Our News

5 December 2013

CAVC Fashion students make and donate Heart Pillows to breast cancer patients

A group of Fashion students from Cardiff and Vale College have designed and made Heart Pillows for breast cancer patients at Llandough Hospital.

The nine Level 3 Fashion students then visited the hospital to set up a stall where they raised just under £250 in four hours for its Breast Cancer Unit and handed out the pillows to people who have had surgery for breast cancer. The students also sold porcelain Christmas decorations created by Level 1 to 3 Art and Design students in workshops run by lecturer Gwen Buchan.

Heart Pillows are designed to be tucked under the arm to ease pain for people who have been operated on for breast cancer. They can take the pressure off the arm or the breast on sore and sensitive area of the chest after a mastectomy or lumpectomy, or during chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

The students came up with idea of donating Heart Pillows to patients at Llandough Hospital’s Breast Cancer Unit as part of a Work Skills module of their course.

Art & Design Lecturer Kat Keeble-Buckle said: “What we are trying to do is come together as a College to provide a free service and support for people who have just had surgery for breast cancer. The pillows that we are creating will help provide that support.

“For women or men the Heart Pillows provide comfort and a nice support. They’re Level 3 students so they are all really talented and have got the skills which they have put into their designs.”

One of the students, 18-year-old Keschal Devchand from Cardiff, added: “We came up with the idea as a group. We knew about the Heart Pillows and we thought it would be nice to do something that would make difference to other people’s lives.”

To raise awareness of their campaign and their day at Llandough Hospital, the students set up their own Twitter account - @intheheartCAVC – and have been tweeting charities and celebrities. They were overjoyed to be retweeted by fashion designer Julien Macdonald. They were also retweeted by comedian Rhod Gilbert and Breast Cancer Care got in touch to thank them for their hard work.

Kat said: “Understandably, the students were so excited that their hard work was being noticed and supported by these tweets - it really boosted their spirits and they were all incredible for the entire shopping day; interacting and giving information on their project to all to staff and managers that popped by.

“We also found out that the Breast Cancer Unit have a ball in Cardiff Town Hall this Friday (December 6th) where one of the guests will be Julien MacDonald so we have been asked to send over photos of the Christmas shopping day. Photos of the students and their work will be projected against the screens to show how they’ve been able to help - hopefully Julien will notice the images.”

The Heart Pillow Project will begin again in the New Year with Level 1 Art & Design students taking up the reins. The students are looking for donations of fabric for the pillows – if you have any unwanted sheets or duvet covers please send them to It’s All in the Heart, Cardiff and Vale College, F Block, Trowbridge Road, Rumney, Cardiff CF3 1XZ.