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The Brazette

A Brief History of…Volunteering in the name of boobs

16 June 2022

10+ years of checking

CoppaFeel! Was founded thanks to the goodwill of friends and family volunteering their time to spread the checking message. This year marks 10 years of the Boobette programme – a big chunk of volunteering history at CoppaFeel! So we thought we’d speak to our co-founder Kris about her experience of volunteering in the early days.

Tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had volunteering for CoppaFeel! ?

Kris: My awesome pal Nicola is a PE teacher and she took it upon herself to organise a whole CoppaFeel! week at her school which included an assembly about yours truly, ”it’s a knocker out” game, non uniform day (anyone else call it muffty day?), made everyone wear glitter and CoppaFeel! stickers, badges and tattoo transfer and then rounded it off with me speaking. HOW COOL IS THAT. 

My talk was arranged at lunch time so it was VOLUNTARY for students to come. SO many kids rocked up to listen to me talk about boobs. I was so impressed by their interest and questions and enthusiasm. I love moments like that because I know what a huge impact this could have. I think about the conversations these kids will have at home, about what they’ve learnt, maybe reminding their mums to go to their mammogram etc. Basically, empowering young people is the BEST. A young Kris would have really appreciated and benefitted from all this boob chat at her school back in the day, she might have caught her breast cancer early, ya know? .

How has Volunteering Grown at CoppaFeel! ?

Kris: Volunteering has always been at the chest heart of CoppaFeel!. Collectively with our supporters, CoppaFeel! has a voice far greater than our size, and volunteers play a HUGE role in this; that’s why in 2010, just one year after CoppaFeel! was founded, we launched our Uni Boob Team programme. Our on-campus boob ninjas raise awareness and highlight the relevance of CoppaFeel! and our message to students across the UK. 

But we didn’t stop there!

Not only did we go on to set up The Boobettes – the power rangers of the boob world – but invited the public to support us at marathons, festivals and even at Boob HQ. Even if this meant stuffing envelopes – you lot have been SO willing to help and for that, you’ll always have a special place in the CoppaFeel! family.

CoppaFeel! Volunteer

A bloody brilliant human who spends their free time educating, encouraging and empowering others through the CoppaFeel! message so that everyone can have the best possible chance of surviving breast cancer.

– Team Boobs

It’s the 10 year anniversary of the boobettes this year, what’s your proudest moment of the past decade?

Kris: Gosh, there are so many things I’m proud of! I love that we’ve created a charity that gives people the opportunity to be good humans. Our team are good humans and everyone who volunteers for us LOVE what they do and it’s so nice to see. Of course, the proudest thing of all is hearing from people we’ve reached telling us their breast cancer was caught at a super early stage and doesn’t require the harshest treatments and they have the best survival opportunity, that’s pretty great. 

What’s been the most challenging part of wrangling volunteers for team Boob?

Kris: We get a lot of requests for Boobette visits in schools, workplaces, community groups etc, and sometimes we can’t fulfil them all, owing to the volunteers’ personal schedules, which is completely understandable and appreciated — they are taking time out of their busy lives to fulfil requests, after all. It’s difficult saying no when people are SO enthusiastic for information, so it can be a challenge for the team to figure out how to make sure we can involve ourselves in some way with them.

What’s next for CoppaFeel! When it comes to volunteering?

Kris: Wider reach, to more people, more communities, more “pockets” of people who are currently not being educated. We want to reach BME groups, people who don’t go to uni, young mums and basically everyone that needs to hear our message. The way we do this is still to be decided. 

The first step is to set our priorities for volunteering more long-term. Kristie, our new Volunteering Community Manager is working on this currently and wants to hear from our incredible volunteers, supporters, beneficiaries, and anyone who wants to speak to us about what our priorities should be!

Want to shape the future of volunteering at CoppaFeel!?

We want to hear from as many chest-checking babes, boob ninjas and pec enthusiasts as possible, about your thoughts on volunteering, all in the name of boobs.

As a starting point, why not grab a cuppa, get comfortable and spend 5 minutes telling us what you think about volunteering with CoppaFeel!

Don’t miss the chance to claim a gift from our friends at Anatomicals 👀.

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