By Kam Allen, our new London New Girl contributor. Learn more about Kam at the bottom of the page.
Over 5,000 women in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer this October, the most common cancer in the UK. Through personal experience with friends, family and people I’ve met, it’s startled me just how common breast cancer has become. It’s a disease that affects 1 in 8 women in the UK, and has already affected many of us London New Girls both directly and indirectly. That’s why Breast Cancer Awareness month this October is more important than ever.
Raising funds for cancer research is a crucial step towards developing means of detection and treatment. This October, organisations around the world will be highlighting the importance of breast cancer awareness, research and education. Their ultimate goal is to raise the bar for the detection and treatment of all types of breast cancer.
So what can you do to help?
There are lots of Breast Cancer Awareness Month events taking place around London. Here are some ways to brighten up the month of October for anyone affected by breast cancer, with some added pink flair!
How to get involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Over the years, the colour pink has become synonymous with breast cancer awareness and fundraising. The pink ribbon has been used since the early 90’s and today, there’s a whole host of pink-themed events, fundraisers and products available to help raise awareness and donations for fighting breast cancer. Here are some ways to get involved, with a splash of pink.
Wear it Pink
12th October 2018
Whip out your favourite pink outfit on Friday, the 12th of October. Wear it Pink Day is a fundraising event by Breast Cancer Now, calling on people to organise a Wear it Pink Day at their workplace, school or community. You can register online to get a free fundraising pack, dress in pink on the day and help raise funds for breast cancer research. Find out more on their website
Party in Pink
19th October 2018
If you’re an organisational goddess, how about planning a pink party with all your pals. Breast Cancer Care encourages people to throw a Big Pink party at work, home or within your community, raising money to support anyone affected by breast cancer. They offer their free fundraising kit online which is filled with ‘pinkspiration’ like games, invitations, collection boxes and ideas on how to get started. Order your free kit here
Pink-Themed London Locations
If your flat is a little small (err thanks London!) and you’re after some more inspo for the perfect spot to host your very own pink party. Or maybe you want to brighten the day of a friend who’s suffering from breast cancer themselves. Try one of these London hot spots, perfectly suited to the Pink theme:
Coffee and brunch at Élan Café
Lock in a pink-themed brunch at Élan Café and bask in the uber-pink seating and their incredible flower wall display. Dubbed as London’s ‘most Instagrammable café’, they have three branches to visit in Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Market Place (Oxford Circus). For something a bit different, try their pink Ruby latte made with beetroot and ginger. Élan don’t take bookings so get there early to avoid a queue.
Dinner at Rasa Restaurant
For delicious vegetarian and vegan curry dishes from southern India, gather your friends for a pink dinner at Rasa in Stoke Newington. This restaurant screams pink with its very brightly pink-painted exterior and pink accents within. Not only that, it’s relaxed and really well-priced. They have another branch in Fitzrovia but word on the street is that the original one is the best. Click here to reserve your table
Pink Yoga at Chroma Yoga
For something a little more zen, invite your friends to a morning of restorative yoga at Chroma Yoga where the entire room is lit up pink. Not just the official colour of breast cancer fundraising, pink is also associated with love, affection and nurturing. Using natural scents, sound frequencies and light, the pink yoga class is a sensory experience for a relaxed state of mind. Plus it count towards your weekly workout goals! A single class starts from £11 in Shoreditch, East London. Make sure to book ahead to make sure you get a spot.
Run in pink
RunThrough Battersea Park 5km or 10km run – Saturday 20th of October 2018
For those of you feeling fit and wanting to show support for breast cancer awareness, you can run in pink and raise money for a huge number of charities including Breast Cancer Care, Against Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Now. RunThrough has organised a 5km or 10km autumnal run through the picturesque Battersea Park. The route is totally flat so it’s also perfect for beginners. Entry costs £24 and the event starts at 9:30am on Saturday 20th October. Click here to register online.
RunThrough Greenwich Park 5km or 10km run – Sunday 21st of October 2018
For those of you who get excited about running uphill, take a look at the RunThrough Greenwich park run. You’ll not only have the opportunity to run in pink and raise money for your charity, you’ll also run past some of London’s most iconic attractions. The Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum and the Old Royal Naval College are all en-route. Entry costs £22 and the event kicks off at 10am on Sunday 21st October. Register online here
Trekstock is an organisation that supports young adults in their 20s and 30s with all types of cancer. Their aim is to get young cancer sufferers moving again when cancer puts their lives on hold. Volunteering options are quite fitness-focused and aim to raise money for their vital work. You can take part in their exercise programmes and challenge events (anything from a Dog Jog to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro), lend a hand at a Trekstock event or volunteer in your local community. You also have the option of creating your own challenge – just contact their fundraising team to discuss your ideas.
Prevent Breast Cancer have a range of volunteering opportunities available. From assisting with basic administration duties to becoming a collection box volunteer, helping out at their coffee shop or even doing the gardening at the Nightingale centre to improve their patients’ experience. Take a look at their website for a list of all volunteering options.
Breast Cancer Now‘s volunteer events are fun and sociable. Plus you get to meet lots of great, like-minded people who all want to help the same cause. By giving just a few hours of your time, you can help to fund life-saving breast cancer research and really make a difference. Find out more here
Breast Cancer Care have pulled together a wonderful list of ideas for ways to volunteer and raise money. Check out their website for inspiration on hosting afternoon teas, running your own fundraiser and joining the Breast Cancer Care team, amongst many other things.
Breast cancer signs and symptoms – why we should be self-examining every month
Finally, we all know the importance of raising funds for breast cancer research. However, it’s just as important to raise awareness on how to detect if you may have breast cancer yourself. Why? Because early detection has a big impact on the chances, and speed of, recovery. Doing a self-exam once a month will get you more familiar with how your breasts look and feel. As a result, it’ll help you notice if there are any sudden changes. Set a monthly phone reminder to do your self-exam – whether it be in the shower, lying in bed or in front of the mirror. Click here for a great guide on how to check your breasts and what to look out for.
For care, support and information, call Breast Cancer Care’s free Helpline on 0808 800 6000. You can also check out their website for more information.
If this post has left you feeling inspired to organise an event, or a fun day out with a friend or loved one affected by breast cancer, let us know. We’d love to hear about it through the blog, Facebook or our Instagram. Likewise, if you have any other ideas or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Kam Allen is a Polish-born, South African-bred girl currently living and teaching in London. After 3 years of exploring the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, she made the move to relish in the culinary delights of London. Kam believes flowers, tea and sunsets make everything in life just a little bit better. Especially when easing into life as an expat in a new country.