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This Week The Saint’s Matt Steele  sits down with Jamie O’Brien, the press coordinator for FashionShow2011 who talks about the show’s relationship with the charity it is sponsoring, Trekstock.

The Saint: Could you tell us a little about the charity and what its aims are?

Jamie O’Brien: Trekstock aims to raise money and awareness for young cancer sufferers. The charity does this through a unique combination of music and fashion events. The profits from these initiatives go to the invaluable work Cancer Research UK is doing to provide support and solutions for young cancer sufferers. Progress is being made all the time. Around three quarters of children, teenagers and young adults with cancer now make full recoveries thanks to major improvements in the treatment and information they receive.

TS: Why did the Fashion Show decide to support Trekstock?

JOB: FS is a show run by students using student models as well as student designers. Young people and the creativity they bring have made FS the successful brand that exists today. Trekstock exists to make sure children get the support and information they need to live with, and hopefully beat, cancer.  The innovative way Trekstock does this, using music and fashion, perfectly complements FS’s aim: to raise money for charity through fashion.

When we announced the partnership the Founder and Director of Trekstock, Sophie Epstone, said “Trekstock uses a unique blend of music and fashion to support young people with cancer – raising money through fashion is one of our core objectives, it not only compliments our partnership with FS but enables us to engage with an exciting new audience at St Andrews.” The FS team definitely shares these sentiments.

TS: What makes Trekstock a worthwhile charity?

JOB: A common misconception is that cancer is a disease that affects older people alone. In fact, it is the most common cause of death from illness amongst young people of 13-24. Leukemia is the most common cancer amongst children.

Trekstock has not only managed to raise money for these children but it has also made sure that cancer amongst young people receives the attention it deserves. Every year 3500 children, teenagers and young adults are diagnosed with some form of cancer. Trekstock makes sure that these young people, and the 600 who tragically succumb to the disease each year, are not forgotten

TS: Does the partnership aim to do more than fundraise?

JOB: Yes, this year FS is offering young student designers all over the country the chance to get their designs on the catwalk. The Alpha Romeo Young Designer Competition will go to London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and, of course, St Andrews interviewing student designers. Of these, one winner will be selected. He or she will get £1000 as well as the chance to design a line for Trekstock.

Young designers benefit because their work is promoted and Trekstock benefits because its brand is promoted.

TS: How does the charity promote itself?

JOB: Since its inception in 2006, Trekstock has attracted a deluge of celebrity support. Stars from Mark Ronson to Paloma Faith have thrown their weight behind the charity. In particular Trekstock has engaged celebrity support with its little blue badges which were a mainstay on this year’s summer festival season. You’ll probably see the badges on St Andrews students pretty soon.

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