October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is always busy for the volunteers at the Wellingborough-based Crazy Hats charity.
They have been selling merchandise, taking donations and raising awareness at shopping centres across the county throughout October and have raised more than £6,800 so far.
Shoppers helped them raise £880 in Corby, £1,950 in Kettering, £609 at Northampton’s Weston Favell Shopping Centre, £2,010 in Wellingborough and £1,435 at the Grosvenor Centre in Northampton.
Charity founder Glennis Hooper said: “We have had a brilliant year.
“A lot of the money hasn’t come in yet, but we have raised more than £6,800.”
She thanked everyone who has supported them and all the volunteers who gave up their time to help out, and added: “It was a huge effort from the Crazy Hats volunteers and the public.”
Crazy Hats has raised more than £2 million since it started 15 years, with money being donated to Kettering and Northampton general hospitals for specific projects or medical equipment.
However, the charity’s dream is to build a breast cancer haven in Northamptonshire for county patients and their families and they feel now is the time to try and make it happen.
Glennis said: “After 15 years we are crying out for this breast cancer centre to be built.
“Hospitals are discharging patients much quicker than they used to.
“This facility that we want to provide has got to happen.
“I just feel if we don’t do it, we are in fear of stagnating here.”
But she added: “We don’t want the charity to get bigger, we want to get better.”
Glennis said they can have up to 40 people coming through the doors of their office for the three-hour coffee and chat sessions on a Thursday, but she says this is not enough.
She said: “We are possibly a victim of our own success, but my heart goes out to the people who come here and we haven’t got the space for them.
“As a charity, we are working really hard, the public have supported us fantastically and local companies are behind us 100 per cent.
“We just need that little bit of luck, we need a breakthrough.
“Financially the public have supported us, it’s absolutely amazing, and we have been saving hard and we are still offering money to the hospitals.
“I am just so passionate about what we want to do.
“We made headlines a few years ago that we were planning to move, but five or six years on and we are still in the same position.”
Glennis, who launched the charity after being treated for breast cancer, added: “Thursday mornings should be happening every day of the week, the facility should be open for breast cancer patients and their families.”
Basic plans for the haven have been drawn up, including a kitchen, treatment rooms and quiet spaces, and they are looking for half an acre of land which would allow for parking.
Glennis has been asking people for their opinions on it and she said: “I can give 1,000 reasons why it should happen, but do the public really want it?
“We do need to canvass the public to see if it’s needed and we are prepared to do all the hard work.”
If you would like to show your support for the breast cancer haven or know of a suitable piece of land, email Crazy Hats on [email protected] or call 01933 442999.