Don’t throw unwanted bras away as they can help fund vital breast cancer research.
Poole Hospital’s Dorset Breast Screening Unit (DBSU) has donated over one tonne since establishing a bra bank in 2016. It is working with Against Breast Cancer, a charity funding research into secondary spread breast cancer, which is the main cause of breast cancer related deaths.
Cheryl Williams, lead trainer and senior radiographer in DBSU, said, “The idea to start the bra bank came after I met a lady who was collecting bras to send to Africa.
“This got me thinking about the possibility of doing something similar in DBSU that would help charity.
The bras are collected from the unit by a local recycling company who weigh them. When one tonne is reached, the recycling company informs the charity and donates £700. This funding is used in pioneering breast cancer research through innovative projects and research fellowships.
Allie Wilson, recycling and customer service manager at Against Breast Cancer, said, “We are extremely grateful to DBSU who, with dedication and hard work, has collected a massive one tonne of bras over the past six years.”
“There are around 9,000 bras in a tonne which is a huge amount to have collected and donated.”
The charity is currently funding two research fellows at Oxford University.
In addition to providing research funding, the recycled bras also help support small businesses in Africa. This is achieved through the recycling company operating a textile recovery project which aims to reduce the number of bras going to landfill.
The bras are sent to Ghana, Togo and Kenya where the cost of producing them is high. Bras that can be used are, and those beyond redemption are deconstructed with these parts being used to support local businesses in these countries.
Lisa Bisset, director of DBSU, said, “We are absolutely delighted to be able to be a part of this initiative and reach this significant milestone. Patients have been really generous in their donations which will benefit cancer research. I would like to personally thank all those involved.”
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