Women’s cancer charity Victoria’s Promise has launched a new app to support women across the UK as they face the realities of tackling cancer. Nearly 100 women are already using the app, which welcomes women between the ages of 18 and 50 and provides access to a highly supportive community at every stage in their cancer journey.
The Victoria’s Promise app is also an invaluable tool for families, designed to offer partners, parents, and siblings a safe place to talk and freely share their experiences, as well as gain support and insights.
The app provides webinars, workshops and other resources for both women and their families, providing round the clock support for women with cancer and enabling them to feel cared for, wherever they are in the UK.
Sarah Willcox, Norfolk says “Victoria’s Promise and their App have helped me get through one of my hardest journeys of my life. The app has given me the opportunity to meet ladies in similar position and seek support and support others in a safe community. I’ve learnt new skills and gained a different outlook through their webinars to help me get in a positive place to progress forward in my life.”
CEO and co-founder Fiona Eastman started Victoria’s Promise in 2014 following the loss of her daughter Victoria to cancer. Having experienced family deaths due to cancer, in 2013 29-year-old Victoria Van Der Westhuizen was herself diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of the disease.
Victoria’s husband, mother and brother had no hesitation in joining her to live in her hospital bedroom to form a united force against cancer. This loving support gave Victoria even more determination to fight, during which time she vowed to use her insights to help others facing a cancer diagnosis.
Victoria’s promise was to make sure no woman ever felt alone during this experience. Despite showing great courage and determination, Victoria sadly passed away within weeks of her diagnosis. Inspired by her vision, her family upheld her promise by establishing the charity.
CEO Fiona is passionate about guiding others towards having a greater understanding of themselves, their values and skills, and considers herself honoured and privileged to now be an instrument in helping others. Fiona said “My own purpose in life is to loyally support others with love and understanding so they find joyous peace knowing their true self.”
Brendan Moran, Consultant & Colorectal Surgeon said “Mike Tyson, former Heavy Weight Boxing Champion had a great saying: – Everyone has a plan until they get a punch in the mouth and a diagnosis of cancer at any stage is devastating and particularly so for a young women and her family and friends. Victoria’s Promise supports those who, like Victoria, are faced with a bolt from the blue. What Victoria’s Promise does is amazing, it offers unique vital emotional and physical space to women going through their cancer journey and beyond”
Victoria’s Promise supports women who face a cancer diagnosis, instilling hope and fortitude. This comes from providing the comfort of a community of like-minded individuals, as well as offering tools to build their empowerment and resilience. The charity’s vision is to build a community of young women discovering peace, joy, connection, and understanding as they are supported and empowered to flourish through cancer. The new app is an instrumental step forward in achieving this.
As well as the app, Victoria’s Promise offers in-person services in North Hampshire. These services began with supporting women who were diagnosed or being treated in North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke. In 2018, they collected sufficient funding to spread this support throughout Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, meaning that that women diagnosed at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester and the Memorial Hospital in Andover would benefit with in person support services as well. The charity also hopes to bring these services to other counties.
Like the app, the charity’s in-person services are available to women aged between 18 and 50, as well as their immediate families. These services focus on practical, emotional and mental support, as well as activities designed to help women to develop the resilience needed to cope with treatment. Victoria’s Promise can also provide counselling for immediate family members throughout the journey and, in some cases, help them to navigate the final stages of palliative care, as well as provide ongoing support for the family.
To find out more about Victoria’s Promise App go to:
Fiona Eastman Biography
Having started work in PR with BOCM Silcock, Fiona rose through the ranks of the oil industry during the 1970s and 1980s, running a recruitment business and ultimately becoming Director of Rocking M Oilfield Consultants. She took a career change when her children were young, and the following six years were spent in the exhibition industry as Senior Press Officer with the British Marine Federation and National Boat Shows. The new millennium saw Fiona become Director of Marketing and Show Development for the CLA Game Fair, where she was recognised as a key player in turning the event into one of the UK’s biggest outdoor shows, as well as making it the largest countryside event held anywhere in the world.
In 2018, she left the corporate world to pursue the pathway of her own, and others, self-realisation. Since then she has been working internationally enabling others to navigate their way through life by revealing their unique purpose, their true values, and their vision and personal mission. In 2019, in response to the growing demands of Victoria’s Promise, Fiona stepped down as a Trustee and took on the role of CEO to oversee the charity’s next stages. The launch of the Victoria’s Promise app is the next major step for the charity.