Bristol Fashion Week boosts breast care appeal by £3,000

Monday, 14 April 2014

Laura Goodchild on the catwalk at Bristol Fashion Week

More than £3,000 has been raised for Bristol’s dedicated breast care centre through the city’s fashion week.

The Bristol Breast Care Centre Appeal was supported by Bristol Fashion Week at The Mall Cribbs Causeway.

People buying tickets to the event had the option of adding a £1 donation to the appeal, while hosts of the catwalk shows Mark Heyes and Andrew Barton told people about the appeal and encouraged them to donate using a dedicated text number. Attendees were also given the chance to buy raffle tickets for the chance to win a dress donated by television presenter Carol Vorderman, and a handbag donated by Mulberry by visiting the Bristol Breast Care Centre Appeal team in The Mall.

The fashion event brought in a total of £3,087 for the appeal, which is raising funds for the Southmead Hospital centre that will provide all breast care services for the Bristol area under one roof.

Run by North Bristol NHS Trust, the centre which is planned to open in the summer, will bring surgeons, radiologists and radiographers together along with breast screening so that patients should be able to have all the tests they need in one visit rather than having to return. It will be based alongside Bristol’s first Macmillan Wellbeing Centre, where all cancer patients and their friends and relatives will be able to turn for advice and support.

Former patients who have used the service have given their input into the design of the new centres.

Among them is Laura Goodchild, pictured, who was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago at the age of 27 while pregnant with her daughter.

And for Bristol Fashion week Laura was given a makeover by host and television stylist Mark Heyes and showed off her new look on the catwalk.

Dressed in an outfit from John Lewis, and with her hair styled especially for the occasion Laura strutted down the runway for the Friday shows to rapturous applause from the audience, who had been told of her experiences by the hosts.

“It was quite emotional listening to Mark telling everyone my story,” she said.

“When I got out there and saw everyone and heard the applause it was amazing. It was a lovely warm feeling and was great to see my family in the audience.”

Laura had her initial treatment for breast cancer at Frenchay Hospital after her daughter was delivered early and young Iris, who is now three spent her first weeks at Southmead’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

She is now keen to do all she can to raise awareness of breast cancer, particularly among younger women, and supports others going through the experience through Young Women 4 Young Women, a group that meets monthly at the breast care centre in Southmead Hospital.

 “I think the women and men of Bristol are very lucky to have such a centre that has been designed specifically to be a breast care centre, and I think they have thought of pretty much everything to make it as calming and welcoming an environment as it can be,” she said.

The Mall at Cribbs Causeway’s head of marketing Maria Crayton said: “It was a pleasure to work with the Bristol Breast Care Appeal during Bristol Fashion Week.

“Laura was totally inspirational and the audience certainly empathised with her and the cause.

“It’s great that so many people made donations during Bristol Fashion Week and we are pleased that it will contribute to this wonderful facility for women in the Bristol area.”

Head of fundraising at North Bristol NHS Trust, Jane Ibbunson, said: “Bristol Fashion Week was a great opportunity to raise much-needed funds and awareness of this vital service.

“Thanks to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway for their support and thanks to everyone who came along to see us during the week.”

  • Raffle prizes were won by: Carol Vorderman's dress, Mrs P Dowling; Mulberry handbag, Sarah Clifford; two-night stay at the Marriott hotel, Katie Phillips; Chocolate hamper, Ros Smith; Luxury Lush box, Lucy Eastment.