The best get well gifts are those that lift your spirits, let you escape for a bit with some much deserved pampering, or serve a practical purpose. Creature comforts become so important when you're stuck at home or in hospital recovering from surgery or childbirth, recuperating from illness, going through treatment, or eight months pregnant and barely able to move.
The gifts on Not Another Bunch of Flowers are handpicked with this in mind - and a proportion of all profits are donated to charities that help support patients facing challenging illnesses, conditions and diagnoses, and invest in research to help find more treatments and cures.
Let me start by saying I love flowers! But, lovely as they are, they’re the easy and obvious 'go-to' option – and will only last a few days. So instead, why not send your loved one something more thoughtful or practical, or spoil them with a pampering gift? Aside from perishing after a week, there are other impracticalities with buying flowers: the person receiving them might miss the delivery; many hospitals now ban flowers; someone with a new-born to deal with won’t have a moment to even glance at them; there’s allergies and sensitivities to think about, and I can almost guarantee that they will have received a few bunches already… so why buy flowers when there are so many other thoughtful things you can opt for instead?
'What a brilliant idea! I had chemo a couple of years ago and would have loved some of these gifts instead of flowers. Very good luck with your business.' Ginny, Surrey.
'I have ordered the items. Can I also say what a lovely website to set up, our client has breast cancer and we thought that flowers would be the first choice for everyone so it is nice to send something a bit different and thoughtful, I will be using you again.' Tasha, Manchester.
If you’re buying for someone undergoing some form of treatment, it’s important to know that many patients opt to, or are recommended to, avoid ingredients such as dairy. So chocolates, cakes and biscuits containing dairy could easily go to waste. Other patients also avoid sugar, but in my gift collection I have included some luxury, dairy-free chocolates containing minimal sugar.
'Hello there! I've just seen your story on Meridian Tonight and just wanted to congratulate you. My mum was diagnosed with Lymphoma (a type of blood cancer) at the end of June this year and very sadly lost her battle on 28th September. She lived with my dad and sister in Suffolk and I am in Kent with my partner and four children. Because of this I didn't get to see my mum very often and wanted to send her cards and gifts to cheer her up. However as you would know it was very hard to find something! Nothing was suitable. The chemo had affected her tastebuds and she no longer liked chocolate, no flowers were allowed in the hospital and as you mentioned in your interview many toiletries contained unsuitable ingredients. I googled 'Hampers for cancer sufferers' and 'Gifts for people with cancer' but to no avail, I therefore just wanted to say well done on setting up this wonderful business. I'm sure it'll do very well. I just wish my mum was still here so I could purchase one of your hampers for her! Much love sent to you and very happy to hear of your recovery. Take Care.' Charmaine, Kent.
The toiletries I’ve selected all contain natural ingredients, are high quality, and make lovely, pampering gifts. All contain natural ingredients and no nasties. For those undergoing treatment for cancer, I have selected a gorgeous and luxurious brand specifically designed for cancer patients, containing only the most natural and organic ingredients. Many patients opt to, or are recommended to, avoid toiletries and cosmetics containing chemicals such as parabens and sulphates, and even certain essential oils are best avoided. For mums or loved ones who deserve a little pampering TLC I have selected some lovely pampering goodies that are also natural and free from nasties. There is something for everyone.
'@notanotherbunch such a good idea! I ended up with all the overly scented non-paraben-free toiletries lovely people gave my mum on chemo... She was sent lots of nice gifts but lots made her feel queasy or contained ingredients she was trying to avoid, so helping people negotiate that stuff is a really great idea.' Jess, London, via Twitter.
Clothing, pillows and blankets
Comfy, cosy loungewear such as pyjamas and dressing gowns are lovely gifts for those spending lots of time in bed, whether at home or in hospital. I’ve also selected some lovely quilts and pillows for enhanced sofa R&R.
'By the end of my stay in hospital I felt completely bedraggled and stripped of all my home comforts. Wrapping myself up in my gorgeous soft floral gown was the first step to feeling like me again. I lay there and actually felt a flutter of glamour (amongst the hand sanitiser dispensers and bed pans!).' AO, South London - Cotton Wrap Kimono.
Headwear for chemo patients
For cancer patients specifically, headscarves and hats are also a thoughtful gift, but you need to make sure they are made of breathable, natural fibres such as 100% cotton. Skin can become very sensitive and easily irritated, so man-made fibres (which tend to be less breathable) are a no-no.
'Just after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, a friend sent me a Bold Beanie packaged as a beautiful rose. It stood out from all the flowers and chocolates as a very thoughtful present that would also be useful for when I lost my hair. What I didn’t realise until my hair fell out was just how useful these beanies would be – my wigs were so uncomfy and my head was constantly cold, so I spent all autumn and winter wearing the hats around the house. My Mum and I ordered several more beanies, so that I had them in a variety of colours, and they also came in handy underneath woolly hats, to stop my head from itching. Brilliant invention!' Laura Price, author of 'The Big Scary 'C' Word'.
What else is there?
I have split the site into the following sections:
Jewellery: I have handpicked some jewellery with thoughtful and heartfelt messages and sentiments which makes them an excellent "get well" or "thinking of you" gift. These gifts are long-lived and act as an everyday reminder that you are thinking of them.
Chemotherapy Gifts: gifts that are useful and safe for use during treatment.
Hospital Gifts: alternatives to flowers and fruit that are now banned on many wards, these are thoughtful gifts for those facing surgery or hospital stays for any reason.
New Mums and Mums-To-Be: with many of our gifts having been bought for mums-to-be and new mums in need of a little TLC, we have introduced some thoughtful gifts for mums. Choose from naturally pampering toiletries, front-fastening dressing gowns and pyjamas, eyemasks and earplugs for hospital stays, snuggly slippers, tablet and e-reader stands for the endless hours in bed or breast-feeding, and sweets for morning sickness.
Gifts Under £10: a handpicked selection of lovely little gifts under £10 that can either be sent as a little token gift to remind the recipient that they are in your thoughts - or a few can be packaged together to form a larger hamper.
General Gifts: gifts for anyone in need of a little pick me up and TLC.
Pampering Gifts: a selection of luxuriously pampering toiletries, candles and reed diffusers. All are 100% natural and free from all nasties like parabens and sulphates.
Nightwear: a fresh pair of pyjamas, a pretty dressing gown or some cosy slippers are a lovely treat when spending time in hospital or recuperating at home. Snuggly bed socks, cuddly quilts and comforting hot water bottles also make lovely gifts at a time that creature comforts become more important.
Mobility Gifts: funky walking sticks and crutches with accessories.
Ready-Made-Hampers: a few gift combinations ready to buy - or to inspire you to create your own hampers.
Gift Vouchers: not sure what they'd like? Let them choose something they'd find useful to treat themselves. Our gift vouchers can be written out to any amount and can be redeemed against anything on our site.
Gifts For Him: get well gifts for him. Choose from pampering kits to sweets for nausea to cosy nightwear.