The founder of an East Anglian charity with services in Suffolk has received a surprise award from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Oa Hackett started Little Lifts in 2017 and the charity has since worked to deliver 10,000 support boxes to sufferers of breast cancer.

Thousands of those helped by the charity have been patients at Ipswich Hospital and West Suffolk Hospital.

Little Lifts provides crafted boxes containing specially-selected items to help alleviate some of the physical side effects that some may experience and to emotionally support those facing chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment.

After delivering the 10,000th box, Oa Hacket said: "This is a momentous milestone for us at Little Lifts.

"The idea for our charity was inspired by kindness I received during my own breast cancer treatment seven years ago.

East Anglian Daily Times: Oa Hackett with a Little Lifts boxOa Hackett with a Little Lifts box (Image: Newsquest)

"It all started with a group of people around my kitchen table and the delivery of our first box at the end of 2017.

"During those early days, knowing that someone who was about to start their chemotherapy treatment had received our box sparked a lot of emotions.

"In many ways, it still does. Each box is more than the sum of its contents and we’re super proud to have distributed ten thousand boxes to women and men in our region, and beyond."

In addition to celebrating the 10,000th box landmark, Oa Hacket received an 'out-of-the-blue' letter in mid February from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, awarding her with the prestigious 'Points of Light' award.

East Anglian Daily Times: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wrote to Little Lifts founder Oa HackettPrime Minister Rishi Sunak wrote to Little Lifts founder Oa Hackett (Image: PA)

In the letter, the Prime Minister said: "I wanted to write personally to thank you for the wonderful way you are supporting others with breast cancer with your ‘Little Lifts’.

"From your own experience, you know the difference that small acts of kindness can make.

"So I was inspired to learn how you have partnered with hospitals across the east of England to provide hundreds of giftboxes with specially selected items to relieve the side effects of treatment and boost wellbeing.

"I know you are also working to extend this support more broadly to breast cancer patients across the whole UK through your Little Kindness Fund.”

Oa Hacket added: "I feel incredibly proud of what Little Lifts has achieved so far and I would like to say an enormous thank you to our Little Lifts Community, who inspire me every day – my team, Trustees, volunteers, beneficiaries, fundraisers, hospital partnerships and supporters.

"I would also like to give thanks to my family and friends – after all, it was their kindness that inspired me to start the charity.

"To receive a Points of Light Award alongside so many other community champions, and for the Prime Minister to recognise our hard work and impact, is an honour.

"I would like to accept this Award on behalf of everyone who helps makes ‘Little Lifts’ possible.”