Support 100 New Haven Breast Cancer Patients

by The Haven
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Breast Cancer Haven: An update on recent activities, December 2016

Reaching out to more breast cancer sufferers in London

From March 2017 we will be opening new in-depth, breast cancer support services in the capital. These new services will be working in conjunction with two major London hospitals. The first will be located within the Wellington Hospital in north London and the second in University College Hospital in central London. These services have been made possible by the charity, Future Dreams.

Groundbreaking new research

Our research team is working with the University of Southampton and Worcestershire NHS breast unit, in the preparation of a study for funding which will examine this question: Can the not-for-profit sector support for people with breast cancer reduce reliance on the National Health Service? This study proposal which will look at cost effectiveness, as well as quality of life, will be submitted for external funding in 2017.

The Big Give Charity Challenge

Our charity was selected to participate in this year’s Big Give Charity Challenge. This is when online public donations are matched by a ‘charity champion’ from the corporate business centre. Over a three-day period we managed to raise an impressive $63,000! This money will go directly to supporting our service users.

A Royal Festive Reading

We very recently held our 17th Christmas Carol Concert at the beautiful Victorian church, St Paul’s, in London’s Knightsbridge. We were delighted to have some big name celebrities who performed their favourite festive readings. This included the highly acclaimed actor, Timothy West CBE, the fashion designer and sister to Sienna, Savannah Miller, the up and coming actress, Kate Phillips and HRH The Countess of Wessex. The concert raised over $22,000 for Breast Cancer Haven, London.

Jess’s story

Jess is 38 years old, has a 5 year old son, and lives in Gosport and is a teacher in a local school. Jess’s life was turned upside down in January when she received a breast cancer diagnosis, it was a huge shock and life’s priorities suddenly changed overnight.

Jess was given a leaflet about The Haven from her sister and was able to attend an introductory day in February where she learnt about how we were able to assist her with the side effects of surgery and treatment that lay ahead.

Jess faced a mastectomy and reconstruction in March, and has begun chemotherapy this week; she is bravely facing her breast cancer head on and with great spirit. Jess said:

“The Wessex Haven is so friendly and welcoming and is helping me be positive about my breast cancer diagnosis. I have the opportunity to speak to people whose knowledge and expertise is specific to breast cancer, and receive tailored support and therapy that is unique to me. Where else would I go for such support, my friends are wonderful but here is about a process of moving forward and is somewhere for me to be reassured, with expert care and understanding. At the Haven I am given time to talk, to just be. I have found the breast cancer support group for younger women a positive way of sharing fears, experiences and making friends going through similar things”

If you know someone who could benefit from visiting us at The Haven please LIKE and SHARE this post, the more we make it travel on our timelines the more people we know we are reaching who need help. If you would like to visit please ring 01329 559290.


Attachments:

Breast Cancer Haven: An update on recent activities, September 2016

 

Finding comfort through peer support

Sourcing help and support through the internet is becoming increasingly common. It is also a great way to promote our free breast cancer support services to the many thousands of women affected by the disease each year. So we are delighted to have teamed up with a peer support forum, Healthunlocked which is endorsed by the UK’s National Health Service. Healthunlocked is where you can go to discuss common topics in a safe online environment and connect with other people in a similar situation.

We help families too

Not everyone knows that our free support extends to our beneficiaries’ partners and children too. A cancer diagnosis will affect the whole family and we can help them cope better by offering free counselling. Read Daniel’s story below.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

With breast cancer being responsible for the most deaths of women worldwide keeping awareness levels high about the disease will always be a priority for charities working in the field. So that’s why October is always a very busy time for us as it is the global Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

During the month, which is fast approaching, we will be holding several events to tell people about what we do but also to gain as much support as possible to enable us to fulfill our mission of improving the quality of life for those affected by this terrible disease. Our wonderful supporters will be helping to raise money by undertaking daredevil challenges including a skydive or zipwiring across Bournemouth Pier!

To help put our cause under a spotlight, literally, the world famous fountain in London’s Trafalgar Square will be glowing pink for us on 6 October.

Mum’s the word

One little boy in Hampshire wanted to show his appreciation of how much Breast Cancer Haven had helped his mother during her battle with breast cancer. Archie, eight, pulled off, what would seem to most people, the impossible, a sponsored 15 minute silence in his school. All the students got behind their friend and helped him raise over $5,000 for the charity.

