About Us

The Beginning…

HUG in a Bag is a charity that was started in Sunderland in October 2006 by three women who met, laughed, cried and supported each other during their treatment for breast cancer.
Each of the three coped in their own way but found that sharing their thoughts, anxieties and concerns was extremely helpful.
They also gave each other lots of hugs in times of fear, sadness and joy!

The Aim…

Our aim is to give one more hug in the form of a bag containing gifts and information leaflets to every person diagnosed with breast cancer in University Hospital of North Durham and Royal Victoria Hospital Blackpool. We know from out own experiences that you can feel very alone and vulnerable at this time, and we want to show our understanding and support.

The Support…

Many people have given their practical, financial and emotional support to this venture and have enthusiastically welcomed the idea! Donations gratefully received and the funds raised enable us to provide a bagful of hugs! After all, everyone likes a hug!

A word from Our Patrons

Jimmy Montgomery

I was delighted to be asked to be a patron for the ‘Hug in a Bag’ breast cancer charity and look forward to giving my support to such a worthwhile cause.
In the short time I have been involved, I have been very impressed by the hard work and dedication of Judith Eileen and Sue. They are totally committed to bringing comfort to those people facing up to treatment for breast cancer, and the items in the ‘bag’ have been thoughtfully chosen to be both useful and pampering.
I know that this disease has touched the lives of so many people, myself included. The skills of surgeons and nursing staff during this period are truly amazing, but ‘Hug in a Bag’ plays a unique part in the patient’s treatment by targeting the person behind the illness.


Melanie Hill

When the great Jimmy Montgomery asked me if I would like to support the Hug in a bag charity, I was intrigued... what a fabulous idea!
Three ladies in the North East who decided to let people know that they cared; people they didn't even know... giving them a bag of goodies that THEY would have liked to have had on their journey.
Judith, Eileen and Sue are working tirelessly to provide these wonderful bags of small gifts to comfort and help people diagnosed with breast cancer. More than anything, to let people know that there is someone out there who CARES about what they are going through.
I am delighted and honoured to support these ladies and their charity. They want nothing back. They simply want to give ‘hugs’ to people that need them. Sounds simple?
Please help this small Charity – with BIG ambitions! A small deed goes a long way...


Linda Nolan

I am honoured and delighted to be a patron of ‘Hug in a Bag’.
As a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2006 before ‘Hug’ was available in Blackpool, I remember only too well the terrible day of diagnosis. That terrible feeling of helplessness and the panic of “what happens now?” I know that had I received a bag, those feelings wouldn’t have been so overwhelming because it would have let me know that someone cares and that I wasn’t alone.
The ladies that run the charity are fabulous women. Some have been touched by this terrible disease, some have seen friends or family go through it. They expect nothing in return – they themselves don’t even give out the bags, and consequently don’t get to see what it means to women and men at this terrible time. They work tirelessly to achieve their goal of making sure that everyone diagnosed with breast cancer receives a ‘hug’ and they hope it helps in some way to let them know they are not alone.
My younger sister Bernie was diagnosed in 2010. She had all the treatment but in 2012 her cancer returned. I asked the ladies at Hug in a Bag Blackpool if I could take her a bag and she was absolutely thrilled with it – and used the makeup bag right up until she could not do her makeup anymore!!


A Word from Louise Hunter

Hug in a Bag is a fabulous venture which we at Durham have been fortunate and proud to be affiliated with since August 2015.
The love and thoughtfulness that has been put into the contents of each bag is obvious. In my role as a Macmillan breast care nurse I have been lucky enough to see first hand how much receiving this gift means to those undergoing treatment. Sadly Judith, Eileen and Sue don't get to see this reaction themselves but are happy to know they are making a difference from afar.

A patient from Durham

I received my Hug in a Bag on Monday from the wonderful Louise Hunter at Durham Hospital - what an amazing idea.
I was overwhelmed when I looked inside the bag – everything it contained was so special and heartfelt, and only women who have been or are going through this experience will ever truly understand. It’s amazing how you ladies, who don’t know me or have ever met me, have made such a huge difference to me. I know you have all been where I am, so to still think of others is unbelievable and so, so kind. From the bottom of my heart I give you all a hug.

And finally, a word from our founders...

Little did we know when we launched in October 2006 in Sunderland, that we would have been able to give so many hugs to those affected by breast cancer.
Since then, we have been delighted at the extra hugs we have been able to provide across the region and further afield. We are on the edge of exciting new developments which hopefully see Hug in a Bag established in other hospitals nationwide.

Judith, Eileen and Sue (and Hugo!)


News Stories

Hug in a Bag Durham launch makes the headlines
Hug in a bag makes the BDaily blog
Hug in a Bag Story in the Durham Times
Helpful hugs for breast cancer sufferers

Click to see the stories for more information.

Hug in a Bag

Thank you to everyone for your continuing support. We couldn't do it without you.