A south Warwickshire M&S employee's life saving idea will be rolled out to all stores - The Leamington Observer

A south Warwickshire M&S employee's life saving idea will be rolled out to all stores

THE FITTING idea of a Leamington sales advisor could help save lives.

Julie Reason, who works at the town’s branch of Marks & Spencer’s, submitted her idea for Breast Cancer Awareness signage in changing rooms as part of the retailer’s CEO suggestion scheme – Straight to Stuart – which launched in May last year.

The scheme encourages colleagues to share ideas and views with the CEO of M&S, Stuart Machin.

And as a result, the signage, with guidance on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, is being rolled out to more than 1,500 M&S changing rooms across the country this month.

Julie, who has worked for M&S for 35 years and overseen many bra fits, suggested the idea after seeing five of her colleagues affected by breast cancer. She was inspired by the success of the bowel cancer signage in M&S customer toilets and thought posters in the change rooms, where people are thinking about their breasts while being fitted would be a great way to raise awareness among customers.

As the UK’s biggest bra retailer – last year M&S sold 21 million bras – the signage will be seen by millions of people every year and situated in every cubicle in the women’s and lingerie fitting rooms at 110 stores across the UK.

The move is designed to aid early detection and encourage more people to regularly touch, look and check their breasts. Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for three in 20 of all cancer cases in females and males combined.

Around 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK, however the sooner the disease is diagnosed, the better the chances of treatment being successful.

Julie said: “When I suggested the idea, it was a no brainer. Checking your breasts is something that you do not need a medical degree for and doesn’t take a long time to do. I’ve worked for M&S for 35 years and that means you get to know customers on a personal basis, some even will ask for you when they book to get fitted.

“M&S is such a trusted brand, it seems only right that we make customers aware of small things they can do that can save lives. I was delighted when I found out the scheme was going to be rolled out nationwide. It’s great to know that this initiative could plant a seed in one person’s head and potentially save lives.”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said: “We’re delighted to be building on our partnership with M&S by raising vital awareness of breast cancer signs and symptoms with people in M&S changing rooms across the country. Currently one in seven women in the UK will receive the devastating news they have breast cancer – with this set to increase by one in six by 2050, it’s more crucial than ever that people know the signs and symptoms of the disease.”

The signage has also been rolled out across M&S’ colleague changing rooms.


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