Bosom buddies: Northampton women start peer support group for breast cancer survivors

From left to right: Justine Cheadle, Clair Lineham, Jenni Legg, Leonie Heard
From left to right: Justine Cheadle, Clair Lineham, Jenni Legg, Leonie Heard

Three Northampton breast cancer survivors have registered a charity and provide local peer support group to help others who have been diagnosed with the disease.

Leonie Heard started Breast Friends Northampton along with Clair Lineham and Jennie Legg, who were all diagnosed within six months of each other and each with different experiences, after they met by chance.

The flyer for the group's first meeting

The flyer for the group's first meeting

“I had looked for a local support group in Northampton to no avail as I was looking for face to face support to help alleviate my fears and anxieties,” said Leonie.

“What I found was more than this, it was friendship, support, advice, comfort, kindness, laughter, inspiration and much more.

“We sat together one day catching up and chatting in a coffee shop, we talked of all the great things we had found to help us and what was missing in our community, this was where the Breast Friends Northampton brainchild was born.”

Breast Friends Northampton is not only a support group but a peer support group that promotes wellbeing, provides information and opportunities for relevant support in a locally accessible, inclusive and friendly environment.

With statistics showing that one in eight women will suffer from breast cancer in their lifetime, the group believe that no person should go through a diagnosis, treatment and post-recovery by themselves.

Six months after the chance meeting, and with the support of Macmillan, local healthcare teams and others, the group are meeting for the first time on Wednesday, June 7 at the Dapper Sandwich Company on Wellingborough Road from 7pm until 9pm, and will do so every first Wednesday of the month.

You can find out more at www.breastfriendsnorthampton.org.