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Little Lifts Fashion Show Champions Breast Cancer Community

We recently held our fourth Little Lifts Fashion show with John Lewis, spotlighting 19 individuals affected by breast cancer.

A Fashion Show with a Difference

This event united our vibrant breast cancer community to support our courageous models and raise funds for those impacted by breast cancer. The dedicated teams at John Lewis styled our models and transformed the venue into a stunning showcase.

Bigger Than Ever!

We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and generosity of over 260 attendees, helping us raise over £6,000—nearly double previous years’ totals! These funds will greatly expand our reach, providing more Little Lifts Boxes to people affected by breast cancer across the UK.

Meet Our Inspirational Models

This year, 19 inspiring models shared their unique experiences with breast cancer on the runway. Each one exhibited strength, beauty, and individuality, embodying the spirit of resilience.

Oa Hackett – Little Lifts Founder

“I am embracing the catwalk because ten years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Little Lifts and its amazing community have been a huge part of my recovery, and I am so proud of what we have achieved since the first Box went out at the end of November 2017.  This year we are aiming to distribute 10,000 Boxes and we cannot do it alone. Partnerships like the one we have with the brilliant team at John Lewis Norwich provide important opportunities to empower people affected by breast cancer, raise awareness and funds to support our work, and ultimately help us to spread kindness!”

Emma Washington

“Former life – a legal draftsman, fitness addict and sewing school co-creator. I was then diagnosed at 39 with Stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma (did not show on a mammogram!) and immediately had a double mastectomy and five months of aggressive chemo. Next stop radiotherapy and hormone treatments for 10 years (if I make it there, fingers crossed!). Whilst all choices are very personal and valid, there seems to be a tendency to show reconstruction as the only option after breast cancer. Whether that be in fashion, media or elsewhere and females with no breasts are unseen and unrepresented. Sometimes reconstruction is not possible, or viable, or wanted. I wanted to stand up for all my ‘flattie’ sisters out there who only have scars and no visibility in the world. Despite what the message out there seems to be – we are no less women without boobs.”

Tamara Rooms 

“I’m 39 mom of a 20 and 13 year old young ladies. Getting TNBC was a massive shock and as a woman under 40 I struggled to find people my age during treatment and also black woman I would love and accept any opportunity to promote this within my own community and spread as much awareness as I can for my own age group.”

Tamara was our first model to take part who is a beneficiary of a Little Kindness Fund gift Box, travelling from Birmingham to take part!

Gizela 

“I am 39 years old, diagnosed straight with stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer. My body changed so much after the treatment. I live in a shell under the dark cloud called anxiety, stress and cancer. I’ve slowly started to love myself but being a model for such an amazing charity is just a dream I never thought I’d be able to do. I’m pretty proud of myself. I want to show my 3 girls that beauty is not just outside but the whole picture.”

Claire Melton

“I’m Claire and was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in 2018 . It’s incurable and I’m on lifelong treatment. I want to model to raise awareness of secondary breast cancer and to prove you can still live well with an incurable terminal disease. I say yes to everything as I want to experience many different things while I’m still well enough to do so. #gograblife”

Sophie Evelyn Makuve

“My name is Sophie, I’m married and a mum to our 5 year old little boy. We sadly lost my sister to breast cancer over 10 years ago and I know how hard it is to watch a loved one go through that fight. Despite losing her, she lives on in our memories forever and has inspired me and others in so many ways to live life to the full. As a family we have also experienced other family members going through cancer treatment and the work Little Lifts does is amazing. I would be proud to be part of the day and contribute to such an amazing cause.”

Sharon Kelly

“Being diagnosed with breast cancer came as a complete shock for me. I was diagnosed after having my first mammogram in February 2022 at the age of 50. Receiving the Little Lifts Box was very pleasant and unexpected as I’d never heard of the charity before. The contents in the chemotherapy box were amazing, I didn’t know at the time I’d receive another box ahead of my radiotherapy, again the contents were amazing, just what you need for going through treatment, so thoughtful. I finished my active treatment in October 2023 and decided I would like to give something back to the charities I’d received help from. I attended the Little Lifts Christmas party in December with my friend, that’s where I met Oa and she told me about the fashion show.”

