IT'S the perfect antidote to cold winter afternoons - and this year it's bigger than ever.

National breast cancer support charity, Breast Cancer Haven, is inviting everyone to ‘make a brew for breast cancer’ this March as they launch their month-long, nationwide fundraising event

The Big Tea Cosy already has the support of top TV actors and presenters including Sally Taylor MBE and Casualty actor Clive Mantle.

MasterChef winner Jane Devonshire will also be putting the kettle on plus there's support from the knitting supplier, LoveKnitting.

To date, the Wessex region has raised over £120k in the last four years from thanks to supporters making cakes and holding tea parties.

This year fundraisers are asked to hold their events any time through the month of March and there are exclusive knitting and crochet patterns from Loveknitting as part of a fundraising pack, which can be purchased on the Breast Cancer Haven website- with all proceeds going towards Breast Cancer Haven’s supportive services.

Jane Devonshire, MasterChef winner and The Big Tea Cosy Ambassador, said:

“I am proud to be supporting Breast Cancer Haven’s Big Tea Cosy this year. It’s such an easy way to raise money for a great charity that will make a real difference to the lives of people affected by breast cancer. All you need to do is gather your guests, drink tea and eat cake!”

Heidi Rehman, Community Fundraiser added: "We are urging our local community to hold a tea party of any size. It could simply be taking a neighbour a cup of tea, hosting a party at home for family and friends, encouraging your work place to hold a special tea break or booking your village hall and inviting local people. Anything goes! We are so grateful for local support, so that we can continue offering our specialist services to those that need our help’

Breast Cancer Haven is the charity that supports women through their breast cancer treatment with tailored packages of emotional, physical and practical support.

The Titchfield centre includes counsellors, therapists and health professionals who offer the support that people need to help them with their own personal challenges of living with breast cancer.

Some ideas to help you get started for this year's event:

• Download the Breast Cancer Haven fundraising pack to print out invitations and posters to make sure everyone knows about your Big Tea Cosy party.

• Invite your friends, family, colleagues and ask everyone to bring some cakes to sell.

• Hold a cake decorating competition and auction off the most impressive cake.

• Stir up some competition! Guess the number of tea bags in a jar or stack the highest tower of sugar cubes. Get everyone to pay to play.

• Download the exclusive tea cosy patterns and get everyone around for a knit and natter.

• Host a silent auction or raffle - ask friends or local businesses to donate the prizes.

• Don't forget to set up a collection box - why not use a tea pot?