After an incredible 2017, we decided that this year we would like to give a little something back. Therefore, we have chosen two charities to support throughout 2018. A national charity – Against Breast Cancer, and a local charity – St Richards Hospice. We will be supporting both of these charities throughout this year in a number of different ways, and we wanted to share with you here a little bit more about these charities and how we will be helping raise funds from our bridal shop here in Worcester.
Thirty years ago Dr Anthony Leathem – a pathologist at the Middlesex Hospital (later University College London); and his wife Patricia – a breast cancer theatre nurse at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital were upset by the number of women they both saw with breast cancer. So Anthony started carrying out research into breast cancer survival. With no budget for this research, the Leathem’s took matters into their own hands.
After starting small with Patricia writing to schools, chambers of commerce and women’s organisations and involving friends in collecting days outside supermarkets, it was the ‘Doctor at the Tube’ that really caught the public attention and put the charity on a national footing. Anthony (in his white lab coat) was stood outside Oxford Street Tube Station rattling a tin for his own research. An amazed passer-by went straight to Fleet Street and the press did the rest. Reporters and TV crews descended on Anthony and Patricia’s Long Wittenham home to find out more about this extraordinary couple and what they were fighting for. In their first year they raised £15K. In 1987 the Lancet published results of Anthony’s research which had identified a chemical difference between aggressive and non-aggressive breast cancer cells. Following the worldwide interest generated by this research breakthrough, the couple dipped into their joint salaries to set up a charitable fund. In 1993 Against Breast Cancer was born with Patricia as Director.
Today, Against Breast Cancer funds pioneering research into new treatments, tools for earlier diagnosis and advice to reduce the risk of recurrence and secondary spread. Working with expert scientists the aim is to increase the survival rates of all breast cancer patients and ultimately, discover a vaccine against breast cancer.
St Richard’s Hospice was established in 1984 and is a local independent, Worcestershire charity. The charity cares for patients and families with life-limiting illnesses in Worcester, Malvern, Droitwich, Pershore, Upton upon Severn, Broadway, Evesham and the surrounding areas. Each year they give free care and support to around 3,000 patients, loved ones and the bereaved – helping them towards the best quality of life possible.
St Richard’s Hospice was founded in Droitwich, in the home of Dr Jenny Bulman – taking its name from Richard de la Wyche who was born in Droitwich in 1197 and declared a Saint in 1262. Home care services started in 1984, followed by day hospice and the beginnings of an educational programme in 1988. As the organisation grew, so did the need for larger premises and the hospice moved to Rose Hill house in Worcester which was officially opened by Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales In 2004. As hospice services continued to grow to meet demand, a £5.25m appeal was made to build a new centre with the first urgently needed specialist palliative care In-patient Unit for South Worcestershire. In 2006 the new St Richard’s Hospice opened in Wildwood Drive, Worcester.
Mission Statement – “Caring for Life”
The mission of St Richard’s is, in partnership with other providers, to enhance through specialist palliative and end of life care and education, the quality of life of patients and those important to them, suffering from life-limiting illnesses.
It’s Time to Bin Your Bra!
The very first thing we’re doing to support these charities, is to install our very own bra bank here at Gatehouse Brides, for you lovely ladies to donate any unwanted bras you may have. The bra recycling scheme takes your unwanted or unloved bras and raises vital funds for pioneering breast cancer research. For every tonne of bras collected, Against Breast Cancer receives £700 to fund research. With over 30 million women in the UK you could really help make a difference!
The same bras also help to support small businesses in Africa. Together with recycling partners, the textile recovery project prevents these bras going into landfill before giving them a new lease of life in developing countries such as Togo, Ghana and Kenya, where bras remain too expensive to produce locally. Successful ventures like this keep many families in developing countries out of poverty whilst providing employment for people at home in the UK. Any bras that are genuinely beyond redemption are dismantled and disposed of properly.
So if you or any of your family or friends have bras lingering in the bottom of your underwear drawer – taking up space that could be better used by beautiful bridal underwear 😉 then gather them up and drop them in to us next time you’re passing, or popping in for a fitting or a browse.
Please do keep your eye on our blog here as well as our facebook and Instagram feeds as we will be doing much more throughout the year to help raise money for these two incredible causes. You really could help make a huge difference and we are so excited to be in a position to help some fantastic charities, doing amazing work both here in Worcestershire and nationwide.