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Press Release - 31 Oct 2015

A West Sussex woman to become a catwalk superstar for Breast Cancer Care

A woman from Haywards Heath is continuing to do things she would never have done before having breast cancer. Anikka Burton is to be a model for this year's Breast Cancer Care’s London fashion show. The celebrity-hosted event is held at Grosvenor House Hotel on Wednesday 7 October. 

Annika was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, aged 33. It was a disease she was very aware of. She explains more:

“I lost my mother to the disease when I was young and as a result was always worried about getting it myself, I even approached a clinic about preventative surgery but was told I was not at risk until my 40s. The same clinic then dismissed me even when I went back with a swollen breast. It took me begging for a biopsy for them to finally agree. Thank goodness I did as two weeks later I was told I had breast cancer and my life changed forever”

Anikka was immediately given chemotherapy to try and shrink the tumor and nine months later she was able to have a double mastectomy. Despite some challenging side effects from the treatment, having breast cancer also resulted in a positive one. Anikka said:

“Cancer makes you think about your own mortality and makes you realise how short life can be. For me it made me bite the bullet and set up my own business. I had always wanted to work for myself and being sick inspired me to set up ‘Not Another Bunch of Flowers’ – a website offering pretty and pampering get well gifts as an alternative to flowers. It’s going really well and I love working for myself.”

It was this change in attitude that made Anikka apply to be a model. She was well aware of Breast Cancer Care services, after calling the support line and using the forum. She said she took inspiration reading other peoples stories and posts. The 37 year old is hoping by taking part in The Show she can offer the same inspiration to people more recently diagnosed.

Anikka is one of 32 models who will be strutting her stuff in a wide variety of stunning outfits by designers like Butler & Wilson and Jeff Banks to high-street stores like House of Fraser, Dorothy Perkins and George at Asda. The models will be styled by fashion correspondent Hilary Alexander and London Fashion Week co-ordinator Lesley Goring, hair will be styled by Sassoon Salons and make-up is by Estée Lauder.

The celeb filled event is now in its 19th year. It launches October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Samia al Qadhi, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Care, said:

“We are so excited to see our inspiring models take to the catwalk in front of their friends and families. Their courage and hard work is an inspiration that not only makes The Show a really special event but also helps Breast Cancer Care raise vital funds to ensure we help others face the brutal effects of a breast cancer diagnosis.”

Book a ticket NOW to support Anikka, tickets range from £75 - £195, please call 0345 092 0806 or email


Notes to Editors

About Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Care is the only specialist breast cancer support charity working throughout the UK. We were founded in 1973 by Betty Westgate, who was herself diagnosed with breast cancer. In the ensuing forty years we have supported millions of women and their families through our face-to-face, phone and online services. We also provide training, support and networking opportunities to specialist breast cancer nurses, and Breast Cancer Care publications are used by the majority of breast cancer units throughout the UK.  We campaign for better support and care and promote the importance of early detection, involving people with breast cancer in all that we do. Visit or call our free helpline on 0808 800 6000.


Press Release - 10 Oct 2014


  • Seven in 10 (69%) Britons have been affected by cancer
  • Emotional and practical support needed most after diagnosis
  • Half of all 18-34 year olds relied on social media networks for support
  • 56% changed their diet after being diagnosed with cancer
  • 31% take each day as it comes since their diagnosis

Friends and family form a crucial support network in the war on cancer, yet the internet and social media plays a big part for younger cancer sufferers, according to a new study1 by website Not Another Bunch of Flowers2 and Opinium Research3.

Over two thirds (69%) of Britons have been affected by cancer in some way. While the majority (77%) of those diagnosed with the disease believe they received adequate support from friends, family or other groups to help them deal with the emotional impact of cancer, sadly one in six didn’t.

Sharing is essential

Over a third of cancer sufferers (36%) polled by Opinium Research felt that sharing the news of their diagnosis with friends and family members was the best way for them to deal with it. However, the internet also plays a very influential role, particularly among those aged 18-34 - half (50%) of whom admitted to sharing their news and feelings via social media and blogs.

