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Gallery: Suffolk women join the #nomakeupselfie trend on Twitter and Facebook to raise thousands for cancer charities

21:46 20 March 2014

Kelly-Anne Byres

Kelly-Anne Byres

Women across Suffolk have taken to social media to post a “bare-faced” selfie of themselves in a bid to raise awareness of breast cancer.

Hollie DixonHollie Dixon

Charities including Cancer Research UK and The Breast Cancer Campaign have seen a surge in donations as a result of the campaign which has gripped Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The drive, which began on Tuesday, asked woman to post a picture of themselves wearing no make up and nominate their friends to do the same.

Most women usually shy away from the camera if they are not wearing at least a slick of mascara or a pop of colour on their lips.

But the trend, which began with a small group of women who wanted to do something to show their support, has taken off and at least £1 million has been raised as a result.

Ellen WiddupEllen Widdup

Anna-Marie Cunnell, 28, from Wickham Market, said: “I was nominated by a friend. Posting a picture of yourself without so much as a bit of lipstick is a little daunting but this is a wonderful cause. My aunt Heather had breast cancer and beat it but it is a horrible illness. If women can stand together and do something simple like this to raise awareness then I am all for it.”

Carly Churchyard, 27, from Woodbridge, added: “These are images of women at their most vulnerable but they are standing together against one of the worst types of cancer to affect our gender and that’s a powerful message.”

Emma Carter, 29, from Saxmundham, said she got involved because she had lost friends to cancer and had family members who had beaten it.

“I think the more aware people become the more understanding and funding will come from it,” she said.

Men have also joined in – but in a reversal of the rules, they have to apply make-up for their photograph.

Daniel Crisp, pictured, from Leiston, said: “If the girls can do it, the boys can do it too.”

A spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK said that it had seen an “unprecedented” surge in donations.

Carolan Davidge, director of communications at Cancer Research UK said, “The #nomakeupselfie Twitter trend isn’t something Cancer Research UK started – but it’s great to see so many people getting involved to help raise awareness of cancer amongst their friends and family.”

She said it was still looking into the exact rise in the number of donations but estimates suggest there have been 800,000 donations made since yesterday.

The Breast Cancer Campaign said it had also received a boost in funding as a result of the campaign.

James Elliot, the charity’s head of digital engagement, said: “It’s great to see so many people getting involved and coming together to help raise money and awareness of cancer.

“Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and the public have shown how much they care by not only posting pictures, but also sharing information about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and making donations to help us fund life-saving research. We’re really grateful for everyone’s support.”

Participants can now text BEAT to 70099 to donate.

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