Patients who are receiving treatment for breast cancer at Colchester Hospital are being given vital comfort boxes to help them manage difficult side effects while boosting their wellbeing.
Norfolk-based breast cancer charity littlelifts is extending the service to Colchester after working closely with East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) to offer boxes to Ipswich patients since 2018.
It has now launched an appeal to raise £5,000 so that it can gift packages to a further 100 patients who are receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy at the Turner Road site.
littlelift boxes have been designed with the help of patients who have received breast cancer treatment, and are full of specially-selected items to help alleviate some of the side effects it can cause.
These include a soft toothbrush and lolly recipes and moulds as chemotherapy can leave mouths sore and painful, as well as a water bottle and heat pack. Each box is packed by hand by littlelifts volunteers, and also includes eco-friendly and locally-sourced treats such as herbal teas, chocolate and sweets, along with a notebook and pen.
littlelifts founder Oa Hackett, who set up the charity after being diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just 28, said: “Since we launched in 2017, we’ve seen a very real and tangible impact on how our littlelifts boxes have supported and emotionally boosted women and men going through treatment.
“Breast cancer treatment can be gruelling both physically and mentally; during these difficult times, our littlelifts boxes are making a huge difference. Recipients tell us that the sense of solidarity and kindness they experience is equally valuable – and right now, kindness matters.
“We’d be delighted to receive donations or hear from potential sponsors, but we also appreciate that times are tough for many. So we’d just be overjoyed if people would consider choosing littlelifts for their fundraising idea.”
Tracy Cruttenden, Macmillan advanced radiotherapy practitioner at Colchester Hospital, said: “We are really proud to be a part of the littlelifts community and are excited to give these lovely boxes to our breast cancer patients.
“It is such a lovely gesture to give a collection of thoughtful treats, and is like giving a hug in a box to help boost them through their treatment.
“We’ve had a hugely positive response from patients who have received the boxes so far and it can be hard to put into words what we see when we give them out. We are delighted to be working with Oa and her team to extend this wonderful initiative to Colchester Hospital and have great admiration for everything that littlelifts are doing.”
To support littlelifts’ fundraising campaign for Colchester Hospital, go to www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/kindness-towards-those-affected-by-breast-cancer
Patients at Ipswich Hospital receive the boxes thanks to the generous support of Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity and local breast cancer charity Art for Cure.