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Barbara Windsor visits St Mary’s to celebrate breast cancer awareness

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Actress Barbara Windsor of EastEnders fame visited St Mary’s Hospital yesterday to release 100 pink and white balloons to mark the end of breast cancer awareness season.

While she was at the hospital the ‘Carry On’ star chatted with patients on the ward and had coffee and mince pies with the breast cancer team.

Barbara’s character in EastEnders, Peggy Mitchell, experienced breast cancer in the famous BBC1 television series.

Breast clinical nurse specialist team leader Victoria Harmer, who organised the event, said: “It was just marvellous, she was very generous with her time, having photos taken with staff here.

“It was a very windy day and we were worried she would be lifted off her feet by all the balloons! She joked that is was just like a ‘Carry On’ film.”

The famous actress, who lives in Westminster, cut the ribbons of the balloons with a pair of pink scissors, whilst local singer Maryanne Kerr entertained a crowd made up of staff, general public and members of Imperial Breast Cancer Support Group.

Supporters of the day had purchased the chance to label the balloons with their names and a wish for the future or in memory before they were released. The owner of the balloon found to fly the furthest will win a prize.

Barbara and husband Scott also visited Witherow ward to spend time with some of the patients.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Please don't kill wildlife and domestic animals by releasing balloons, however worthy the cause. The vendor of these balloons might have told the organisers that balloons are biodegradable and harmless but Keep Wales Tidy - amongst many others - questions the science of the balloon industry's claims that latex balloons are biodegradable and will always shatter into harmless pieces. I can see from the photos that the balloons were released with strings attached which against the industry guidelines but that is beside the point; newspapers are biodegradable too but you wouldn't organise a event to intentionally litter the countryside with them, so why are balloons acceptable? The amount of balloon litter being found on beaches is increasing every year and so are the risks of harm. Balloons can travel hundreds of miles and will kill marine animals and pollute pristine ecosystems. Many organisations have decided to stop releasing balloons including Marks & Spencer, Norwich Union, National Farmers Union while conservation organisations barely have the resources to divert to educating the public. A primary school in London recently had to compensate a farmer in Kent for killing a bullock that ingested a Red Nose Day balloon and died painfully. Organisers of intentional balloon releases expose themselves to risks their insurers won't cover.

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