'We are really proud to receive this': Northampton cancer charity wins East Midlands Rising Star award
A Northampton husband and wife duo have received the East Midlands Charity of the Year's Rising Star award for their dedication to improving the lives of cancer patients in Northampton and the Midlands.
Lorraine and Lee Lewis, from Upton, were inspired to set up The Lewis Foundation after they spent a lot of time in Northampton General Hospital with Lee’s mum who was being treated for non-hodgkin lymphoma. They noticed how sad and bored patients looked on the wards and in the private rooms when they were on their own, without family and friends.
The couple spoke about what they could do to give patients something to look forward to, to take their minds of their illness and the seemingly endless treatments. Drawing from their own personal experiences, they knew that patients and their families struggle financially, emotionally and physically throughout the treatment phase, so they decided to hand out care packages to cancer patients, which has been happening for four years.
The charity is now giving out over 2,500 gifts a month - including puzzle books, care packs and craft sets - for free to Northampton General Hospital and other hospitals around the Midlands to provide comfort and a distraction during their treatment.
During lockdown, nurses at the hospitals have continued the charities work to help hand out care packages to cancer patients on the wards - giving them a much-needed boost with no visitors allowed.
Due to Covid-19 the East Midlands Charity Awards took place online on June 11 to showcase the charities and individuals who have gone above and beyond to help others before and during the pandemic.
Lorraine Lewis, CEO of The Lewis Foundation and winner of the Rising Star gong, said: "The coronavirus has been a huge challenge for our charity as we have had to adapt the way we normally work.
"Thanks to our volunteers and the community we have been able to put measures in place so that we can continue to provide gifts to people receiving treatment in hospital and the community.
"This award was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and recognise the amazing work of everyone who supports us to help people going through cancer treatment. We were really proud to receive this.”