A charity is preparing to hold its biggest fundraiser of the year and hopes it will help them smash through the £2 million mark.
The Crazy Hats Breast Cancer Appeal is on the verge of topping the milestone, but one final push is needed to get them there.
And while they hope the annual sponsored walk at Wicksteed Park on Sunday, March 22, will do this, they also hope it will spur the charity on to the next level to allow them to support more breast cancer patients.
Glennis Hooper, who launched the Wellingborough-based charity after being treated for the disease, said: “£2 million is a massive milestone for the charity.
“We are going to carry on supporting the hospitals as that is what we are good at and we are going to continue supporting people here in the offices. But in order to progress further, we need to move.
“It’s our eighth year here in the office. The charity needs to move on to keep up with the demand of the numbers coming through the doors.
“A woman came here within 30 minutes of being diagnosed to talk to us and clear her head.
“When she had gone we thought how lovely that she felt comfortable coming here, and she’s been down several times now. Every week we get four or five new people coming in.
“What we want to do is create somewhere where that contact is available five days a week. I know there’s a lot more we can give, we want to provide a better service.
“We are ready for the next step in the charity’s history.
“We have outgrown the office here and the need has outgrown what we can provide.
“It seems a natural progression and if we didn’t do it I think we could lose some credibility.”
Nearly 3,000 people took part in last year’s walk and they helped raise thousands of pounds to improve breast cancer care at the county’s two hospitals.
Since it started, Crazy Hats has given about £870,000 to Kettering General Hospital and £800,000 to Northampton General Hospital, but this has only been possible by people holding fundraisers on their behalf as well as taking part in the walk.
Miss Hooper said: “We ask the people of Northamptonshire to put on their boots, come out and walk and show their support to anyone going through breast cancer.
“There’s probably not one family which hasn’t been affected by breast cancer.
“The walk has that feel-good factor, it’s about being together and having some fun.
“The walk is a massive part of the charity and it’s a way for people to support us as well as themselves for just one morning a year.
“When we write the cheques out to the hospitals, it’s for those people who have raised the money.”
Miss Hooper has praised both Avon, which has again donated £10,000 to the walk, and Wicksteed Park for their support over the years.
And she added: “Wicksteed Park is the home of the walk and they welcome us back each year.”
People of all ages are invited to take part in the walk, with awards up for grabs including for the craziest hats, largest medical team, largest youth group, youngest participant, largest school team and the dog wearing the best hat. All walkers will receive a medal, certificate and goodie bag.
To register for the walk go to www.crazyhatsbreastcancerappeal.co.uk or call 01933 442999.
Anyone who can help the charity with its search for new premises to create a breast cancer haven for county patients is also asked to get in touch.