A WOMAN from Cullingworth has founded a new charity to help women pay for restorative tattooing to cover the scars left by breast cancer surgery.

The group has been established by Lucy Thompson, who has her own tattoo parlour called Skinflicted in Keighley's Royal Arcade.

Miss Thompson is herself qualified to carry out this type of tattooing, and explained that she was helped and inspired by Canadian woman Stacie-Rae Weir, a leading pioneer in the skill of breast cancer tattooing.

A fundraising launch to mark the founding of the charity, which is called Nipple Innovation Project, was held at Skinflicted yesterday. (March 14) It raised a grand total of £1,642.

Miss Thompson explained: "The purpose of the charity is to provide funding for all breast cancer survivors who seek specialist tattooing such as 3D nipple tattoos or decorative mastectomy work from verified tattoo artists throughout England.

"The charity will be registered under a small charity constitution, and will be run by a committee of trustees.

"Fundraisers and events will be arranged by trustees, members and volunteers to initially raise awareness and money that will cover the cost of the tattooing.

"This level of tattooing is highly specialised and needs to be done by an experienced hand, and by someone who understands subjects such as scar tissue, cancer treatments and skin pigment.

"It helps to empower survivors of breast cancer whose bodies have changed. It's a physical and psychological healing process."

People can visit nippletattoos.co.uk/nip for more information on the charity's work.