Lorraine and Lee Lewis were so moved when Lee’s mum was hospitalised with cancer that it led them to set up a charity.
Recognising the fear, upset and loneliness faced by individuals undergoing cancer treatment and their loved ones, the duo were determined that their charity would make a real difference. They set about sourcing donations, packaging and delivering gifts, whilst giving support to patients on oncology wards. That was April 2016, when The Lewis Foundation was born.
Today, the team has almost 50 volunteers and hundreds of regular supporters. The Lewis Foundation has gone from delivering 80 gift packs a month to one hospital, to delivering over 2,500 gifts to seven hospitals in the East Midlands every month.
Patients pick their gift from a trolley loaded with 34 different packs, with no limit to what they can have, and no donations taken in return.
Packs contain overnight essentials and toiletries, letter-writing kits, hydration supplies, puzzles, miniature radios complete with batteries and headphones, and lots, lots more – items many people in hospital might find difficult to buy themselves or simply cannot afford. For some individuals receiving cancer treatment, The Lewis Foundation volunteers are their only regular visitors.
Juggling their full-time jobs to run the charity in their spare time, Lorraine and Lee are finding there is a growing demand for The Lewis Foundation services as they move into their fourth year. They are constantly approached by hospitals as NHS resources are continually stretched, and their new aspiration is to help even more people – not just in the East Midlands but nationwide. Please help make a difference.
I'm messaging you to thank you all so very much for the last gift bags I received from you. In the last year I have been admitted to Talbot Butler Ward at least 5 times one of which was for my stem cell transplant. Each gift bag I have received during this time has always been very truly gratefully received and very appreciated.
This time I was admitted and I had a virus which meant no one could come in my room without masks aprons and gloves, including my husband. This was worse for me than when I had the transplant. This time I had a temperature, very bad throat and extremely sore nose. The 2 packs I received of a pack with 3 bags of sweets and a pamper pack were amazing and words can't explain how much they were needed, appreciated and made so much of a difference to my stay. I had soft tissues, sweets to suck, lip balm, soft face flannel, moisturiser and other bits to make me feel so so much better. Your thoughtful gifts made things so much better for me so thank you from the bottom of ny heart. My long journey in facing through this blood cancer (myeloma) will always be made easier by kind ,caring , thoughtful people like.yourselves and all who help you. Thank you all again (Sarah Evans)
My friend was in Talbot Butler for about 9 months. In all that time the visits from The Lewis Foundation would keep her going. Her face would light up when you came through the door.
Angela always would have the same gift, which was the knitting and crocheting. It would keep her focused on the days she felt better. She spoke so much about you all and missed you dearly when she had to be in a room with infection.
This is such a thoughtful charity trying to just raise these patients while in hospital.
Ang wanted to donate to yourselves, so grateful for what she recieved and the chats she would have with you. You were all so lovely.
She eventually got home but has sadly passed now but I know she would want you to know how much she appreciated you all and you were her chosen charity at her funeral.
Thank you for everything.
(Fran Core - Ang’s friend and a nurse at Northampton General Hospital)