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Lowestoft area WI groups help breast cancer sufferers at Gorleston centre

Blundeston Women's Institute group have made numerous comfort cushions which have been presented to the Louise Hamilton Centre at the James Paget University Hospital.

Picture: James Bass

Blundeston Women's Institute group have made numerous comfort cushions which have been presented to the Louise Hamilton Centre at the James Paget University Hospital. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2014

Facing breast cancer is a traumatic experience for anyone.

But patients at the James Paget University Hospital are being offered some extra comfort when recovering from operations – thanks to scores of enterprising Women’s Institute (WI) volunteers in Waveney.

The Louise Hamilton Centre, in the grounds of the hospital, has been presented with 62 comfort cushions made by WI members in the Lowestoft area.

Each colourful cushion will be given to a patient who has undergone a mastectomy, to help them feel more comfortable as they recuperate after their treatment.

The cushions were made by members of the Blundeston and Flixton, Gulliver’s Girls, Oulton Meadows and The Dales WI branches.

Barbara Shaw, from the Blundeston and Flixton WI, explained that the donations were a spin-off from a major competition.

She said: “Suffolk East Federation of Women’s Institutes held a competition at the Suffolk Show for a comfort cushion for women and men who have had breast surgery.

“Each institute was invited to submit one particular cushion to be judged and others to be distributed to Suffolk hospitals after the show.

“The institutes local to the Lowestoft area pointed out that the main hospital covering their part of Suffolk is the James Paget which is, of course, is in Norfolk and so some of them opted to give it as many of their cushions as possible.”

Mrs Shaw said that the WI members would continue making comfort cushions to help people recover from their breast surgery.

She added: “I think it is brilliant. We’ve done something useful to help people who have had a breast removed find comfortable positions.”

Jan McCarrick, a breast care nurse specialist at the Sandra Chapman Unit which deals with 250 new breast cancer cases a year, said she was grateful for the WI members’ gifts.

She said: “I very much applaud all their efforts – it a brilliant way of helping people who have had breast surgery. The cushions will provide a real comfort.”

The charity Breast Cancer UK says that as many as one in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives. In England, cases have increased among women by 90pc and among men by 60pc in just one generation.

Have you been affected by breast cancer? Email health reporter Adam Gretton at


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