‘Crazy Hats’ was ‘born’ back in 2001 when its founder, Glennis Hooper, then 46 and Headteacher at a primary school in Kettering, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Whilst on sick leave and undergoing chemotherapy, Glennis, like many others, lost her hair and did not like wearing a wig or the turbans/scarves. She chose to wear hats and, with her love of art, and desperately missing the children, thought they would love the idea of wearing a ‘crazy hat’ designed and made by themselves, on a special mufti day, to raise a ‘small’ amount of money for the breast department where she was being treated (Kettering).
A Crazy Hats Day was planned – just in her school, or so she thought. Neighbouring schools across the county heard about this exciting and different project and soon 85 signed up to participate as well as companies, large and small, and the hospital itself. With the children paying 50p each, over £20,000 was raised in one day!! This initial amount was pledged to KGH and within days, more money was being given. To date, over £1 million has been given to KGH; over £950,000 to NGH; £60,000 to Leicester Royal Infirmary and many smaller donations to other areas.
For reasons beyond her control, sadly, Glennis was unable to return to her life-long career so she decided to throw herself into charity work and set up Crazy Hats as an established, registered charity. With the first £5.00 being donated by ‘Margaret 86’, a lady Glennis was in hospital with, the total is now in excess of £3 million!
With its office situated on a busy industrial estate in Wellingborough, the dream of the charity is to create a dedicated breast cancer support centre in the county – a facility that, not only the charity deserves and needs, but a centre that is needed so very much needed by the ever-growing number of patients wanting the services of the charity.