Northampton breast cancer charity delivers its first public awareness presentation as it looks to spread its message further afield

In one that looks likely to be the first of many, a Northampton-based charity delivered its first presentation on breast cancer awareness to members of the public on Thursday evening.

Friday, 6th July 2018, 1:33 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:15 pm
Pictured top right are Marion Chown, Dr Craig Knighton and Leonie Heard

Held on the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Breast Friends Northampton held the talk at Waitrose in Kingsthorpe.

The event was organised by charity founder Leonie Heard, was hosted by Waitrose worker Marion Chown, with the presentation given by Northampton General Hospital's director of oncology, Dr Craig Knighton.

It centred around a presentation the charity delivers to schools, businesses and organisations called 'Know Yourself'.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"Normally we support people with breast cancer with wellbeing events, treatment support and online support," said the winner of BBC Northampton's Inspirational Woman Award, Leonie Heard.

"Now we're looking at what we can do for the public."

The presentation is about how early detection can help defeat breast cancer.

It teaches women what to look for, how to check themselves and how to look after themselves, and what to do if they notice a lump in their breast.

Friday's meeting was held after the passing of Vanessa Lewis, who worked at Waitrose, was a member of Breast Friends Northampton and was treated at NGH.

The charity was started a little over a year ago and has since gone from strength to strength.

"We have come such a long way," said Leonie.

"We are growing so quickly. What's really important is to build relationships with the public, the NHS, local hospitals, businesses and organisations because without them people won't know about us.

"We are really well supported by our local community."

What began as monthly peer support group meetings has expanded into wellbeing walks, pilates, healing with horses retreat days, and more.

The work the charity has done has not gone unnoticed, with Bristol-based cancer charity Penny Brohn UK now looking to build an alliance with the Northampton group.

Leonie has also been invited to attend a conference at the Houses of Parliament later this month.