A group of psychology students from a national charity are working alongside De Montfort Students’ Union to raise funds plus awareness of breast cancer and its symptoms.
CoppaFeel’s #BoobWeek begins Monday 8 February, coinciding with RAG events across the country and DMU’s UniBoob Team – the student representatives of the charity – are using the time to raise money to support the services that CoppaFeel provide, and to ensure they can continue to be present at events like festivals as they bid to raise awareness in young people.
Lauren Deacon, organiser and member of DMU UBT, said: “We have #BoobWeek, from the 8 until 12 February.
“On the Tuesday, we are holding a bake sale. There’ll be boob inspired cakes, and we want to get everyone talking about boobs.
“On the Wednesday, there will be Bra Pong and goodie bags being handed out to fundraise and raise awareness, and we’re promoting the text service that CoppaFeel do.
“The text service costs £2 per 40 people per month, so the fundraising that we do helps to support that. Everyone’s on their phones nowadays so instead of a poster it has to be a text.
“And festivals cost £1,000 just to be at, and we were at a lot this year, which was really good.”
The week beginning February 22 is Volunteering Week at DSU, and the CoppaFeel team are working with DSU’s Volunteering Office to try and use the week to go into lectures across campus to talk to students about what they do and, crucially, find more students to carry on their good work once they leave DMU in June.
“We’re currently drafting an email to send to Course Reps, to hopefully go in and talk to students about what CoppaFeel does, what the UniBoob team does and, because we are all third years, we need to find others to take it on next year,” continued Lauren.
“We want to make it more established, because CoppaFeels’s been at DMU before but didn’t really take off and stay.
“This year we’ve accomplished quite a lot with awareness campaigns and fundraising, and instead of the C-word being stigmatised, we want to make everyone a bit more aware of it.”
Natalie Billing, also a member of the UniBoob Team, said: “We quite like having a face at uni and always having something going on so other people can get involved, and keep it going and key.”
Natalie said that the work CoppaFeel and their UBT team does is imperative in helping to make young people aware of breast cancer, and to get them checking themselves, as often they can tend to overlook health matters.
Fellow member Sanya Ijaz said: “We’re here to say, ‘If you think there’s something wrong, go to the doctors’.”
Lauren added: “When you’re this young you’re just so naive about what can happen.
“It’s almost to get the C-word not spoken about in the sense of cancer, but just getting people aware of their own bodies.”
As members of Coppafeel, the team were this week invited to the Celebrity Boob Ball, a dodgeball match held in London that featured a raft of famous supporters of the charity, and the team says that they are given the chance to do fun things as part of their vitally important work.
Lauren said: “It was really good to see Tom Fletcher [from McFly], Mario from Towie, Russell Howard, who’s one of the promoters, and we got to see the founder, Kris [Hallenga], so it was a really good experience.
“With CoppaFeel there are so many opportunities.”
Sanya agreed: “With CoppaFeel they give us, the students, so many opportunities to do fun and different things, even stuff outside uni, like the dodgeball event. It was so much fun.
“And it’s nice to know there are celebrities supporting what we’re trying to do as well.”
The team’s bake sale takes place between 10am and 3pm on the Campus Centre steps on Tuesday 9 February, while the Bra Pong event will take place inside the SU on Wednesday between the same times.
To see more about DMU UBT, who aspire to become a society with more members, you can find them on Facebook and on Twitter.