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A Visit to the Thomas Linacre Centre

Mastectomy Bra Kits for the Thomas Linacre Centre

On the 25th August 2022, Boot Out Breast Cancer paid a visit to the Thomas Linacre Centre on Parson’s Walk in Wigan. This is a centre known for providing outpatient care to residents of the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS catchment area, with 88 Consultant led clinics per week and treating over 100,000 patients per annum.

Linda and Ange from the Boot Out Breast Cancer committee, met with Alison Roberts; boutique owner and BOBC fundraiser, Marita Louis; the owner of Woman Zone, and the members of the Thomas Linacre Centre breast cancer care team: Catherine Jackson; Lead specialist breast care nurse, and Rosie Yates; Specialist breast care nurse, who are also BOBC fundraisers.

Left to right: Catherine Jackson, Marita Louis, Alison Roberts and Rosie Yates

Boot Out Breast Cancer was set up in 2010 by Debbie Dowie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Many women and men receive diagnosis each year and the team at Boot Out Breast Cancer want to make a difference. Since their first event in November 2010, they have raised over £1,200,000 and have spent it on purchasing equipment for NHS hospitals, and clinical trials and research at The Christies. This September they will be having a Bollywood-themed Ball to raise funds for the latest diagnostic equipment for breast cancer and to fund more mastectomy bras across the U.K.

Woman Zone are specialists in post-mastectomy lingerie. This service gives women confidence after breast cancer surgery. They provide bra and swimwear pocketing ‘Kits’. The owner Marita worked with a company providing prosthetics and came up with the idea of creating mastectomy bras. All the bras are of great quality and have a high cotton content and good support, as most women can’t use their arms to begin with post-surgery. The bras have a great size range up to XXL, and cups A-F+. All kits are provided with charts to help women size up. Woman Zone are in the process of creating a video to help people measure women so they can be as comfortable as possible. The bras come in those all-important neutral colours, but they also stock bright colours with matching briefs. Seasonal colours are released, and designs can be sporty and on-trend.

Alison Roberts fundraised the money for 60 mastectomy bra kits for the Thomas Linacre Centre through her business A LA Mode Boutique. These bras will be given for free by the breast cancer unit to ladies who have undergone breast surgery.

Alison’s boutique is situated at The Spud Shed at Owd Barn where she hosts a Fashion show accompanied by Afternoon Tea twice a year.

The boutique is in a beautiful rural setting where they stock French label ladieswear for ladies of all ages and sizes. Alison has worked for many years as a ladieswear designer before deciding to open the shop, and the aim of the shop is to provide a relaxed shopping experience in a beautiful setting.

‘It’s just fantastic to be able to offer this as a choice."

Alison says it feels ‘wonderful’ and she is ‘proud’ to see exactly what the fundraising money has gone towards. When asked about how it feels to be able to offer this resource to patients Rosie responded, ‘it’s just fantastic to be able to offer this as a choice’ and all the nurses agreed that ladies are always asking where to get a good bra, post-mastectomy.

When Debbie Dowie founded Boot Out Breast Cancer back in 2010, she had a vision for how all funds raised would help support our NHS and provide much-needed equipment for breast cancer units across England and Wales. Boot Out Breast Cancer has been much more successful at making progress toward Debbie’s dreams than she could ever have imagined. The equipment purchased by Boot Out Breast Cancer thus far is reducing waiting times, saving theatre time and anaesthetic, and Boot Out Breast Cancer believe that giving an early diagnosis is the key to saving lives, and now with the provision of the post-mastectomy bras, BOBC can support patients with their aftercare as well as their early diagnoses.

I am thrilled to be running the Boot Out Breast Cancer charity alongside my dedicated and talented committee members. Knowing the money we raise is used for helping potentially thousands of women is the best part of the job.

Boot Out Breast Cancer’s highly valued patrons are Dame Sarah Storey, Professor Andrew Baildam, Alan Shearer CBE, and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.

Every year Boot Out Breast Cancer helps thousands of women and men turn their lives around by purchasing much-needed cancer diagnosis equipment for NHS hospitals throughout the Northwest. Visit https://www.bootoutbreastcancer.org.uk to find out how you can get involved.

Instagram: @thespudshed_owdbarn

Instagram: @_alamode_boutique

Woman Zone: https://woman-zone.co.uk/?SID=db52976cf90b3273457bb30de5f3df09

Thomas Linacre Outpatient Centre: https://www.nhs.uk/Services/clinics/Overview/DefaultView.aspx?id=RRF54

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