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he Lewis Foundation goes into hospitals
in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes,
where they provide free gift packs to adults
receiving treatment for cancer. The gift packs go to
any outpatients and inpatients who are in hospital
receiving treatment for cancer. A patient can select
any gift pack they like from The Lewis Foundation
gift list, where they have a choice of 27 different gift
packs to choose from. They range from portable
radios, pamper packs, books and model craft kits.
Every Friday night they visit the Talbot Butler
Cancer Ward at Northampton General Hospital,
where they go round and offer free gift packs to
inpatients and spend time talking with the patients
and their families.
For people who are admitted unexpectedly,
they also provide overnight emergency packs
containing toiletries and underwear so no one has
to worry about having their essentials on admission.
On request they provide home donations and make
visits in the community.
Lorraine and Lee Lewis are the founders
of the charity. They
set up the charity
as a result of Lee's
mum Janice Lewis
who was diagnosed
with non ­hodgkins
lymphoma cancer
in 2010 and spent
4 years in and out
of hospital. They
personally noticed
what a difficult time it was financially, physically
and emotionally to their families and also from their
own observations at the hospitals to others.
Initially, Lorraine Lewis completed events
such as Tough Mudder to fundraise for TV's for
the private rooms on Talbot Ward in Northampton
General Hospital so people no longer had to worry
about paying to watch TV. Once this was achieved,
they wanted to do something on a long term basis
and something that was personal to the individual,
which is when they came up with giving the gift
bags. It was a chance for people to have something
nice to look forward to, take their mind off thinking
about cancer and spend time with people to reduce
isolation. The charity began in May 2010, starting at
Northampton General Hospital with a choice of 7
gift packs and handing out 80 gift packs a month.
The choice of gift packs in now 27 and they hand
out over 400 gift packs a month.
The Lewis Foundation works in partnership
with Northampton General Hospital, BMI Three
Shires Northampton, Milton Keynes University
Hospital Trust and St Crispin's Retirement Village in
Team Lewis is made up of Lorraine Lewis,
Lee Lewis, Keith Hall, Jo Kerslake and Laura Graham.
All of them work full time and do this in their spare
time. They receive no funding and rely on the
kindness of individuals and businesses within the
community through holding donation drives for
items, helping make gift packs or fundraising to pay
for the gift packs.