet in this crazy world with so much to look forward to and yet to experience.
The work Teenage Cancer Trust does with young people and their families in Bristol and the South West is equally amazing and necessary, we know the awareness and funds we raise can help bring young people together making cancer a less isolating and traumatic experience.
Elena Blackwell was a 19-year old from Bristol when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
“It all started after my optician sent me to see my doctor, who told me I needed to come in right now as they had found a growth in my brain. I was at work when he called; I got on my bike and went straight to the hospital.”
Just one month later, Elena had brain surgery at Southmead Hospital and was then referred to Area 61, our specialist unit in the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre. “Being on a Teenage Cancer Trust ward meant I met other young people with cancer. At Southmead I saw no one else who was young, and it helped having people I could relate to and being around people I didn’t have to explain everything to," said Elena.
It made such a difference because I felt like they understood.
Elena, now 23, has had 7 surgeries altogether in addition to proton therapy and chemotherapy; however the treatment has not come without its complications, and the radiation from the proton therapy treatment has affected her short-term memory.
She still suffers from memory loss and other side-effects, and her brain tumour is monitored every 6 months, but she is still supported by one of our Youth Support Coordinators and had attended two of our Find Your Sense of Tumour events. At Teenage Cancer Trust, we believe young people’s lives shouldn’t stop because they have cancer, and this kind of support provides welcome distractions from the challenges of treatment and coping with cancer at a young age.
In line with this, Bristol Volksfest will be donating free tickets for young people over the weekend, in addition to lots of fundraising activities at the festival as well as taking part in other fundraising events such as Tough Mudder before and after the event – with a target of £5000!
Bridget Woodward, South West Regional Fundraising Manager for Teenage Cancer Trust, said:
We’re so grateful to Bristol Volksfest for choosing to support local young cancer patients and their families. In South West it will costs around £1,000 a day to provide support for local young people through cancer awareness sessions in schools, maintain our specialist units, fund specialist staff and activities. It is only through our supporters like Bristol Volksfest that we can be there before during and long after cancer.