Who are we?
We are the Worcestershire Breast Unit charity; your local breast cancer charity, supporting the women and men of Worcestershire with their breast care needs. We were established in April 2016, following the work of the Worcestershire Breast Unit campaign, which succeeded in raising the £1.8 million needed to fund the build of the new Worcestershire Breast Unit.
The Worcestershire Breast Unit is a standalone building set in beautiful gardens on the Worcester Royal Hospital site, where our charity team works closely with the specialist NHS Breast Care team led by Steven Thrush, Breast Consultant Surgeon and one of our charity Trustees. Please click here to find out more about the Breast Unit.
Our charity aim is to make the Worcestershire Breast Unit one of the best units in the UK, providing the best possible care in the best possible environment.
What support do we fund and offer?
Please note that during the pandemic, face to face services have been adapted to meet lockdown restrictions.
As well as continuing to work very closely with the NHS Breast Care team, providing mastectomy bras to those in need, running regular Live Q&A sessions with breast cancer specialists and maintaining direct support with those who need it via phone and messaging, and our monthly support group which now offers so much more than one meeting a month (private group support on WhatsApp, coffee morning, events, walking group and more), we are expanding the range of wellbeing services that we are providing to men and women with a breast cancer diagnosis here in Worcestershire.
Read on to learn more.
We work very closely with the specialist NHS Breast Care Team, to support them with any clinical needs of the team over and above NHS provision. Some of our recent purchases have included:
- £5000 towards a Breast MRI Coil – to help significantly improve the MRI imaging availability and quality of service to patients throughout the county
- Four compact portable ultrasound machines costing in combination £18,000 – By offering increased flexibility as to where consultations can take place and how breast disease can be detected, the cutting edge technology in these machines allows the Worcestershire Breast Unit consultants the ability to reach more patients across the county.
- Breast Care Nurse business cards – a professional and discreet added strand of communication
- Nipple/aerola tattooing ink & a specialist chair. These items are essential to reconstruction, helping women to rebuild their confidence.
- Funding travel and accommodation costs for Breast Care Staff not covered by the NHS, which allow them to attend specialist courses to develop their knowledge
- Mastectomy bras – comfortable, supportive bras are available for those in need post-surgery. A good quality mastectomy bras costs approximately £40.
- Handheld examination mirrors for the Breast Unit consultation rooms
- Funding the brand new Breast Unit website detailing the clinical services offered at the Breast Unit and the specialist breast care team. This estimated to launch June 2020.
- Development of the Breast Unit garden to create a relaxing space for patients and their families to enjoy while waiting for appointments
University of Worcester ‘Live Life Well’ programme
We fund the University of Worcester ‘Live Life Well’ programme twice a year, which costs the charity £4,500 per annum. This is a 10-week course run by the University at the McClelland Centre in Worcester. The course covers healthy eating and good nutrition, how to be more physically active and share information with other women about healthy living. Feedback we have received from women who have previously attended the course has been fantastic and we are proud to be able to fund this unique and valuable programme. If you would like to find out more information and dates of the next programme, please contact one of our charity team on 01905 733 786.
Pink Ribbon Pilates
We support the local Pink Ribbon Pilates course; suitable for all ages, fitness levels and health conditions and based on the Pink Ribbon programme (post-operative workout classes enhancing recovery). We fund the cost of the hall rental, to bring down the cost of the classes and ensure they are accessible to anyone who wishes to attend.
If you’d like more information, please contact Debbie Yeomans who runs the course on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07746 880 727.
Look Good Feel Better
We work closely with Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) to offer their two-hour masterclass sessions every other month at the Breast Unit. These sessions are a free of charge, confidence boosting two-hour skincare and make-up workshop for women undergoing treatment from any cancer. Led by LGFB beauty volunteers, the sessions are an opportunity to meet others in a similar situation whilst being taught vital skills such as how to draw on missing eyebrows and apply eyelashes. If you’d like to find out more information and when the next dates are, you can either take a look through our events calendar here or call the charity office and speak to one of our team on 01905 733 786.
We run our own friendly support group on the last Friday of every month, 10am-noon, in the reception of the Breast Unit and virtually during the pandemic. We can also recommend other local support groups within the county which may be closer to you. For more information, please contact Jacquie Clements on email@example.com or 01905 733 786.
Specialist Days with the Breast Care Team
We work closely with the entire team at the Breast Unit to offer the very best service; this includes offering specialist days at the Breast Unit. We run a Breast Care Information Day annually, where we invite ladies diagnosed in the previous 18-24 months to the Unit to meet all the local support groups available including Macmillan, Happy Feet Fitness and the University of Worcester. We also work closely with the breast care team to offer Breast events for women with a Learning Disability, to welcome ladies into the Breast Unit at a quieter time, where they can meet the staff and understand more about how to look after their breasts.
All our care is free to patients.
We are an independent charity, entirely reliant on fundraising and grants from local Trusts. In order for Worcestershire Breast Unit charity to exist and meet the needs of local people, we need to raise in excess of £200,000 a year.
We know people in the county have been passionate about supporting the vision of the Breast Care Unit and made it their own by raising the funds over past years. As the Worcestershire Breast Unit move into its 5th year and beyond, it is vital to maintain and drive the vision forward to make sure that the Unit fulfils its potential to be the very best centre of care for the women and men who will visit it in the future.
Please click here to find out how you can support our fundraising.