His mother, Sally, said: “I am so proud of Archie. The way he has dealt with my diagnosis is unbelievable. The children were so quiet you and you wouldn’t believe it how seriously they took it. The day was quite an emotional experience but it was absolutely fantastic.”

Daniel’s story

Victoria and I have been together since we were 17 and married for six years and although we both had demanding careers, we were at the point of really settling down and starting a family. It all started when my wife Victoria mentioned that something didn’t feel right in her left breast. Our doctor quickly referred us to a consultant who immediately sent Victoria for a scan and a biopsy. We were both called back into the consultant’s office and I noticed that a breast care nurse was also present. The doctor told us that they had seen something they didn’t like and this made me feel frightened as you know when they use a phrase like this they are often trying to soften bad news. When the results of the biopsy came in they confirmed breast cancer and when I heard this my whole world fell apart, I was shocked and surprised and didn’t know what to feel. 

I wondered how I was going to help Victoria, I simply had no idea. They told us that they wanted to carry out an operation to examine Victoria’s lymph nodes first, then she would undertake chemotherapy to shrink the tumour before having surgery to remove it. Before she started her chemotherapy course Victoria and I went shopping for a wig and we tried to make it fun but I must admit that I really didn’t think that I would be doing something like this at our age.

Victoria took the chemotherapy well, the after effects would hit her 24 hours later but she said with one of the treatments it was just like having flu with aching limbs. I felt terrible for her but she was remarkably sanguine and it was during this period, that we started visiting The Haven. Victoria benefitted from a whole range of therapies and for me the counselling gave me a chance to open up and expose my emotions. I think it’s a guy thing not to show emotion and although I was very close to and well supported by my parents, I didn’t want to upset them.

After Victoria had her breast surgery, the doctor told us we were free to get on with our lives. I was over the moon at this news. Going through something like breast cancer does put a huge strain on your relationship; you have to put things like ambition and dreams for the future on hold.

The Haven offers you a chance to release your emotions and however much you think you may not need that at least give it a try. I was sceptical before I came but the counselling was fantastic and at the time you don’t realise how mentally draining going through something like this is. Don’t be afraid to let out your emotions and look after yourself so that you can look after your partner. The Haven helped us to support each other much better. I would say to anyone who may be the partner of someone going through breast cancer, don’t be afraid to ask for help especially as The Haven really understands what you are going through and offer invaluable support.


Attachments:

 

Breast Cancer Haven: An update on recent activities, May 2016

We have refreshed our brand

As we seek to expand our services across the United Kingdom we thought it was time to refresh our identity. We were delighted to receive pro-bono support from a top UK branding agency which has evolved the existing brand to give it greater impact and resonance with our target audiences. The charity has been renamed Breast Cancer Haven with the tagline Your help through the toughest times. We hope you like the new look.

We have found a building for our West Midlands Haven 

Following the generous gift from the Government, we have been able to purchase a property in the town of Solihull, which will be home to our West Midlands Haven. The West Midlands Haven will be available to women across a region that has around 2,478 new cases of breast cancer every year. We intend to open this new centre in October 2017.

London Marathon runners raise $56,000 for Breast Cancer Haven

On 24 June we had fourteen runners pound the London streets as they took part in the capital’s world-famous Marathon. So far they have raised an amazing $56,000 for the charity which will go towards supporting around 38 women through breast cancer. We are indebted to them for taking part in this gruelling challenge for the cause. 

Opening our London Haven on Saturday mornings

In an effort to ensure that our support services are as accessible we have opened our London Haven on Saturdays mornings. Many of our visitors struggle to attend our programme during the working week so being open at the weekend offers a more flexible choice for those who have returned to work after the breast cancer treatment has finished.

Jess’s story

Jess is 38 years old, has a 5 year old son, and lives in Gosport (Hampshire) and is a teacher in a local school. Jess’s life was turned upside down in January when she received a breast cancer diagnosis, it was a huge shock and life’s priorities suddenly changed overnight.

Jess was given a leaflet about The Haven from her sister and was able to attend an introductory day in February where she learnt about how we were able to assist her with the side effects of surgery and treatment that lay ahead.

