Breast of Friends
27th September 2010
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Last year's Breast Of Friends fashion show was an overwhelming success, and once again The Glades shopping centre will play host to a hopefully equally successful show in 2010.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October will see many events going on throughout the UK not just the Bromley area, and a high level of support for this year's fundraising catwalk is expected (or should I say hoped for).

Taking place at 1pm on Thursday 14th October in the Glades Central Atrium, just like last year the models will be local women who are being treated for or are in remission from breast cancer.

This year however they will be joined on the catwalk by health workers from the Chartwell Unit of Farnborough's Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH).

This from The Glades recent Press Release:

Inspirational models
The professionally staged show – which will be introduced by Consultant Breast Surgeon at the PRUH, Mr Anil Desai – will feature some of the ladies who braved the catwalk last year. “I was rather nervous before the show last time,” admits Karen Hewings, one of the models, “but it proved to be such fun that I can’t resist doing it again!” A Metropolitan Police Officer from Locksbottom, 43-year-old Karen has survived the disease twice, being diagnosed in both 1999 and 2004. “I feel very fortunate to have been treated by the team at the PRUH,” she says. Preparing the models for their moment in the spotlight with choreography tips will be Danielle Harrison, co-ordinator of the Glades’ Autumn Fashion Shows – which will begin the following day, Friday 15 October, and end on Sunday 17 October.

Vital funds
Funds from the ‘Breast of Friends’ fashion show – which will showcase the hottest autumn trends – will benefit the PRUH’s Lymph Node Analyser Appeal, the cause that has been selected by the Glades as its nominated charity for a period of 18 months. Although a lymph node analyser – a device that allows results to be read on the day of biopsy, avoiding anxiety for the patient and her (or, indeed, his) family – has been purchased for the Chartwell Unit, funds are required to resource it. Explains Mr Desai, “Traditionally, women had to wait about two weeks for the results of a sentinel node biopsy, but the lymph node analyser enables us to carry out both the investigation and all the required lymph surgery in one operation, improving the lives of patients and also saving the hospital money. Consequently, we are thrilled that the Glades has decided to raise funds for our appeal to help keep this vital service available for the benefit of our patients.”

More fundraising events
As well as the fashion show, there will be a number of other fundraising activities during the Glades’ breast cancer event from 4 to 17 October. The supersized ‘Bra of Inspiration’ will make a welcome return, allowing shoppers to add a beautiful paper rose – purchased for a suggested donation of £1 – as a tribute to a friend or loved one who has been touched by the disease. The pink-themed fortnight will also see coin collections in the centre and a special ‘fundometer’ showing the total raised to date. The Churchill Theatre is dedicating one of the performances of its fun-packed pantomime, ‘Aladdin’ – starring Melinda Messenger – to raise funds for the cause. Tickets for the 7pm show on 3 January will normally be £25 but if purchasers quote the Glades Charity Appeal, they will enjoy a discounted price of £20, with a fantastic £10 going to the appeal.   Classical music fans also have a date for their diaries – a fundraising, open-air concert is planned for 10 July next year.   In addition, retailers at the Glades are planning their own fundraising events that include running a marathon on a treadmill in the shopping centre from 11am on 10 October – as well as abseiling, skydiving and fancy dress events. Plus, specialist breast cancer nurses will be running drop-in clinics at the Glades to give information and advice to shoppers during the fundraising fortnight.

£30,000 target
Commenting on the breast cancer charity events, Maria Cooper, the Glades’ Marketing Manager, says, “We’re delighted to be focusing our fundraising on the Lymph Node Analyser Appeal. The breast cancer patients who modelled in our fashion show last year were so inspirational that we wanted to make this worthwhile local charity the sole beneficiary of our fundraising and we hope – with the generosity of our shoppers and retailers – to raise up to £30,000 over the 18 months.”


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Kim Frances is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.

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