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Something To Look Forward To charity interview

Up close and personal with Francesca Abery from Something to Look Forward To

Our new charity partner, Something To Look Forward To, is a fantastic charity helping those affected by cancer and cancer poverty.  It's a true family affair with husband and wife, Fiona and Andy, setting up the charity after Fiona was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fiona's daughter, Francesca, joined the team as the charity grew and we had the pleasure of meeting Francesca to find out more about her, the charity and how it continues to honour her late mother's legacy.
francesca abery and her son

What's the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Tell my 3 year old son how much I love him.

Would you say you are an organised person?

I feel I am yes. Being late is a pet peeve of mine and I take great pride in being professional so having a good level of organisation is imperative. I work full time, have a son at pre-school and take part in regular exercise so life often feels like a huge juggling act. What I’ve learnt is not to sweat the small stuff. The beds might not get made every morning and the dishes might have to wait until later but in the grand scheme of things you have to think “is that really the end of the world?” Organisation to me means making sure that each aspect of your life gets the right amount of attention…your family, your friends, your work and your passions.

Tell us a bit more about Something To Look Forward To and what are your plans for the charity?

My mother Fiona was the Founder of our charity ‘Something To Look Forward To’ as a result of her own experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, which became incurable in 2013. She dedicated the last six years of her life to the charity and worked tirelessly to change people’s experiences of cancer from one of fear and isolation to one of hope, strength and connection. She did this by providing donated gifts, experiences and essentials to people and families who are financially impacted by their cancer diagnosis, known as ‘cancer poverty’. I was lucky enough to work alongside my mum for the last five years and I now spearhead the charity in her memory. Over the next year we hope to build strong working relationships with new companies and brands so we can provide more regular restaurant meals, cottage holidays, special family days and more.

something to look forward to charity ball

You're running the campaign #bemorefiona throughout September and October - how much does Fiona still inspire and motivate you?

My mum inspires me every day. It is almost unbelievable to comprehend what she managed to achieve whilst living with a terminal illness. So when things feel tough I have to remember how hard things must have felt for her but she kept carrying on. Every decision I make I do so with her in mind as she understood exactly the needs of those living with cancer. She is the driving force behind Something To Look Forward To and my biggest aim is to do her proud.

Tell us more about the #bemorefiona campaign?

This September would have been Fiona's 58th Birthday and we are doing all we can to remember the incredible person she was and the tremendous things she did for others. We are working with individuals and businesses who want to #bemorefiona during the month of September and October to help us source gifts and experiences, take on fundraising challenges and make vital donations to continue the Something To Look Forward To service in Fiona’s name. We are also encouraging people to get involved during October which is beast cancer awareness month by donating a gift, signing up to a challenge or making a donation.

What do you do to switch off at the end of the day?

I exercise for both my body and my mind. I do CrossFit twice a week and am currently training for the Cambridge Half Marathon on 17th October to raise funds for Something To Look Forward To. Exercise helps me switch off and the endorphins help me manage my mental health and any stress I might be experiencing. I also like to take my son to the park after pre-school and once he’s in bed, I relax on the sofa watching some TV with my husband after dinner…that’s if I can stay awake!

What are the three products you always keep in your makeup bag?

Mascara, tinted moisturiser and an eyebrow pencil.

What is your favourite Victoria Green wash bag?

Hanging Wash bags for the win! I currently have one in Star Flower and they are so handy for hanging on the door at home and then taking away with you. I have been away camping and at festivals a lot this summer and my trusty hanging VG always comes away with me and never lets me down. I always get lots of compliments on it too!

What does the partnership between Something To Look Forward To and Victoria Green mean to the charity?

Victoria Green was one of the first brands we built a formal partnership with as a charity back in 2017 and we received 2,500 wash bags to provide to people undergoing cancer treatment across the UK. We used these bags to provide pamper and care packs to cancer patients by working with our partner hospitals, hospices and cancer support groups. As a small charity it was a breath of fresh air for a successful brand like Victoria Green to value and support our work. Victoria Green has helped us not only in its product donation but through promotion of our charity which has helped us reach more people living with cancer and other like minded businesses and individuals who wish to support our cause. They are a kind and caring business whom we are honoured to continue our partnership with.
esther large makeup bag with charity partner logo

What are you looking forward to today?

I am looking forward to turning the music up loud in my car on my drive home. A good old singalong is so good for the soul. It’s the small things in life that I’ve learnt to be grateful for.

Throughout October to December we will be supporting Something To Look Forward To by donating £2 from every purchase of our new Esther Large Makeup Bag. Discover more about our charity partnership here and support the #bemorefiona.

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