Jess faced a mastectomy and reconstruction in March, and has begun chemotherapy this week; she is bravely facing her breast cancer head on and with great spirit. Jess said:

“The Wessex Haven is so friendly and welcoming and is helping me be positive about my breast cancer diagnosis. I have the opportunity to speak to people whose knowledge and expertise is specific to breast cancer, and receive tailored support and therapy that is unique to me. Where else would I go for such support, my friends are wonderful but here is about a process of moving forward and is somewhere for me to be reassured, with expert care and understanding. At the Haven I am given time to talk, to just be. I have found the breast cancer support group for younger women a positive way of sharing fears, experiences and making friends going through similar things”

Links:


Attachments:

The Haven: Breast Cancer Support Centres

An update on recent activities, February 2016

          Our newest Haven gets off to a flying start

 Since our newest Haven opened in Wessex at the end of October it has received well over 100 Visitors who have accessed its wide range of personalised emotional, physical and practical support for breast cancer side-effects. The local population have really taken the new centre to its heart and have been busy fundraising for us. This includes a woman who lost her mother to breast disease running a marathon every month and a young boy whose mother is undergoing chemotherapy organising a sponsored silence in his school.

We were honoured that the The Secretary of State for Health paid the centre a visit earlier this month and was delighted to be shown round the facility and get to meet some of the service users.

         The search is on for a new building in the West Midlands

 We have now received the £2.5m grant from the Government to create a new Haven centre in the West Midlands. The search is underway for a suitable property to house the new centre which will in close proximity to the main hospital in the town of Solihull. The West Midlands Haven will be available to women across a region that has around 2,478 new cases of breast cancer every year.

          The Worcester Breast Unit Haven

On 3 March a Haven will be available to patients using a new state-of-the-art breast unit located in the grounds of the NHS Royal Worcester hospital. For one day a week we will be offering a free, in-depth programme of support and complementary therapies for anyone affected by breast cancer. This is the first time that The Haven has had a service located in a hospital, working alongside the medical treatment pathway for patients. If successful we would hope to replicate this type of service provision in other NHS hospitals in England.

         Make a brew for breast cancer

 Between 8 and 14 February supporters around the country participated in The Big Tea Cosy, a new fundraising campaign for The Haven. Tea is the UK’s most popular beverage so we wanted to take advantage of this and encourage people to organise tea parties while at the same time raise money for our breast cancer support service. The campaign has been a big success in its first year and has already raised around £50,000.

 Amanda’s Story

I was 33 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t in the habit of checking my boobs and it was pure chance that I had noticed the lump whilst in the shower. I was young and I’d had my daughter a few weeks before so had just put the lump down to hormones but my husband convinced me to go to see a doctor for peace of mind. My doctor had been very reassuring when I went to see her, so when I eventually went for a mammogram I went by myself, not expecting them to find anything. It was then that I was told I appeared to have cancer, and a week later my biopsy results showed I had a 14mm stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma.

 

I had the tumour removed quite quickly and then started on a programme of 6 months intensive chemotherapy and a month of radiotherapy. I found the treatment really exhausting, but I had also just had a baby girl a few weeks earlier and having never had a baby or cancer before, I often couldn’t work out whether I was tired from the baby or from the treatment. My chemotherapy was particularly intensive and in 3 weeks cycles – it made me feel really sick, really tired and left the taste of metal in my mouth - it felt like my body was shutting down and it was a battle to keep going.

 

I found out about The Haven from a colleague who’d been to an open day at the centre when it first opened and came here just after starting my chemotherapy. My first appointment was with Debbie, the breast care nurse, who recommended some therapies for me - a course of shiatsu massage and a course of hypnotherapy. I would come for my therapies at The Haven the week after my chemotherapy and would alternate between shiatsu and hypnotherapy sessions. The shiatsu was amazing, I would feel physically better within that hour session of just being there, and the hypnotherapy really helped me through the mental and emotional battles during this period. I used to drive to The Haven thinking I can’t wait to be walking out of those doors feeling like a better person.

 

When I was diagnosed with cancer I had been a director at a FTSE 250 recruitment company but my cancer experience put my life in perspective and made me realise I wanted a work-life balance that would allow me to spend time with my family and watch my little girl grow up. Coming to The Haven has inspired me to live life with a more holistic approach and I have now given up the busy schedule of recruitment to set up my own organic skincare company, www.myonpure.co.uk. Since completing my treatment I have been testing my limits with fundraising events for The Haven and on the 5 year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis I completed the Lake Windermere open water swim – a 2 mile swim in freezing cold waters (see picture below), proving to myself that I’m fitter than ever! I have also done a few 10k runs, a dragon boat race, and am planning on pushing myself to my limits by entering into a local triathlon to hopefully raise more funds for The Haven!



