The sad news has been announced that the Breast Cancer Haven charity is to suspend its nationwide services for the time being.
This is devastating for those working in that charity and we at the Worcestershire Breast Unit charity send our sincere best wishes to those involved.
We understand there will be some confusion and concern given that the Haven forms part of our charity name.
For those of you concerned about the Worcestershire Breast Unit, please rest assured that we are an entirely standalone, separate local charity and our services and support in Worcestershire have continued to grow over the past 12 months.
To clarify our link with the separate Haven charity: since we opened five years ago and until March 2020, the Worcestershire Breast Unit charity bought in paid, complementary therapy services from the Breast Cancer Haven charity (a national charity) offered to patients with a breast cancer diagnosis in Worcestershire once a week on a Thursday. We therefore added the name ‘Haven’ onto the end of our charity name.
For the past 12 months we have not offered or bought in or paid for any therapies or support from the Haven due to the pandemic and lockdown (and more recently due to Breast Cancer Haven’s circumstances).
Instead, the Worcestershire Breast Unit charity has continued to offer these complementary services ourself, sourcing them at local level and running and managing them ourselves by our 4-strong Worcestershire Breast Unit charity team remotely in lockdown.
This has meant that despite the sad circumstances nationally of Breast Cancer Haven, it is very much business as usual for the Worcestershire Breast Unit charity which has been able to continue and indeed grow ourselves, working in isolation from the Haven.
The Worcestershire Breast Unit charity continues to work here in our county supporting women and men with a breast cancer diagnosis. Our support services are growing and we are finding ever more ways to offer holistic therapies remotely whilst the pandemic lockdown continues. Our support group has quadrupled in numbers and meets 3 or 4 times a month remotely, as well as having a private WhatsApp group. We run Pink Ribbon Pilates courses, wellness and mindfulness courses, we have run gardening groups and we operate a highly successful, monthly live Q&A zoom session for Worcestershire patients with a breast cancer expert. In addition, the Worcestershire Breast Unit charity-funded University of Worcester well-being course resumed last week for its third year.
We are excited to be in the process of appointing our first ever ‘Kate Nurse’ to support patients – this appointment has been possible due to our supporters’ fundraising. We are also delighted to welcome a research fellow from Canada who is based at our Worcestershire Breast Unit – carving our niche as world-leading breast unit.
We are thrilled and proud that people across the county continue to find exciting and innovative ways to fundraise for us in lockdown. Thank you to everybody who has fundraised for us since we opened five years ago.
Here’s to coming through the pandemic in good shape, offering even more services and support to those with a breast cancer diagnosis here in Worcestershire.
The Trustees, Worcestershire Breast Unit charity
21 April 2021