What was it like being a model for the The Haven and L.K.Bennett?

Victoria: It was incredible as there was so much love in the room. It was amazing to see so many friendly faces with people saying such lovely things.

Jan: It was a little bit scary when first walking out, but having the chance to show off such lovely clothes – along with the support of the audience – made it such fun.

Why did you decide to take part in the fashion show?

Jan: Having been a person who was ‘never sick’, it came of something of a shock to be diagnosed with breast cancer. When I think of all the support I received from good friends and family, however, and the way I was put in touch with The Haven, I feel so grateful. The Haven provided the all-important holistic side of the healing journey, after having had surgery and radiotherapy in the conventional medical sense, which can be pretty soulless.

The fashion show was a chance to give something back, enjoy an evening with friends, raise some funds and generally have a fun evening. For someone who loves clothes, it was great to help showcase L.K.Bennett’s current Spring/Summer collection, which is beautiful, with so many vibrant colours and great designs.

Victoria: I support The Haven, because of the part it played in my life last year during treatment. When I was diagnosed with stage 2 Breast cancer at the age of 32, I didn’t want to be part of a ‘cancer club’. The Haven offered me somewhere I could go and feel myself and not worry if my wig was on straight. The Haven was the place I found advice through a friend that led to me having immediate reconstruction rather than having to wait two years (advice for which I will be eternally grateful). The therapies it offers are really beneficial during treatment when you’re often advised again standard spa treatment. You know it’s a safe place to be and to meet others. The Haven also supported my husband and he found the counselling sessions really beneficial. I want to make sure more people can benefit from its services.

What do you remember most from the evening?

It was great to meet the other models and have some good chinwags. One lady was 17 years post treatment and was still fighting fit. This is really inspirational to those of us who have recently finished active treatment.

The speed of the changes was a bit unexpected and I am still not quite sure how I got into the black jumpsuit (some of the outfits were a bit cosy), but the highlight for me was seeing the venue filled with so many people giving lots of encouragement and support to us novice models.

Jan: The LKB team were great and the models were really good fun. I will never forget the incredible atmosphere and energy in the room – everyone was very supportive and by the amount of whooping going on, I think it’s fair to say people enjoyed the evening! It seemed to be over all too quickly!

Breast cancer treatment is known for the way it can knock a woman’s body confidence. How did doing something like a fashion show help you?

Jan: It gives your self-esteem a huge boost and makes you realise that life can certainly get back to some level of normality!

Victoria: L.K.Bennett clothing is really feminine and it was wonderful to dress up and feel good about the way I look. I am still getting to grips with my new short hair and often have days of low self-esteem, so the fashion show was great for positivity injection on this front.