October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You’ll likely recognise the ubiquitous pink ribbons during this time of the year, a multi-faceted campaign that has been growing since its inception in the early 1980s. However, breast cancer awareness goes far beyond these popular pink ribbons. Every minute in the world, a woman dies from breast cancer. As such, bringing awareness to the disease is also about practicing breast self-exams, supporting other women, men and young people and being aware of your own body. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we look at several campaigns working to make an impact this month and all year-round.
Breast Cancer Now: Wear It Pink
Every year, the Wear it Pink campaign from Breast Cancer Now brings together thousands of people on one day in October with a single aim – wear pink, raise money and help make life-saving breast cancer research happen. It’s also one of the UK’s largest charity events – since the first event in 2002, the campaign has raised over £33 million for vital research.
The campaign is all about inclusion and provides a range of activities for people to participate at any level they’re comfortable with. For example, colleagues can team up together at a workplace to wear pink and participate in fundraising quizzes or school groups can opt for a non-uniform day for anyone that chooses to wear pink. Supporters can also get involved on social media via the trending hashtag #wearitpink or replacing their Facebook or Twitter cover photos with free downloads available from the campaign.
Though the charity doesn’t have an official merchandise store, it partners with large retailers like Asda and Debenhams to design pieces that help support life-saving breast cancer research. The items not only go to an important cause, but they’re also quite covetable and fashion-forward, like this adorable Wear it Pink sweater.
Coppafeel: Grab Life by the Boobs
To celebrate its 10th birthday, Coppafeel is grabbing life by the boobs! The charity’s mission is to give people the best possible chance of surviving breast cancer through education and awareness of our own bodies. Coppafeel is the first breast cancer charity in the UK to focus on knowledge and tools for young people. As such, the campaign’s strategy is to use light-hearted messages to talk about serious issues.
The “Grab Life By The Boobs” campaign, specifically, celebrates how the charity has helped change people’s futures and encourages women to get to know their bodies. It uses compelling graphics and illustrations to help people understand the basics of breast self-exams, including tips and guides on how, where, and what to look for. Further, the campaign offers a “Boob Check 101” and even a “Take a Boob Class” interactive learning module produced with the support of health and beauty retailer Avon.
Worldwide Breast Cancer: Know your Lemons
Another charity that uses a cheeky approach to a serious issue is “Know Your Lemons” from Worldwide Breast Cancer. The global nonprofit organisation launched the campaign to overcome taboo, fear and literacy surrounding breast health to improve lives through early detection. According to the campaign website, one-third of cancer deaths could be avoided through education and screening, yet only four percent of women know the signs of breast cancer. Know Your Lemons works with people, companies, organisations and teachers – to date, the campaign has educated over 500 million people in 20 languages!
The campaign includes a shop that sells a range of fun yet functional items, from DIY lemon-aid stands to mugs to a set of 1000 Know Your Lemons cards that supporters can hand out to help share information.
Look Good Feel Better: #WarPaint4Life
Whereas other campaigns focus on early detection and treatment, the #WarPaint4Life campaign from Look Good Feel Better aims to help women, men, and young people who have been diagnosed with cancer and are living the realities of the disease.
#WarPaint4Life boosts the physical and emotional wellbeing of people through positive self-image and support. It holds workshops and masterclasses that teach beauty techniques aimed at “helping people face cancer with confidence.” The campaign works with hospitals and cancer support centres to offer beauty and makeup services to 20,000 people a year, of all ages and with every type of cancer. Since it launched in 1994, Look Good Feel Better has helped over 170,000 people across the UK through free workshops, donated beauty products, printed materials and online tutorials.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we hope this post inspires you to participate in these or any other reputable charity working to help raise funds and improve the livelihoods of women, men and young people fighting cancer. You can support these campaigns in a range of ways, and you can also incorporate a few of these successful strategies into your own charitable campaign, this month and all year long.