Norwich bra bank collection smashes its target to help women in Africa

The Norwich All Saints WI

The Norwich All Saints WI

A bra collection to help women in Africa has surpassed its target – with 3,630 collected since last Christmas.

Last year, Norwich All Saints Women's Institute decided to collect bras to send to women in Africa who are unable to afford them, at the same time raising funds for Against Breast Cancer, which funds research to improve detection and survival rates for those diagnosed with breast cancer.

Louise Stone, media secretary, said that the idea for the scheme started this time last year, after she had a post-Christmas clear out.

'It all started last Christmas when I was tidying out my bras and didn't know what to do with them. I searched online and found Against Breast Cancer, which has recycling banks.

'I looked for some in Norwich and couldn't find any, so we decided to start it,' she said.

With a target of 200, the group were delighted when more than 1,000 were donated at their first event.

Mrs Stone said that people arrived with 'bagfuls and bagfuls'.

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'People can't take them to charity shops because no one wants to buy a used bra, so they don't know what else to do with them.

'We didn't realise how successful it would be. We thought even if it wasn't successful at least we would give it a go, but we have been blown away,' she added.

The scheme will be continued into next year. For information, contact

Against Breast Cancer was founded by Dr Anthony Leathem and his wife Patricia in the search for a future free of breast cancer.

It funds pioneering research by expert clinical scientists at the University of Westminster in London, who use breast tissue and patient samples to identify markers that can detect the reappearance of breast cancer in women already treated for this illness.

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