Residents of Rhydyfelin have had their hands full collecting unwanted bras for Against Breast Cancer, a cancer research charity.
Tenants of Library Court, a sheltered scheme in the Taf Valley, came together to raise awareness for breast cancer in January. The idea was suggested by Scheme Co-Ordinator Suzanne Rees, who felt this was a great way of recycling unused bras and avoiding landfill.
The bra recycling project, run by charity Against Breast Cancer, takes unwanted bras to raise funds for pioneering breast cancer research. The textile recovery project stops the bras being sent to landfill, and instead sends them to Africa, where such items are normally very expensive.
Donations among Library Court residents initially reached around 40 items, but Suzanne realised that to post the haul would cost around £14, so she contacted Breast Cancer Awareness who were able to provide a number of donation boxes, or Bra Banks. They promised free collection of items if the number surpassed 300 – so the challenge to collect bras began.
Suzanne and Trivallis tenants rallied in the community, putting posters up in Rhydyfelin Community Centre, the library and the post office to promote the campaign. Suzanne said: “The community of Rhydyfelin is very good at supporting our Library Court tenants. They have been dropping donations off at the library, the post office, the community centre and the sheltered scheme. We aimed for 300 but we have over 500 now.”
“This is a massive achievement, and actually, a huge community achievement too. I am really chuffed. If the charity can do something with the bras, then let’s help them.” Library Court tenants set about spreading the word at the local bingo, with local councillor Maureen Webber announcing to attendees how they can get involved with donating bras. They saw an influx of donations the following week. One of the tenants enlisted her daughter to share the campaign on Facebook and spread the word among the wider community.
Those involved were shocked at how quickly they managed to exceed the 300 bra mark. “We thought it would take 6 months, and even if we get any at all, but it was so quick. If we can do that in 3 months, imagine how much could be collected if we all did it?” Suzanne added.
According to the charity, for every tonne of bras collected, Against Breast Cancer receives £700 to fund further research.
Suzanne, who is a relief worker across the Trivallis sheltered schemes, also received donations from Blaengwawr Close in Aberaman, Trem-y-Cwm in Beddau and Church View Close in Brynna, after she placed Bra Banks in the sheltered accommodation.
Library Court and the Rhydyfelin community are going to continue to collect bras. The Bra Banks will be stationed at the sheltered scheme, community centre, post office and library, so if you have any unwanted or unused bras, head to Rhydyfelin and help make a difference.
If you want to get involved and find out more, head to: Bra Recycling – Against Breast Cancer
For any donations to Library Court, contact Suzanne.Rees@trivallis.co.uk