About us

Birstall BAGs, is a charity committed to supporting the local community in Birstall and surrounding areas through cancer awareness initiatives and the funding of equipment and services for the benefit of people living in the community with cancer.

Since launching in 1998, Birstall BAGs has engaged the local community in events, challenges and have successfully funded equipment, refurbishment and patient support groups within the region.

The charity would love to hear from anyone who could support the work, events or the people who are working hard to gather funds.

To find out more or to get involved please email us at [email protected]

Birstall BAGs is a registered charity (1160190) and is registered with Companies House (09061651), where you can view our older annual reports. Click here for our latest Annual Report 2021.

Birstall BAGs team

Birstall BAGs is led by a board of volunteer trustees all from within the local Birstall community. The secretary/treasurer is Mrs R Houldsworth.

Our accountant is Alba Financial Accountants Ltd, registered office Suite 1 , 73d Main Street, East Leake, Loughborough, LE12 6PF.

Board of trustees

Rachael Boyall
Helen Carnan
Liz Darlison
Jo Preston
Emma Shaw

Liz, Clare, Emma, Jo and Helen in the year 2000 – presenting Birstall BAGS’ first cheque donation to Mike Turner, Chairman of Charities at Glenfield Hospital.

Our history

Clare Wells, founder of Birstall BAGs, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. Her determination to encourage all women to be vigilant, to self examine and access medical care as soon as possible inspired the formation of BAGs, a local fundraising social group. The group registered as a charity in 2015.

Clare’s cancer recurred and sadly she died in 2003 but her close friends Rachael Boyall, Helen Carnan, Liz Darlison, Lesley Merry, Jo Preston and Emma Shaw, have carried on with her vision and to date over £60,000 has been donated to local cancer services.

We fund a number of support groups and services for anyone affected by cancer. We also regularly donate to local health services to fund refurbishments, equipment or anything that helps people affected by cancer in our local community.

Currently, BAGs holds a variety of annual events to bring the community together to have a bit of fun and raise funds. Increasingly local businesses, sports groups and individual members of our community have chosen to support us with their own fundraising activities.

“The generosity of the local community and BAGs supporters never ceases to astound us and we cannot thank you all enough.”

What we have achieved and funded

  • Currently Birstall BAGs funds several support groups:
    • Time Out, a drop-in complementary therapy group for patients, their family and their carers
    • Bladder Cancer Support Group, for men and women of all ages and nationalities that have all at different stages had to deal with bladder cancer
    • The Mayflower Group, where you can learn coping strategies, share worries and concerns with others in a similar situation, gain support and learn techniques to relax the mind
    • A bereavement support group that allows those who’ve been bereaved due to a life-limiting or terminal illness to share their experiences with others in a similar situation, led by trained bereavement volunteers from LOROS
    • Prostaid Group, for men diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • In the early days we donated £4,000 to the newly built Breast Care Unit at the Glenfield Hospital
  • We have also funded the refurbishment of The Retreat, a comfortable well equipped room on the Breast Care Ward at the Glenfield Hospital. The Retreat initiative has been so successful similar projects are being established throughout the University Hospitals of Leicester
  • We provided £8,500 to provide fixtures and fittings for two rooms in the Cancer Information Centre at the Leicester Royal Infirmary
  • We recently donated £12,000 to refurbish various areas in the urology department at Leicester General Hospital

We have a more detailed section of stories on projects and activities that we have funded over the years

We purchased a much needed bladder scanner for UHL.

We continually work in collaboration with local media to raise awareness about cancer. Early diagnosis really does save lives and we want to get that message fully into our community. There is much to be done to get this vision off the ground but the group wholeheartedly believes ‘oak trees grow from acorns’, and anything can be done if you put your mind to it.  We will keep you posted about any progress made.