Stoma 66: frequently asked questions

01 September, 2019

Colostomy UK frequently asked questions

We have tried to cover every question you might have about our Stoma 66 challenge below, but if you can’t find the information you need feel free to get in touch with us on: info@ColostomyUK.org or call 0118 939 1537

What is the goal of the challenge?

We want to encourage people who have had stoma surgery, as well as their friends, family and carers to get active for 66 days and help achieve a combined target of 66,000km.

What is a stoma?

Stoma surgery is used in the treatment of a range of conditions including cancer and Crohn’s. It involves diverting the bowel or bladder through a surgically created hole (stoma) in the abdomen, so that bodily waste can be collected in a stoma bag. It is estimated that one in 550 people in the UK have a stoma. Often referred to as ostomates, these people (who can be adults and children) have a ‘hidden’ condition.

Who are we?

We are Colostomy UK, a national charity that offers support and advice to people with stomas as well as their families, carers and friends. We’re here if you have questions, need support or just want to talk to someone who lives with a stoma.

Why Stoma 66?

Research shows that it takes an average of 66 days to form a lasting habit.  If we can get people active for 66 days then there’s a good chance they will carry on afterwards. That’s why it’s Stoma 66!

What are the benefits of regular exercise?

Being active on a regular basis helps improve both your mental and physical wellbeing. According to the NHS It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%. Regular exercise is also proven to help reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Ostomates are no different and need to exercise too!

There are plenty of activities that are suitable for you whatever your age or fitness levels. To stay healthy the NHS recommends you try and do 30 minutes a day of aerobic activity. This is anything that gets your heart beating faster. It could be a brisk walk, mowing the lawn, even dancing.

For more information why visit www.nhs.uk/live-well

Who can get involved?

Anyone can take part including people who have had stoma surgery, as well as healthcare professionals, friends, family and carers. Every step by every person helps us towards our goal and no one needs to run marathons or climb mountains! People can take part as individuals or start/join a team. Everyone who registers will get an information pack and the first 500 people to sign up will also get a free t-shirt and pedometer to record their activity.  It’s completely free to take part in the challenge, and people can do as much or as little as they please.

How do I sign up?

Signing up is easy, all you need to do is fill in the form on our website  or give us a call 0118 939 1537.

How do I track my progress?

You can track your progress using a pedometer or even your mobile phone. You can also estimate your distance too. Then, after updating the progress chart enclosed with your Stoma 66 pack visit this page, fill in the form and we will add your achievement to our grand total. You can do this as often as you like, or wait until you have tracked your distance over a number of days and then let us know the total. Alternatively, if you prefer, just complete your progress chart over the 66 days and e-mail it back to us info@ColostomyUK.org or photocopy it and send it to:

Colostomy UK, Enterprise House, 95 London Street, Reading, RG1 4QA.

We advise keeping a separate log of your daily activity just in case you lose your pedometer or it breaks. If you are representing a team, make sure to select them.

How do I set up my own team?

If you are signing up online, simply choose “I want to start a team”. If you are signing up on the phone, you’ll be asked if you want to start a team and your email will be taken.  After this a member of the Colostomy UK team will email you with some simple questions: team name, who you represent and why.  We will then set up a page on our website so you can invite others to join your team.

Can I set up a private or invite only team?

This year all teams will be listed publicly, but the only information we will display will be your team’s name and the description you provide.

How do I join a team?

Simply visit the ‘Join a Team’ page, select a team you’d like to join and click their link. This will re-direct you to a page on our website with more details on that team and a joining form which you will need to complete.

Can I join more than one team?

Unfortunately your distance can only be added to one team so be sure to pick carefully. But don’t worry, because no matter what team you choose to join, everyone’s contributions will go towards our 66,000km goal.

How do I set up a fundraising page?

We are on hand should you need help setting up a JustGiving or Facebook fundraising page. You’ll also find guidance in your Stoma 66 Pack.

Can I set up a JustGiving page for my team or family?

Feel free to use the same page for everyone in your team/family- but please bear in mind that when we send out a thank you we may not realise this and so the ‘thank you’ might just be addressed to you! If this happens let us know and we’ll send youan amended certificate.

What is my fundraising supporting?

All money raised through the Stoma 66 challenge will go towards funding our Active Ostomates project. Since its start in 2016 we have delivered over 150 free chair yoga, archery, swimming and art sessions to more than 3,000 ostomates across the UK.

Do I need to achieve a certain distance?

No, Stoma 66 is all about challenging yourself. It’s about trying to make regular exercise a part of your daily life.

I’ve been invited on t.v./radio/my local newspaper, what should I do?

The more publicity that Stoma 66 gets the better. However, we understand how talking to the media can be a daunting prospect! But don’t worry, just get in touch with us and we can help prepare you and give you any stats you might need for your media appearance. We will also share this on our social media networks.

Any tips for sharing my involvement on social media?

If you want to shout out about Stoma 66 on social media there’s a number of things you can do. Use the hashtag #Stoma66 so we can more easily find your posts and re-share  them. It also makes it easier for people to follow your progress. Tag Colostomy UK in on social media. Add the Stoma 66 logo to your Facebook profile by going on: Update profile picture-add frame and then search stoma and you’ll see it come up.

We have tried to cover every question you might have about our Stoma 66 challenge below, but if you can’t find the information you need feel free to get in touch with us on: info@ColostomyUK.org or call 0118 939 1537

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