Karen Richardson

“Hi, my name is Karen. As a survivor of breast cancer, I am delighted to help support Little Lifts in their mission to provide practical and genuinely useful aids to recovery. Receiving these little packages of care and thoughtfulness brings moments of light to a sometimes dark journey.”

Cat Tovell 

“I started volunteering for Little Lifts after my own breast cancer diagnosis in 2021 and receiving one of their radiotherapy boxes. I’d known about the charity before that and thought what they did was wonderful, but I never expected to be in the position of benefiting myself. So I was happy to help when they were looking for models for the show, and wanted to do something out of my usual comfort zone. Unfortunately my first two attempts were scuppered by a second diagnosis of breast cancer in 2023 and the treatment and surgery for that, for which I received a Little Lifts chemotherapy box – a little silver lining! This is my third time lucky, and a big thank you to Oa and the team for their support over the last year, and for all they do to bring some love and light in what can be the darkest of times.”

Kim Smith

“Little Lifts has been such a large part of my journey since I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in 2018. Not only has it supported me, the friendships I’ve made along the way will be with me for life. Doing this fashion show feels empowering and emotional in so many ways.”

Sarah Stapleton

“I wanted to model for Little Lifts after receiving a wonderful box prior to starting chemotherapy. The box was so well thought out with everything I didn’t even know I would need. Each item helped immensely with side effects and helped me manage day to day. I felt so well supported and can’t thank them enough.”

Louis Hilldrup-Boorman

“Little Lifts hold a special place in our hearts at Rogers & Norton, as it’s one of our chosen charities to support. In my role as Marketing Manager, I’ve witnessed first-hand the incredible work Little Lifts does in providing care packages to breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment. Breast cancer has touched the lives of many within my life and my workplace, whether it’s family, friends, colleagues or clients. By participating in this fashion show, I’m not only showing my personal support for this cause but also representing Rogers & Norton’s commitment to supporting Little Lifts over the next three years. Despite the nerves building, I’m honoured to be modelling for the Little Lifts fashion show.”

Martyn Golec

“Taking part in the fashion show is the least I can do to show support to the charity that gave my wife a real lift at a time she needed it most. Becky being diagnosed with breast cancer was a scary moment for us as a family, the support received from the Little Lifts family has been really special. Becky modelled in the last fashion show, so now it’s my turn.”

Chris Bailey 

“I am delighted to support the work of the charity in whatever way I can, and this opportunity to be part of their annual Fashion Show is a great honour. I am extremely thrilled to be invited and am looking forward to finding out what the stylists think I look best in – might be a shock for me!”

Shahin Assadinia

“Supporting Little Lifts is my way of making a positive impact on the lives of cancer patients and their families. It’s time to take action and make a real difference.”

Tyler Carey

“My mother-in-law had breast cancer back in 2022. She went through chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She received a Little Lifts Box and I would like to give something back. She is in remission and doing very well.”

Stitch Richardson

“As soon as I was asked if I’d be interested in modelling in the show it was an immediate yes. A no-brainer. Not because I’m particularly comfortable strutting around in front of complete strangers, in fact far from it, but like so many people I’ve loved and lost loved ones to breast cancer, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate and honour their bravery in such a positive way. What’s not to love about raising money and having fun at the same time?”

William Robinson 

“My Mum is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. You quickly realise cancer is a formidable opponent, you also quickly realise it is equally matched by the care, love and attention received from the staff at the UEA Hospital. Little Lifts adds to this with small gifts to say you’re not on your own. I think that’s the best help you can get, to me it says, ‘we’ve been here before and together we’ll help to get you through this.’”

