The CoppaFeel! charity exists to educate and remind every young person in the UK that checking their boobs isn’t only fun, it could save their life.
Their mission: To ensure all breast cancers are diagnosed early and correctly by…
* Encouraging you to check your boobs and pecs regularly from a young age.
* Educating you on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
* Empowering you to seek advice from a doctor if symptoms exist.
I can’t remember how I first came across CoppaFeel! but I was immediately a fan of their story and the work they were doing.
Years ago, people on Facebook shared strange status updates about colours or fruits or random phrases. It was a game played every year with the aim to raise awareness of breast cancer. In 2016, women posted status updates of the colour of their bras with no explanation. In 2017 they posted status updates of a fruit, the rules of the ‘game’ were typically sent in group chats to women, by women.
Now while I think raising awareness is a good thing, was posting random things on Facebook really doing it? Were people donating to cancer research/support charities alongside these updates, were they sharing information on what to look out for? Not as far as I saw. The biggest issue I had with this, was that these messages were not only sent to women exclusively, they also usually stated ‘don’t tell the boys’.
I get that it was supposed to be a bit of fun whilst raising awareness of a serious issue, but, don’t men also get breast cancer? Shouldn’t boys be made just as aware as girls? Do men and women alike not lose family and friends to cancer? I just didn’t understand the exclusion and it felt harmful to me.
So, what exactly do CoppaFeel! do?
They take their message to schools to help young people learn healthy boob checking habits. They engage with university campuses all over the UK to encourage and remind students to check their boobs. They go to workplaces, festivals and run educational media campaigns.
I’ve followed them on Instagram for a number of years now and they share wonderfully candid and engaging posts, reminding people to check themselves, how to do it and to do it regularly. They are open and honest, educational and fun.
They are so good at helping that you can sign up for reminders to check yourself here: Remind Me – CoppaFeel!
Free Text Reminders – A monthly text reminder direct to your mobile.
Shower Hijack – Stickers and Hangers to remind you to check.
Boob Mail – A monthly reminder to check your boobs in your inbox.
There are a group of volunteers called The Boobettes, fabulous name I know, that do some really excellent work. They are made up of people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 35, have had preventative surgery, a breast cancer scare at a young age or a strong connection to the disease.
Using their stories, they inspire others to think differently about their lives and bodies, educating people about the importance of getting to know your boobs now, and making it a lifelong habit.
CoppaFeel! encourage schools, workplaces, youth groups, girl guide groups, women’s institutes, anyone and everyone to book a session with one of the Boobettes and in return become Champions of Boob Health. Boobettes come armed with hand outs and stickers and can tailor their session to suit your requirements.
You can learn more about the Boobettes and arrange a visit here: The Boobettes – CoppaFeel!.
Just recently, I saw a post on their Insta, announcing a new digital tool called the Self-Checkout. It’s going to be launched in June, but they were asking for people to test it out and provide some feedback. I decided to sign up, as although I do check myself, I don’t do it often enough and realistically I have no idea what I’m doing!
The tool was super helpful, it didn’t make me feel silly, it took me through step by step, and was really informative. It told me all about where I should be checking, what changes my hormones can cause and taught me about learning what’s normal for me and when I should be concerned or seek help.
After I’d checked myself out and gave feedback on the tool, they asked me if I wanted to sign up for reminders and I decided to go for the text reminders. I definitely don’t do it often enough and now that I can use the tool I feel a lot more confident that I will be checking myself properly and will have the answers to any questions that may arise, readily available.
I absolutely recommend checking them out, tell your friends and family about them, tell your schools and work places, and most importantly, check yourself out!