Marks & Spencer (M&S) today launches a new partnership with Breast Cancer Now which aims to raise £13 million over the next five years in a bid to prevent 9,000 cases of breast cancer a year by 2025.
Monday 28 September 2015      General
Marks and Spencer launches new partnership with Breast Cancer Now

This will play a part in Breast Cancer Now’s wider goal to reduce 30 per cent of cases of breast cancer by 2050.

From tomorrow and throughout October M&S stores nationwide and M&S.com will promote the partnership and stock a range of exclusive lingerie – including a post-surgery bra with specifically developed features for women who have undergone surgery – fragrance and flowers that will include a donation to Breast Cancer Now.

M&S’ biggest store, Marble Arch on Oxford Street, will turn pink for October. The money raised by the partnership will help Breast Cancer Now’s scientists discover a way to calculate an individual woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

It is hoped this vital research will lead to the development of a risk assessment tool in the future that will better inform women of the options available to them based on their own, personal risk of breast cancer.

Currently, women in the UK have an average one in eight chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime and only women considered ‘high risk’ because of their family history are entitled to additional check-ups and preventative options, which may help them reduce this risk.

However, there is no such thing as an average woman and the development of a risk prediction tool for all women to use would mean many more could benefit from tailored risk reduction advice in the future.

Jo Jenkins, Director of Womenswear, Lingerie and Beauty at M&S says:

"This is a campaign that will have a direct impact on the fight against breast cancer and it is a cause that matters to our customers. Over the past 14 years, together with our customers, we’ve raised over £20 million for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, now Breast Cancer Now, and we’re now making it even easier for our customers to get involved and donate to this amazing cause.”

Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Now says:

“One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 10 minutes in the UK. While our Generations Study ─ which M&S has played an integral part in helping to fund ─ has already given us unprecedented insight into the causes of breast cancer, we still don’t know enough about how these different factors interact and what this means for an individual woman. The continuing research that M&S and its customers will help make possible will enable our scientists to take that all-important next step to ultimately start preventing the disease, sparing women and their loved ones the fear and uncertainty breast cancer can cause.”

Research previously conducted by Breast Cancer Now revealed that 82 per cent of women surveyed agreed that, if it were possible, they would want to use this tool to find out their individual risk of developing breast cancer if it was offered free by the NHS.

Further research to find out why women would want to be told their risk was mixed and prompted multiple considerations from many, including 45 per cent agreeing they would want to know for peace of mind; 38 per cent to feel more in control of their health; and 38 per cent to make an informed choice on whether they should change their lifestyle.

However, despite the desire for women to find out their own risk of developing breast cancer, only 23 per cent claim to be ‘very aware’ of what factors can increase risk of the disease.

While helping to fund important research in to breast cancer prevention, the five-year initiative will also include a wellbeing programme to share the most up to date advice on what more general steps women can take now to help reduce the risk of breast cancer, such as maintaining a healthy weight.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley lingerie range

M&S also has a new range of lingerie developed in partnership with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley specifically for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The range includes a new post-surgery bra and 10% of sales will go towards M&S’ target of raising £13m over the next five years.

Seven women who have been directly impacted by breast cancer are the models in a new advertising campaign that will run online and in all M&S stores.

Find out more

#ShowYourStrap

To kick off the partnership a new social media campaign #ShowYourStrap will call upon M&S customers to take to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show support for the battle against breast cancer, by posting a selfie showing their bra strap.

Nominations of friends and family to do the same will be encouraged, along with donating £3 to Breast Cancer Now via text.

Text to donate

You can make a £3 donation to Breast Cancer Now today by simply tweeting a #ShowYourStrap selfie, nominating a friend to show theirs, and texting SUPPORT to 70003 donate £3.

Text messages will be charged £3 plus one message at your standard network rate. Breast Cancer Now will receive 100% of your donation. To discuss this donation, call 0333 20 70 300 (Mon-Thurs 9:00am to 5:30pm and Fri 9:00am to 4:30pm).

By using this service, you agree that Breast Cancer Now may contact you by text or phone in the future. If you’d rather we didn’t text NO CALL to the end of your text e.g. SUPPORT NO INFO. Registered charity no. 1160558 in England and Wales and SC045584 in Scotland.

Spark Something Good

The partnership between M&S and Breast Cancer Now is part of Spark Something Good, which aims to get employees and customers involved in Plan A (M&S’s eco and ethical programme).

Launched in July this year, customers and employees can get involved by volunteering in their community, Shwopping old clothes or donating to local and national causes, including supporting the battle against breast cancer.