A Northamptonshire breast cancer charity has won a gold Best Community Business of the Year award at the SME National Business Awards 2021.
The charity, called 'Breast Friends', is a peer group for people undergoing breast cancer treatment and aftercare in Northamptonshire and the surrounding regions.
They promote preventative measures, campaign to encourage more women to check their breasts regularly and run workshops, day trips and coffee mornings.to support their members.
Breast Friends was recognised for its community work in an awards ceremony on Tuesday evening (June 29) and presented with a gold Best Community Business of the Year award.
Founder of Breast Friends, Leonie Heard, on receiving this accolade, said: "We are really pleased and proud to have won the gold award for Best Community Business award at this year’s SME award ceremony, especially in light of the challenging year we have all faced."
Breast Friends was founded in 2017 by Leonie after she met Clair Lineham and Jennie Legg in a chance encounter in which they found out they were all diagnosed with breast cancer within six months of each other.
Volunteers from the peer group got together in 2019 to pose for a 2020 charity calendar shoot to raise awareness of breast cancer.
Pictures from the shoot were then used in a campaign launched in October 2020 during Breast Cancer Awareness Month that saw each of the women sharing their individual journeys with the disease.
Their private Facebook support group now has almost 300 members.
Leonie continued: "Breast Friends Northamptonshire is solely run by volunteers and the commitment and dedication that they have shown during this difficult period is a fantastic accolade to their hard work.
"This award not only recognises that hard work but will hopefully also highlight the much needed support we offer to our community and create a greater awareness of our services.
"With over one in eight women being diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, this is an opportunity for us to be recognised for the work we do for those affected by breast cancer and to the awareness we offer to our community."
The SME National Business Awards are currently in their fifth year and run by company, 'Events & PR'. The awards were established with the aim to raise the profile of hardworking small and medium enterprises up and down the country.
The category in which Breast Friends emerged victorious, 'Best Community Business of the Year', celebrates both community businesses and not for profit organisations that focus on positively benefitting society by reinvesting all profits in the local area and fulfilling objectives.
To find out more about Breast Friends and their work, visit https://breastfriendsnorthampton.org/.