Renew: A programme helping young cancer survivors get back to normality


We teamed up with UK charities Trekstock and CLIC Sargent to help run RENEW, a 12-week exercise referral programme for young cancer survivors to help them kick-start their journey towards recovery.
The programme was pioneered with the mission to empower young adults between the ages of 16-35, and give the 26 participants the opportunity to lead an active life again after their cancer treatment.

Through customised exercises plans and four one-to-one sessions with a trainer they were able to create individualised goals. Furthermore, they had free access to the Club’s classes and facilities to carry out these goals in a friendly and supportive environment.

The collaboration was a passion project for both Trekstock and CLIC as they are dedicated to supporting young adults on their cancer journey and ensuring that they don’t have to face the disease alone, as well as providing a support system after treatment is complete.

The initiative, which is led in London by YMCA Trainer Victoria Brown, who is a cancer-rehab certified trainer says the programme was a great success.

She says, “The Renew Programme has not only given participants the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing but has also given them confidence to exercise independently and a chance to regain control of their lives.”

According to reports gathered by Trekstock, a lot of people living with cancer do not achieve the recommended guidelines for physical activity, which could be due to lack of knowledge or a fear of going back into unknown waters and not being totally sure what their bodies are capable of.

Andrew Cooper, Assistant Director of Services at CLIC Sargent, said: “Exercise is not only safe but is also hugely important in managing cancer symptoms often experienced during and after treatment such as muscular weakness, weight gain and fatigue.

This pilot, which hopefully will continue in the years to follow, gave these young adults the invaluable tools to develop routines that they can either do in the comfort of their home or in a gym space, and it also gave them the confidence to rebuild their bodies and learn how to adjust to their ‘new-normal’.

To find out more about the programme head over to the renew website at 

ymca | 3 February 2017