'Lovely gesture' as breast cancer patients given heart-warming gift boxes

littlelifts care boxes at Colchester Hospital

Left to right, Kay Phoenix from littlelifts, Tracy Cruttenden and Samantha Howe from ESNEFT, and Oa Hackett from littlelifts - Credit: East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Comfort boxes are being given to breast cancer patients at Colchester Hospital to help them manage the difficult side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Charity littlelifts makes pick-me-up boxes for cancer sufferers full of specially-selected items to help during their "gruelling" treatment, such as soft toothbrushes, water bottles and heat packs.

Having offered the packages to patients at Ipswich Hospital since 2018, littlelifts is now extending its service to Colchester Hospital - which is also run by the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT).

The charity has now launched an appeal to raise £5,000 so it can gift packages to 100 more patients.

Debbie Farthing and Tracy Cruttenden, from ESNEFT, with the littlelifts packages

Debbie Farthing and Tracy Cruttenden, from ESNEFT, with the littlelifts packages - Credit: East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Oa Hackett, who founded littlelifts after being diagnosed with cancer aged just 28, said: "Since we launched in 2017, we’ve seen a very real and tangible impact on how our littlelifts boxes have supported and emotionally boosted women and men going through treatment.

“Breast cancer treatment can be gruelling, both physically and mentally.

"During these difficult times, our littlelifts boxes are making a huge difference.

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"Recipients tell us that the sense of solidarity and kindness they experience is equally valuable – and right now, kindness matters.

“We’d be delighted to receive donations or hear from potential sponsors, but we also appreciate that times are tough for many. So we’d just be overjoyed if people would consider choosing littlelifts for their fundraising idea.”

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Tracy Cruttenden, Macmillan advanced radiotherapy practitioner at Colchester Hospital, said: “We are really proud to be a part of the littlelifts community and are excited to give these lovely boxes to our breast cancer patients.

“It is such a lovely gesture to give a collection of thoughtful treats, and is like giving a hug in a box to help boost them through their treatment.

“We’ve had a hugely positive response from patients who have received the boxes so far and it can be hard to put into words what we see when we give them out.

"We are delighted to be working with Oa and her team to extend this wonderful initiative to Colchester Hospital and have great admiration for everything that littlelifts are doing.”

To donate, visit www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/kindness-towards-those-affected-by-breast-cancer

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