HEART-SHAPED cushions with drain bags, used for the comfort and support of mastectomy patients, are being exhibited in the window of a Dursley shop as part of an event to promote awareness of breast cancer.

Women in Dursley and Cam - and for the first time, Berkeley - are painting the town pink this week (June 16-22) in a bid to encourage women and men of all ages to regularly check themselves for any abnormalities.

Shops will be supporting the event by decorating their windows in a pink theme and displaying posters.

A pattern for the heart-shaped cushions, on show in Inches in Parsonage Street, can be bought for £1 and a limited number of cushions and bags will be available after Saturday, June 22 in return for a donation to cover the cost of materials.

Group member Sue Davies said: "More people are surviving breast cancer than ever before and if it is caught early enough, it is highly treatable. It is estimated that one in eight women will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime.

"NHS statistics show that the Stroud district has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the UK."

The Breast Cancer Awareness volunteers will be in all three towns on Saturday (June 22) handing out information flyers to passers-by. Any help with leaflets on the day will be gratefully received. Please contact Sue Davies on 01453 548139.

Following the campaign, a presentation by the Gloucestershire Cobalt team will be held in the Berry Blue Cafe in Cam on Wednesday, June 26 (7pm). The team will be promoting Breast Cancer Awareness by highlighting the signs and symptoms to look out for.

"Berry Blue have been very supportive throughout the campaign and will be serving tea and cake at a nominal cost with all profit going to the Cobalt Unit," said Sue. Everyone is welcome to attend.