1988. Oa Hackett
Oa Hackett, from Norwich, has provided nearly 10,000 ‘Little Lifts’ boxes since 2017 to people undergoing breast cancer treatment, gifting items to alleviate the physical effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy and improve wellbeing.
Oa was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 28 and after successfully being treated set up ‘Little Lifts’ to offer the same support for other patients she received from her support network. Oa’s ‘Little Lifts’ boxes are curated by people affected by primary or secondary breast cancer, with each box hand packed by an army of volunteers who support the charity. The charity has partnered with 9 hospitals in the East of England to automatically provide care boxes for all breast cancer patients, and has set up a Little Kindness Fund to provide support for patients elsewhere in the UK not based at one of their partner hospitals.
In a personal letter to Oa, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I wanted to write personally to thank you for the wonderful way you are supporting others with breast cancer with your ‘Little Lifts’.
“From your own experience, you know the difference that small acts of kindness can make.
“So I was inspired to learn how you have partnered with hospitals across the East of England to provide hundreds of giftboxes with specially selected items to relieve the side effects of treatment and boost wellbeing.
“I know you are also working to extend this support more broadly to breast cancer patients across the whole UK through your Little Kindness Fund.”
“‘Little Lifts’ began as an idea shared around my kitchen table not long after I finished treatment for breast cancer in 2017. Since then, our small but mighty charity has distributed nearly 10,000 Little Lifts Boxes to people affected by primary and secondary breast cancer. Our Boxes contain practical items and mood-boosting goodies to support people undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy. We work in partnership with NHS hospitals in the East of England, and, in response to the pandemic, made our free support accessible to people from across the whole of the UK by launching The Little Kindness Fund.
“I am immensely proud of what we have achieved so far, and I would like to say an enormous thank you to our Little Lifts Community, who inspire me every day – my team, Trustees, volunteers, beneficiaries, fundraisers, hospital partnerships and supporters. I would also like to give thanks to my family and friends – after all, it was their kindness that inspired me to start the charity. To receive a Points of Light Award alongside so many other community champions, and for the Prime Minister to recognise our hard work and impact, is an honour. I would like to accept this Award on behalf of everyone who helps makes ‘Little Lifts’ possible. Thank you!”
Pictured: above – Oa with her husband; lower – Oa with a delivery of Little Lifts gift boxes the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital