Charity's shops are back in business after lockdown in fight to beat cancer
People are being urged to help Cancer Research UK shops get back to the business of beating cancer as restrictions on non-essential retail lift.
The shops in Lancaster and Morecambe have reopened this week and staff and volunteers are rolling up their sleeves ready to try to claw back millions of pounds in lost sales.
But they urgently need lockdown de-clutterers to drop off their donations and help fill the shops’ shelves with new or pre-loved bargains, fashion one-offs and homeware treasures once more.
Cancer Research UK expects to see its fundraising income decline by a staggering £300m over the next three years, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But with around 42,000 people diagnosed with cancer every year in the north west, the charity is determined to continue its life-saving mission.
As shops across the region open their doors again, they are hoping for a sunnier outlook and, in particular, are calling for donations of men, women and children’s summer clothing ready for the Great British staycation.
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Lancashire, said: “Covid-19 has hit us hard. Our shops typically contribute more than £25m each year to vital research, so we need to enlist the support of the whole community to help us fight back.
“Shopping really can save lives. That’s why we’re calling on everyone who’s had a spring clean, wardrobe detox or cupboard clear out in lockdown to please bag up and bring in any unwanted items.
“Right now, we need quality clothing, shoes, homeware, accessories and books to help keep our tills – and bargain hunters – busy. Most important of all, the sale of these items helps to ensure we can keep making progress for people with cancer.”
Every bag of donated items could raise up to £25 - or £31 with Gift Aid if the donor is a UK taxpayer – money that’s desperately needed to fund crucial research.
Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of the progress that has seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.
Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity currently funds around 50% of all publicly funded cancer research in the UK and is the only UK charity fighting more than 200 types of the disease.
Customers are a critical part of helping to get research back on track, so strict measures are being followed to ensure a safe shopping experience. These include social distancing, hand sanitiser stations, cough guards at till points and face coverings for shop staff and volunteers, as well as additional cleaning.
Jane added: “One in two people will get cancer in their lifetime, which is why we’re absolutely determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow.
“Our research has played a role in developing eight of the world’s top 10 cancer drugs and we’re working every day to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease. But we can’t do it alone.
“Every step our scientists take towards beating cancer relies on every pound raised. So, whether they shop, donate or volunteer their time - with the help of people across Cumbria we believe that together we will beat cancer.”
Cancer Research UK was able to spend more than £30m last year on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research in the north west.
Donations can be dropped off at most Cancer Research UK shops. The charity recommends phoning ahead before visiting, as safety measures may mean that storage space is limited.
For more information on Cancer Research UK shops, opening hours or volunteering go online here.