A Newtownabbey florist has expressed her shock after bras donated to raise money for Action Cancer went missing from outside her shop.
The Breen family, who run Abbey Florists on the Doagh Road, had been encouraging locals to donate their bras plus a pound throughout the month of October.
Motivated by the experience of three friends who are going through treatment for breast cancer, the family raised £700 for the cause, while over 100 bras were collected.
In order to raise awareness, sisters Gillian, Laura and Joanne, who run the shop with their mum Elizabeth, decided to put some bras on display by tying them to the railings at the front of the shop.
However, they were shocked to discover that some of the bras, which had been destined for donation to another charity at the end of October, had disappeared.
“We first realised they were going missing a week ago,” recalled Gillian.
“We initially thought that the bras had blown off, but you can actually see where the strings that fastened them to the railings have been cut.”
“The bras were due to be donated to another charity so it’s taking the items away from them.
“It could be that people are pulling pranks but if it’s kids it’s strange that none have been left lying on the ground.”
Despite the mystery of the disappearing lingerie, the family are happy to have raised a significant amount for Action Cancer.
In addition to raising money, Gillian says that the donated bras have helped to raise awareness, with customers and passers-by enquiring over the attention-grabbing display.
“People coming in to buy flowers ask about them and even if they don’t donate a bra they would leave a couple of pounds for charity,” she continued.
“It has helped to initiate a few conversations about breast cancer with people around the area, with men as well as women.
“We have even had men coming in to donate their wives’ old bras!
“It has also been posted on Facebook and other people have been commenting that it is a good idea and they are thinking about doing something similar in the future as it’s such an original thing.
“We never expected to raise £700, but people have been very generous.
“When people donated they also left their details, so we will be asking each of our three friends to pick out a name and three people will get a bouquet to show how much we appreciate their support.”