Feeling helpless

Many people want to provide support, but don’t necessarily know how to do so. As such three in ten (29%) of those diagnosed with cancer said they got the feeling that many people wanted to help but didn’t know what to do. Just under one in five (18%) said they felt people avoided them because they didn’t know what to say or do.  A fifth (21%) also received gifts and products they couldn’t eat or use as they were avoiding certain ingredients.

In fact, a third of people who have suffered from cancer said they felt responsible for upsetting those closest to them because of their diagnosis and a quarter (25%) felt that people tried to make them feel better but their words of consolation belittled their fears surrounding the diagnosis. A further 16% said that people asked them questions, or made statements, which scared, rather than supported them.

Anikka Burton, founder of website Not Another Bunch of Flowers and creator of blog ‘Chemo for Beginners’ who was herself diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2011 said: “I can see why people are scared of saying or doing the wrong thing when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, however all people really want to know is that you care and are there for them if they need you. Cancer can be incredibly isolating so being able to share your experience with your loved ones is a great help.”

Unfortunately for some, ‘the big C’ is still seen as a taboo topic, with over one in five (22%) who have a friend or relative that has diagnosed with cancer admitting they were reluctant to ask a friend or family member how they were doing because they were unsure whether it was the right thing to do or just didn’t like to ask. This apprehension appears unfounded as over half (54%) of cancer sufferers say they were glad people cared enough to ask, while only 5% said it made them feel uncomfortable.

Diet dilemmas

The only area where a real disconnect appeared between those diagnosed with cancer and those around them was diet. While over half (56%) of those diagnosed with cancer say they changed their diet by avoiding products and substances such as red meat (18%), alcohol (17%) and products containing parabens and sulphates (11%), only 16% of those who’d had a friend or relative diagnosed with cancer were aware that they avoided certain foods, while only 7% thought they had avoided using certain products on their skin.

Anikka Burton added:  “Following my diagnosis, I like many others, examined my diet far more closely than before as I wanted to become healthier and it was a way of regaining some control. I was advised to avoid dairy and certain chemicals such as parabens. I was not alone in making these changes - many others I have met did the same. Unfortunately this can result in people being unable to eat foods or use products gifted by well-meaning friends. One way to get around this is simply to ask your friend whether they are avoiding certain products or foods, err on the side of caution, or just offer them support in a different way if you don’t want to ask.”

Moving on

One of the biggest challenges to those facing cancer is how to move on – especially because most will never really be declared free of the disease.  Almost a quarter (24%) of sufferers surveyed said their day to day activities are restricted because of their long term health problems and treatment. While almost a third (31%) say they take each day as it comes because they are fearful of the cancer returning. And it isn’t just those who are diagnosed with cancer who it affects. Almost four in 10 (39%) said that having a friend or relative diagnosed with cancer made them more aware of their own mortality.

-Ends -

Notes to Editors

1Based on 2002 Online Interviews, undertaken from 9 – 11 September 2014 by Opinium Research

2 offers a range of pretty, yet practical gifts for those in need of cheering up, particularly those facing surgery or aggressive treatment regimes such as chemotherapy. It was founded by Anikka Burton who was diagnosed with an aggressive malignant invasive ductal carcinoma at the age of 33. Although a recipient of many (lovely!) bunches of flowers she launched to add a new dimension to the get-well gift market. More information on Anikka’s story is available at In addition to founding the website Anikka also runs a blog called Chemo for Beginners which has received 20,000 visitors from all over the world. 

3 Opinium Research LLP

Opinium Research is a full service market research agency offering quantitative and qualitative marketing research and consultancy across a range of sectors. These include consumer markets, financial services and insurance, technology, business to business, advertising and media, automotive, business and leisure travel, politics and healthcare. Opinium’s offering spans consultancy, syndicated, Omnibus and field and data services. Opinium runs a daily low-cost online Omnibus survey interviewing 2000 UK adults per wave.

Opinium – What People Think, Feel and Do.