The whole experience of coming to The Haven, from the therapies right through to the lovely welcome when you walk in the door has been wonderful and to come to a place where people understand what you are going through has helped so much. Coming to The Haven has been completely life changing for me - it made a massive difference in going through cancer treatment and has changed my life since too!

Links:


Attachments:

The Haven: Breast Cancer Support Centres

An update on recent activities, November 2015

 

         We have opened our fourth centre – The Wessex Haven

Following our successful £1.5m campaign, we were very proud to open our fourth centre, The Wessex Haven on 23 October. This coincided with the global campaign, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A range of VIPs and guests helped us celebrate the opening as our CEO cut the ribbon. Since opening we have welcomed around 30 breast cancer patients to this new centre. 

 

        The Haven receives £2.65m from central Government

In the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement, we were absolutely thrilled to receive a huge grant of £2.65m. This includes £2.5m towards a new Haven centre in Solihull in the West Midlands. Over the last two years our Hereford Haven has been hosting breast cancer support days in Solihull which has been very popular. For the many hundreds of women affected by breast cancer in the region a new Haven centre will come as extremely good news.

 

         #NeverByMySelfie celebrity t-shirt campaign trends on Twitter

Our celebrity t-shirt campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, dubbed #NeverByMySelfie, proved to be a huge success.Not only did the two stunning designs fly off the shelves onthe UK’s largest online clothing retailer, ASOS, but the response from celebrities backing the campaign was beyond our dreams. International pop star, Kylie Minogue and top chef, Gordon Ramsay were just two stars who took selfies wearing the tee and posting the images onto social media. Teen sensation, Harry Styles, signed a t-shirt for a Twitter competition organised by top magazine, Heat. The star’s massive following resulted in #NeverByMySelfie trending on Twitter.

 

          Best ever fundraising event for The London Haven

To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month we held our annual signature fundraising event, Blush, on 1 October at the plush West End venue, One Mayfair. Stars from stage and screen joined us in making this a memorable occasion and a huge £160,000 was raised on the night. This is the most we have ever raised from a Blush event.

 

        A Visitor’s story, Daniel Wellinder – our emotional help is also available to family members and close friends

 

 “The Haven helped us to support each other much better and I would say to anyone who may be the partner of someone going through breast cancer, don’t be afraid to ask for help especially as these are people who really understand what you are going through”

 

Victoria and I have been together since we were 17 and married for six years and although we both had demanding careers, we were at the point of really settling down and starting a family.  It all started when my wife Victoria mentioned that something didn’t feel right in her left breast.   Our doctor quickly referred us to a consultant who immediately sent Victoria for a scan and a biopsy.  We were both called back into the consultant’s office and I noticed that a breast care nurse was also present.   The doctor told us that they had seen something they didn’t like and this made me feel frightened as you know when they use a phrase like this they are trying to soften bad news.  When the results of the biopsy came in they confirmed breast cancer and when I heard this my whole world fell apart, I was shocked and surprised and didn’t know what to feel.

 

wondered how I was going to help Victoria, I had no idea, and They told us that they wanted to carry out an operation to examine Victoria’s lymph nodes first, then she would undertake chemotherapy to shrink the tumour before having surgery to remove it.  Before she started her chemotherapy course Victoria and I went shopping for a wig and we tried to make it fun but I must admit that I really didn’t think that I would be doing something like this at our age.

 

Victoria bore the chemotherapy well, the after effects would hit her 24 hours later but she said it was just like having flu with aching limbs.   I felt terrible for her but she was remarkably sanguine and It was during this period, that we started visiting The Haven.  Victoria benefitted from a whole range of treatments and for me the counselling gave me a chance to open up and expose my emotions.   I think it’s a guy thing not to show emotion and although I was very close to and well supported by my parents, I didn’t want to upset them.

 

Victoria had her breast surgery last August and the doctor told us she was free to get on with her life.   I was over the moon at this news.   Going through something like breast cancer does put a huge strain on your relationship; you have to put things like ambition and dreams for the future on hold.    The Haven helped us to support each other much better and I would say to anyone who may be the partner of someone going through breast cancer, don’t be afraid to ask for help especially as these are people who really understand what you are going through.


Attachments:
 

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Organization Information

The Haven

Location: London, -London - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.thehaven.org.uk/​
Project Leader:
Hannah Daws
London, United Kingdom
$13,511 raised of $90,000 goal
 
237 donations
$76,489 to go
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