The Shaftesbury area has its own breast cancer awareness charity called ‘Boobs’ and Saturday is their biggest night of the year. Boobs volunteers have arranged an evening of fun, facts and fundraising at Shaftesbury Youth Club.
Boobs trustee, Roxanne Gale, says that the group is Claire Stone’s legacy. It was founded by Claire’s friends around five years ago. “We unfortunately lost a very special friend to breast cancer. And one of her wishes was that we all learned how to check our breasts for things that are untoward,” said Roxanne.
“We decided to have a ladies night with the breast cancer nurses from Salisbury’s Stars Appeal. They came along to teach us how to check our breasts. It turned out to be quite successful with pink cocktails! From that point we supported the Weldmar Hospice in Dorchester, where our friend spent her last few days, the Stars Appeal breast cancer unit in Salisbury and Inflammatory Breast Cancer UK.”
The fundraising worked well and Roxanne said Boobs was then able to help Shaftesbury area women in additional ways. “We had more money in the bank so we decided to help local women in the SP7 and SP8 areas with wigs, mastectomy bras, prostheses and with the cost of travel to the hospital and parking costs.”
To raise the necessary funds takes a lot of time and volunteer effort and yet the charity operates with just five volunteer trustees – Roxanne, Becky Russell, Heather Sanger, Sally Manning and Ben Stone, Claire’s husband.
On Saturday, speakers will share their inspirational stories. “It’ll be local women who have either just been through breast cancer and survived, who are going through the treatment at the moment or have just been diagnosed. Or they might write down their stories for people to read,” said Roxanne. “Some of the women are present for people to talk to. We call them our ‘amazing ladies’ and we give each of them a rose so people know they can approach them and talk to them.”
There will be demonstrations on Saturday evening, too. “They are for beauty and well-being. We have ladies coming in to do reflexology and massage. There’s a lady coming this year who has just recently been trained in scar tissue massages, so she can help ladies with that.”
Roxanne says the audience is a mix of women who have been through breast cancer or have friends with it as well as women who are unaffected by breast cancer but who are interested in learning how to check themselves. And she says some attendees just want to support the event.
She’s hoping for a big turnout. “Whatever we make it will help local people,” Roxanne said, adding that she is grateful to the volunteers and friends that have helped the five trustees arrange this event.
It takes place at Shaftesbury Youth Club on Coppice Street at 7pm on Saturday, 27th October. There’ll be food, pink cocktails, a bar, music and therapies. Entry is £5 on the door and includes a free ticket for the special draw.
There’s more information on email at Info@BoobsBreastCancerAwareness.org.