LONDONERS are being urged to help Cancer Research UK shops get back to the business of beating cancer as restrictions on non-essential retail lift from Monday (Apr 12).
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 34,000 people diagnosed with cancer every year in the capital, the charity is determined to continue its life-saving mission.
As shops 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.
Lynn Daly, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for London, said: “COVID-19 has hit us hard. Our shops typically contribute more than £25 million 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.
“However, if you have goods to donate, please phone ahead before dropping off as Covid safety measures may mean storage space is limited.”
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.
Lynn added: “One in two people will get cancer in their lifetime**, which is why we’re determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow.
“Our research has played a role in developing 8 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 – we believe that together we will beat cancer.”
Cancer Research UK was able to spend around £153 million in the region last year on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.