Breast cancer charity ‘Going for Bust’ has evolved from simply opening charity stores, with the newest addition being a support centre where women who are suffering the effects of breast cancer can go for support and also the potential to get themselves a wig or a bra designed for post-surgery breasts. Reporter Abbie Bradford visited to speak to the faces of the new centre; Michelle and Avril.
Walking through the door, you are greeted with the warmest of smiles which are complimented by the comfortable and cosy atmosphere. The kettle is on and hearts are open ready to help in any way that they can. Not something you would always expect from a wig or bra fitting.
Going For Bust is a small charity based in Dorset and Hampshire with 12 stores dedicated to supporting and raising money for women battling breast cancer. However, the newest addition is no ordinary store. The Going for Bust support centre offers an experience, not just a product.
A place where women can come to feel comfortable, relaxed, pampered and hopefully leave with re-installed confidence that may have been lost along the way. The new support centre, located in Wimborne High Street, offers the chance for women who are fighting breast cancer to explore the option of wigs, bras and swimwear perfectly tailored to a body that may suffered the effects of chemotherapy and surgery.
“We’ve had tears” she said.
“We had a lady who came in last week who had lost all of her hair to chemotherapy and she just walked in the door and cried. She was in a bad place when she arrived…but she left in a very good place”.
The support Centre opened in January and Hosted their first open day last week, an opportunity for women to freely visit the centre to see what it’s about and if it might be something they want to try.
“There are some ladies that want to feel that hair again, just brushing it. Everything we take for granted every morning, they miss.” Said Michelle.
Avril and Michel are the faces of the dedicated support team and have the appropriate training to provide a professional and personalised experience for every woman that walks through the door.
The centre provides wig fitting and alterations, bra fitting and measuring for women who are post-surgery, relaxation sessions which offer a Indian head massage to women who may need to de-stress and a coffee lounge area open to anyone who needs some advice, support or just a bit of a chat.
Michelle and Avril spoke about the services they provide and the instant affect it can have:
“It’s that feel good factor, trying to make someone feel, not normal because that’s the wrong word, but like everybody else. So that they don’t feel ‘I’m different’ because of the illness that I’ve gone through.
“They can have the bra that makes the dress look exactly the same as what her friends does, she can have the wig that makes her look like her friends, because people don’t want to be different and I think that that’s the same in any walk of life, there’s very few people that want to stand up and be different”
The charity was formed and opened their first shop in 2013. The charities directors and trustees; Hannah Tointon, Nigel Slater and Stuart Jupe all have a passion for supporting women who have had breast cancer, this passion may come from their personal experiences as many of the people heading and working for the charity have been personally affected or know people who have been affected by the disease.
The team urge women to take advantage of their services and reach out:
“Come through the door, we are here to help you, whatever we can do to try and help, we will do. Just come in and have a look around first, you don’t have to come and have a wig appointment, just come and have a look, have a coffee and meet us”.