Adults receiving cancer treatment often spend long periods in hospital. Some receive few, if any, visitors and some cannot afford to buy essential items or things to distract them during the hours of treatment.
The Lewis Foundation provides gift bags of items such as puzzle books and toiletries free of charge to patients in a number of hospitals.
It began providing these to patients on the Talbot Butler ward at Northampton General Hospital about three years ago. Staff told the charity, which is completely run by volunteers, it would need to provide around 80 gifts per month. Now, it provides 2,500 free gifts every month to cancer patients at seven hospitals in the Midlands.
Goods for the packs come from a number of sources including corporate partners and members of the public. As demand has grown, the charity has reduced the cost of each pack from £10 to £3.60.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Lewis programme expanded to three more hospitals in Nottinghamshire and created emergency packs for cancer patients who were self-isolating in the community.
The charity is now looking to grow further and is in talks with more hospitals.
Su Sayer, chair of the Charity Awards judges, said she was deeply touched by the Foundation’s work, which had impacted so many people for such a low cost.
“This sort of thing will make such a huge difference to cancer patients as they prepare themselves for chemotherapy,” she said. She was also impressed by the high potential for replicability.
CC Reg no. 1166405