01/10/2021 | Press releases

Buying a special ‘bloom’ will help breast cancer services blossom

One thousand unique ‘flowers’ have been created as part of a special installation to help fund a new breast care centre in Ipswich.

The beautiful Blooms for Blossom will be ‘planted’ at the front of Ipswich Hospital and each unique flower will be available to take home at the end of the display.

Created by Suffolk Ironworks, each flower has been hand made to be different to the next, and is stamped with its own number. Anyone buying a flower will receive a numbered certificate too.

Money raised by the blooms will go towards The Blossom Appeal, led by Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, to fund a vital new breast care centre for patients.

Currently patients must visit different breast clinics and locations across Ipswich Hospital, often having to change and get dressed before moving to a different space. Having one main breast care centre will mean patients can stay in the same place for all their appointments. The new centre will also offer quiet spaces for patients receiving their diagnosis, areas for young people and male patients, as well as a garden area – which will feature some of the metal flowers.

Blooms for Blossom
Some of the team caring for patients with breast cancer at Ipswich Hospital – Ceri Meek, Laura Southgate, Harriet Dynver, Amy Hilling, Suzanne Holland, Julie Steele and Kim Collingridge 

Kim Collingridge, Lead Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist at ESNEFT, said: “Bringing all the departments of the breast service together under one roof will have a positive impact on patient experience.

“It will enable us, as professionals, to work more efficiently and effectively to make the patients visit to the department more personalised, prevent long waits to be seen and enable us to give individuals the time they need and deserve.”

Funding for the new centre has been ongoing during the last four years, with a total of £5.3m needed to complete the project.

Illustration of how the Breast Care Centre at Ipswich Hospital will look
Illustration of how the breast care centre will look

Mandy Jordan, Associate Director for Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity of the public for our appeal, but we still have some way to go. We still need to raise £850,000 to pay for this vital one-stop breast care centre.

“We’re so excited with Blooms for Blossom. These flowers are so special and make the perfect present, tribute or just as a beautiful addition to your garden, but they’ll also be helping to fund such an important appeal.”

The full installation of all 1,000 flowers will be completed during October – Breast Cancer Awareness month – with the final shape of the display yet to be revealed!

Illustration of how the Breast Care Centre at Ipswich Hospital will look
Illustration of how the inside of the breast care centre will look

More than 13,000 women are invited to Ipswich Hospital each year for their routine screening, with an additional 300 women referred by their GP each month.

Allison Chaplin, General Manager for Breast Services at ESNEFT, said: “The demand for services is increasing all the time, as we are better informed about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. As well as developing the new breast care centre, we’re developing services for patients, such as our new breast pain clinic we’re launching soon. We want patients to be able to get the right help at the appropriate place when they need it.”

To donate and take home your own special bloom, visit https://colchesteripswichcharity.org.uk/our-events/blooms/

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer can be found on the NHS website and include: a new lump or area of thickened tissue, a change in the size or shape, a discharge from the nipple, a lump or swelling in your armpit, a rash or crusting, a change in the look or feel of your skin or a change in the appearance or your nipple. Know the signs and check your breasts and up to your armpit area regularly. If you have any concerns, contact your GP.

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