Scaynes Hill woman who beat cancer helps to bring people joy
A Scaynes Hill woman who survived breast cancer has helped bring comfort and support to cancer patients during the last year by sending out thousands of gift boxes.
Anikka Burton, 43, founded Not Another Bunch of Flowers in 2013 to provide a personalised gift box service.
She said: “The past year has been the most awful time for cancer patients due to Covid.
“I know how lonely a cancer diagnosis can make you feel, let alone in the middle of a pandemic.
“They have been completely isolated and unable to see friends and family due to having to shield.
“Treatments and surgery may have been stopped or postponed, causing extreme anxiety, and they are unable to have experiences and live life at a time that they are being brutally reminded how short life can be.”
At the start of lockdown, Anikka said she was sending a lot of care packages between loved ones who were forced apart and not sure when they would see each other again.
She said: “The demand was incredible.
“We had challenges because of our small office and we had to work weekends and extra hours to cope.
“We even created specific lockdown and home school survival boxes complete with treats such as edible treats, pampering products and a stiff drink – just to make the period easier on the people who were most isolated.”
Cancer patients have been told to shield during the last year, with some told not to even enter their gardens.
Annika said: “These people were stuck and told only to go out for medical appointments.
“They didn’t have a support network at this time, so we started working with the Willow Foundation, a charity which organise special days to create memories for seriously ill young adults.
“We worked closely with the charity to send thousands of care packages to young adults in palliative and end-of-life care.
“We’re honoured to be able to help in a tiny way.
“We are still sending care packages on a weekly basis, but hope that the special days will be able to resume soon.”