Our Story

Sophie’s Story

Trew Fields is the brainchild of Sophie Trew. Sophie was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2014 at the age of 23. After making a documentary in Colombia, Sophie discovered a lump on her neck. Due to travels in South America, she was initially diagnosed with TB, but after numerous tests, she heard the words “it’s cancer”.

Sophie knew nothing about cancer or its causes. She didn’t know anyone going through treatment or about ways to live well with the illness. Feeling out of control, she asked her doctor if there was anything she could do to support herself during chemotherapy. He answered: “leave it with us, there’s nothing you can do. Cancer is a lottery, there’s no reason why you got it.”

29497982_2095042754044686_2713644776669839360_oAs a journalism graduate, research became Sophie’s coping mechanism during treatment. Instead of asking “why me?” she wanted to explore “why us?”. Her own diagnosis ignited more questions – why are cancer rates rocketing with little progress in treatment? Could it be that we’re focused on treating a chronic illness with acute options? Diving into the causes and lifestyle medicine, she realised how much we can be doing to lead healthier, more energised lives. How with support and information people can live healthier for longer. 

Sophie built her own integrative recovery plan alongside 6 months of chemotherapy. This included gut healing, meditation, juicing, exercise, nutrition and lifestyle medicine. She had cancer in three body sites, with one lump the size of an orange on diagnosis. Within four months her scans were clear and she began learning to heal her mind, body and spirit. 

Having seen too many friends and family struggle through cancer, fearful about the limited options they had and in a lot of pain, Sophie wanted to use her own experience as a force for good. Trew Fields has become a legacy to those she knew who died of the disease, while giving strength to others and meaning to her own experiences. She wanted to bring light to the world of illness. Passionate about integrative medicine, the mind-body connection and a whole-person, personalised approach to health. The festival is a space to bridge the health gap, representing diverse voices in the field. Knowledge is power and information can help reduce fear of the unknown.  

“I believe everyone should have access to all health information and at the moment, this isn’t readily available. Trew Fields​ is a space to explore this in an uplifting environment. When I was diagnosed it was a confusing and isolating time because although there was a lot of information, much of it was contradictory and negative. Through research I came across a proactive health and cancer community. Trew Fields​ was born out of a dream to bring together the people who inspired me in my recovery and a like-minded community in a context where we can share stories, exchange wisdom, have fun and build an empowered education movement. Above all, it’s about hope, which is often lacking.” Sophie Trew

The UK has some of the worst cancer survival rates in Europe. 1 in 2 of us will now get cancer at some point in our lifetimes. 90-95% of cases are attributed to lifestyle and environmental factors. By coming together with open minds and representing both sides of the health debate, we can progress. Trew Fields aims to facilitate this progression.

Trew Fields was conceived as the UK’s first Cancer Awareness festival, but it has become a space for anyone interested in holistic approaches to health, regardless of their experiences of cancer. It’s a place to laugh, learn, relax, dance and celebrate all the wild curveballs life throws our way. A “restival”, to rest and rejuvenate, if you will.


From pub dream to co-founder reality

In December 2016 the festival
dream became a reality when good pals, Will and Sophie spoke about the idea in a London pub. Will amazingly offered to host the event on his family’s farm. The main thing was the pigs had to be up for it. After a site visit, they were on board and a beautiful co-founder partnership was formed.

With a diverse career in theatre and event production, Will helps turn the ideas and doodles into reality. In great alignment on creativity and ambition, they share in the festival legacy to empower the public through education and entertainment. Helping to change the heavy cancer narrative and bring inspiration into the space. 

The inaugural Trew Fields in 2017 drew crowds of 500 people and included workshops, holistic treatments, music, comedy and a range of vibrant and engaging speakers, each with their own stories to tell.

The team

The atmosphere at Trew Fields 2017 was described as “like walking into a giant hug,” which is credit to the Festival Family who make the event happen.

Without a bunch of remarkable people volunteering their time, services and enthusiasm, there would be no festival. At the heart of it all we’re focused on building community, connection and collaboration. Each member of the team brings their own expertise and personality to the festival, making it a safe, welcoming, accessible and inclusive space for everyone – whatever their health experience has been.