For further information:

Inez de Koning

Aveley Consulting


Mobile: 07940 526021


Karen Mignon



Phone: 020 7294 3685


Rozie Green



Phone: 020 7566 9724


Hayley Fewster                                                     



Phone: 020 7294 3638


Anikka Burton


Mobile: 07989 383462


Press Release - 16 Oct 2013


  • New website offers great practical gifts as an alternative to flowers
  • Packages range in price from £10 - £150
  • Cards and ‘promise vouchers’ also available
  • Suitable for those facing surgery or undergoing chemotherapy

A new website, dreamed up by a young cancer sufferer while undergoing chemotherapy, is set to radically alter how we buy get-well gifts. offers a range of pretty, yet practical gifts for those in need of cheering up, particularly those facing surgery or aggressive treatment regimens such as chemotherapy.

Traditionally flowers have been the ‘go to’ gift when people are ill or in hospital, but with some wards no longer allowing flowers and certain hospitals even banning flowers completely1, well-wishers are struggling for alternatives. Even those tempted to send a pampering pack or tasty treats could inadvertently be spending their money on gifts that cannot be used or eaten as many patients are advised to avoid alcohol, dairy, sugar and chemicals such as parabens and even essential oils. gives buyers the confidence that their gift will be useful, useable and really appreciated. The range on offer varies from luxury brands to more unique items (handmade by UK designers) and cost from £10 to £150. The website includes:

  • Pampering packages - pretty washbags filled with pampering natural goodies
  • Relaxation packages - containing natural and luxurious treats to encourage relaxation and a good night’s sleep
  • Surgery care packages - tote bags filled with luxurious gifts to make any stay in hospital more comfortable
  • Chemo care packages - tote bags filled with luxurious gifts for those about to start chemotherapy
  • Beautiful 100% cotton scarves and beanies for hairloss
  • Promise vouchers - these vouchers include promises such as “A Home-Cooked Meal”, “Babysitting” and “A Listening Ear and a Shoulder To Cry On”. These vouchers will be priced at £1 each and the full amount will be donated to Cancer Research UK.
  • Pretty eyemask, earplug and compact mirror sets
  • Cosy pyjamas, dressing gowns and kimonos
  • A wide range of get well cards with messages including “Get Well Soon”, “Thinking of You” and “Good Luck”

Commenting on the launch of the new website, founder Anikka Burton said: “After being diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer in May 2011 I received lots of gifts and cards from my friends, family, colleagues and clients, and it meant so much knowing I had such strong support behind me.

“However, I was inundated with flowers to the extent that I ran out of containers to put them in and I was unable to use other gifts due to the ingredients. This seemed to be quite common among other women I have met since, so I decided to set up a website selling pretty and pampering gifts that would be suitable for others facing surgery and treatment for any illness. I also wanted to sell something that would be welcome in hospitals given that many trusts no longer allow flowers on hygiene grounds.

“I searched and asked around and nothing similar seemed to exist for this market. Although there are sites selling general get-well gifts, many would not be suitable or particularly useful for those facing more serious illnesses and treatments. In the US there are a few sites selling care packages, but they are very clinical or heavily branded with the associated ribbon – none of them provide pretty and pampering gifts that I would like to receive myself.”

Although the website was predominantly launched with patients facing surgery and treatment regimens (such as chemotherapy) in mind, due to Anikka’s own personal experiences, the gifts will be suitable for anyone who is poorly and in need of cheering up.

Anikka adds: “When you feel unwell or are constrained in what you are allowed to ingest or use on your body not only do you feel restricted but so do those around you who want to help. My range of gifts is natural, organic and pretty and is designed to make you feel good, while remaining practical for use during surgery and treatment.”

In recognition of the fantastic support Anikka received during her own treatment, a percentage of the profits posted by will be going to charity.  The website also sells Pixie’s Happy Bags (unique cute little bags that contain little gifts with heartfelt messages) priced at £2 and Promise Vouchers (vouchers promising support or help such as babysitting, a home-cooked meal etc) priced at £1 – 100% of which will be donated to charity. Donation vouchers will be available for those that want to include a donation as part of the hamper.


Notes to Editors

1 Hospital policies on flowers vary but two examples include: and . was founded by Anikka Burton who was diagnosed with an aggressive malignant invasive ductal carcinoma at the age of 33. Although a recipient of many (lovely!) bunches of flowers, she hopes that the launch of will add a new dimension to the get-well gift market. More information on Anikka’s story is available at

For further information or JPEGS of the gifts or Anikka please contact:

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