CoppaFeel was founded in 2009 by Kristin Hallenga and her twin sister. The charity focuses on educating young people about breast cancer, and to speak to these people in their natural habitat, one of these places is at university! Their Uni Boob Teams across the UK are on a mission to get you talking about your boobs (and checking them too).
Today I’m speaking to Megan, a second year TV & Radio student and Salford’s own Uni Boob Team Leader about her time so far at the university, and why CoppaFeel is so important…
What made you want to come to Salford?
MediaCityUK! As a TV & Radio student it was the best possible place to study media especially with the environment surrounding you and the work experience opportunities. The lecturers on the course are all industry professionals and have high-profile connections. I couldn’t think of a better place.
How does the structure of doing both TV & Radio work then?
You can pick whichever modules you want. There is a big selection and then from that, people find themselves going down a certain route. I found after doing the Radio Production semester I loved it a lot more, and I just started listening to more radio too!
You mentioned industry links…what else does your course offer you?
A module you do in your second year is called Professional Practice and you have to get 10 days of work experience, and this forces you to make connections in the industry. I do Shock Radio as well. They are part of the Student Radio Association and they set up training days and conferences with guest speakers that has led people to work experience placements and even jobs at stations such as Capital or Key 103! All because they came here, and Salford had that to offer.
Your involvement with CoppaFeel is linked to your course. Can you tell me how you got involved with it?
During a TV Production module for 1st year you have to recreate a 5 minute scene from a TV drama, one of them was ‘The C Word’. It is all about the life of a woman called Lisa who was diagnosed with breast cancer at a very young age, but when they were filming she sadly passed away. I wanted to recreate that because it completely drew me in, but I wanted to do it justice. As I was researching I saw one of Lisa’s blog posts and it mentioned her friend Kris who started CoppaFeel. On the website I saw the big banner that said ‘Join our UniBoob Team’ and I knew it was something I could help get going.
What happened next?
So, I applied and then I had an interview down in London. Even though we are a society at Salford, it is implemented by CoppaFeel who set it up. Next thing I know I was off to a training day with like-minded people who wanted to help out on their own campus!
What was it like starting it up?
There was a previous UniBoob Team on campus but sadly they had all graduated, so I was back to square one really. It took a while to fill out all the paper work and to get everything going, but hopefully this semester we can kick off with some fundraisers!
As a media student, what do you think are the best ways to engage Salford students with your cause?
Social media plays a big aspect, but the problem is you can’t instantly target those people. A more direct and personal approach is always effective, such as getting out there during Fresher’s Week. The good thing about CoppaFeel is that it is quite tongue-in-cheek and light hearted. The way they give out their information is so accessible, and you get a funny text every month to remind you to check yourself!
Why is it important to get the word out in Salford, here and now?
A lot of people don’t realise cancer can affect young people. Almost every single male I have spoken to doesn’t realise they can get breast cancer. That is why I’m going to try and encourage awareness of this too, and I’ve got them to sign up to the text alerts! Kris who started CoppaFeel was only 23, people don’t realise they should check themselves, and the doctor can turn you away. A big part of it is empowering young people to be assertive with what is right for them, so if they do spot a change they know how to sort it out.
How important is it that you get the opportunity to do this while you are at university?
Credit: Laura Louise Beauty
When else are you going to be directly in contact with thousands of young people? It is the audience that need targeting and made aware a lot more, and it is the perfect avenue for it. These are problems that can sadly affect young people, and I think more people need to know about them.
Could you summarise your main aims for UniBoob?
To reach as many people as possible on campus, even just to sign up to the text alerts because they are free and you get them once a month. It is about people knowing what is usual for them because all boobs are different. I want to do some fundraisers too, so that CoppaFeel can continue to target as many people as possible and spread the message even further.
For my last question, how can students get involved?
If they want to get involved then they can find us on the Salford SU website. Through there you can join our society, or find links to our social media sites. We are getting together, and we have some plans in the works to get cracking with!
Thanks to Megan for chatting with us, and make sure to sign up to your monthly reminders…Text UBT SALFORD to 70500.