Graham Upson

“Hello. My name is Graham Upson and I have been a volunteer at Little Lifts for almost two years. Apart from helping to construct the Little Lifts boxes and fill them with such fantastically appropriate products, I also drive the Little Lifts van to deliver the boxes to our partner hospitals in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Just last week I had the enormous privilege and pleasure to deliver our 20,000th box at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge – an amazing achievement for our relatively small but ever expanding charity. And of course our Little Lifts Boxes are then handed out personally by the hospital consultants to their breast cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgical treatment. Which is how I was prompted to get involved as both my wife, Natalie, who died in 2019 and my daughter, Alice, who passed away in 2022 received Little Lifts Boxes during the course of their breast cancer treatments. What an uplifting experience to receive such thoughtful quality gifts so unexpectedly and at a time when spirits are low. And be in no doubt what great pleasure and fun I get back in return for my small contribution to our wonderful Little Lifts community. Fashion modelling! – and so much more!”

Jasper Houghton-Hood

“My mum works for Little Lifts and I have always been a supporter of this amazing charity as I have known Oa since I was a baby. What they do is so great and I am excited to be a part of this special show.”

A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

Our models enjoyed pampering sessions, with their makeup, skincare and hair taken care of by John Lewis (Bare Minerals and Benefit Cosmetics) along with Bea Coloured and Courage and Noble. They were treated to refreshments, relaxation areas, and thoughtful goodie bags. 

These little touches ensure our models feel special and treated. We love being able to give back to the breast cancer community!

The big moment

Once again, the John Lewis teams blew us away! They not only transformed the entire space with beautiful floral decorations but also successfully tackled the logistical challenge of seating over 260 people.

Guests were warmly welcomed by our fabulous team and volunteers, who mingled with them before they took their seats. We extend a huge thank you to everyone who purchased a raffle ticket before the show. This alone raised £2000 to support individuals affected by breast cancer!

The Catwalk

Models showcased three distinct looks—beach, brunch, and bougie! We loved watching their faces light up as they all had their own special moment on the runway. Special thanks to Cat and Emma for sharing their inspiring breast cancer stories during the show as well.

Celebrating Our Breast Cancer Community

We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing Little Lifts Community. The Little Lifts Fashion Show with John Lewis is such a special event for us as we get to celebrate our breast cancer community; people who have been affected in some way by our work. It is so important that we represent different experiences because no-one’s experience of breast cancer is the same.

We featured models who have been impacted in various ways, from those who have personally experienced breast cancer to others who have lost a loved one to the disease. Among them were individuals who received a Little Lifts Box from our earliest days—some even part of our inaugural focus group (self-dubbed the OGs)—and we were honoured to welcome a participant from our Little Kindness Fund who travelled hours to join the show.

A BIG thank you to each and every one of you!

Thanks to Our Partners

We are so grateful for the wonderful support from John Lewis Norwich. The team is a privilege to work with. Thank you to each and everyone of you for your kindness, dedication and generosity of spirit. Not only do they support, empower and champion our models, they also help us to raise vital funds to support more people affected by breast cancer. 

Here’s to you Mark, Rachel, Jack, Laura, Lydia, Laura, Andrea, Chloe, the beauty teams, the VM team, and many more who contributed to this event!

We would also like to say a big thank you to:

James Rouse – thank you for always capturing our models so beautifully with your amazing photography.

Special thank to The D’Capo Choir for their wonderful live music, which entertained our guests and provided a soundtrack for our models as they walked the runway.

Steve’s PA Hire for providing excellent sound and expertise. 

Bea, Courage Noble, the John Lewis Beauty Team (Bare Minerals and Benefit Cosmetics) and Fired Rose Jewellery for hair, makeup, jewellery and generally pampering our models.

MooGoo Skincare, Spacemasks and John Lewis for our guest’s goodie bags. 

We would also like to thank the wonderful Amy Dowden for her kind words of support for our fashion show and incredible models.

Finally, a heartfelt thank you to our amazing guests for empowering our models with cheers, applause, and smiles as they graced the catwalk. Your support through ticket and raffle sales enables us to provide more Little Lifts gift Boxes, offering crucial support to those affected by breast cancer.

Join Us in Making a Difference

If you’d like to join us in our mission to support every person in the UK undergoing treatment for breast cancer, visit our “Get Involved” page and make a difference. There are so many ways to become part of our special breast cancer community.