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Crazy Hats

719. Glennis Hooper

A woman from Northamptonshire has founded a successful breast cancer support charity.

Glennis Hooper founded the ‘Crazy Hats Breast Cancer Appeal’ in 2001, an irreverent fundraising initiative that has grown from a small group of friends, working from home, to a countywide project raising millions and spreading awareness through individuals’ stories.

Glennis was inspired to start the appeal, which asks people to raise money by donning a ‘crazy hat’ for the day, after being diagnosed with breast cancer herself. Under her leadership the charity funds all stages of breast cancer support in Northamptonshire, including the purchase of specialist equipment for hospitals across the area.

She has raised over £2.5 million to date and has attracted the support of leading medics in the field and Avon Cosmetics who have sponsored initiatives including an office revamp and the charity’s much-valued therapy service. The annual ‘Crazy Hats Walk’, Glennis’s flagship fundraising event, took place on 2nd April.

In a personal letter to Glennis, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Through the ‘Crazy Hats Breast Cancer Appeal’ you have done so much to support breast cancer care in your area. The more than £2 million you have raised is changing lives across Northamptonshire.”

Glennis said:

“It is an honour to receive a Points of Light award and for the charity to be recognised for the work we do in Northamptonshire to enhance facilities in the breast clinics, breast screening, oncology and breast reconstruction departments at our two general hospitals as well as providing support for breast cancer patients and their carers.

I am immensely proud and feel privileged to spearhead such an amazing team of volunteers who are as passionate and dedicated as I am about making a difference to those going through treatment for breast cancer. Now in our 15th year, and having raised over £2.5 million, we never thought we would have come so far, but we are ambitious, we have fun and know that our work must go on – our dream being to establish a purpose-built breast cancer support centre; a centre in our county that is so desperately needed. Having had breast cancer myself, I, as a headteacher in my previous life, want to ensure that all breast cancer patients today have the best experience possible throughout treatment and beyond”.    

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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