WHEN Anikka Burton was diagnosed with breast cancer she was overwhelmed with flowers and gifts she was unable to use during her treatment.

The travel industry executive was sent flowers when she was in hospital that she never received as they are now banned on many wards.

Some sixteen months later, when the disease was in remission, Mrs Burton, 38, changed careers to found Not Another Bunch of Flowers, a website tailored to finding gifts for poorly loved ones.

The response has been phenomenal, with more than 12,000 presents shipped around the world since 2013.

Mrs Burton, from Lindfield, is now hoping to boost her company by entering the Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 and making a business pitch to Sir Richard Branson.

She is calling on as many people as possible for their help.

Ms Burton was diagnosed in 2011 and went on to have chemotherapy and a double mastectomy.

She also lost her mother to the disease when she was young and as a result was had always been worried about getting it herself.

Mrs Burton said: “As I have been through it myself, I know what I would have loved to have received and have handpicked gifts accordingly.

“Our customers really appreciate the wide selection of alternatives to flowers and the caring service.”

Items available include toiletries developed specially for those going through chemotherapy or radiotherapy, to jewellery and irreverent empathy cards.

Mrs Burton is counting on support from her clients around the world, as votes are crucial if she is to retain her place in the top 80, which would see her through to the next round.

Not Another Bunch of Flowers is currently 18th in the growth category.

Mrs Burton, who is married to Craig, said: “I know the positive impact our gifts have had on people going through the trauma of cancer, so hopefully voters will get behind us. I would love to develop the website to brighten things up for even more patients.”

To find out more or to vote for Not Another Bunch of Flowers visit www.vmbvoom.com/pitches/not-another-bunch-of-flowers.