An inspirational volunteer was chosen to open a new Cancer Research UK store dedicated to saving lives.
Leigh Hughes cut the ribbon at the ceremony to officially open the store in Abergavenny on Thursday May, 25. The new store at 6 High Street is just a few doors down from the original CRUK shop but is five times bigger, offering more stock just in time for summer.
It was a special day for Leigh, 36, who has volunteered in the Cancer Research UK shop in Abergavenny for the past six years. Leigh, who has Down’s Syndrome, scooped the charity’s Flame of Hope volunteer award in 2020 in recognition of her contribution.
Upon its opening, Leigh said: “I was flabbergasted when I was asked to cut the ribbon and officially open the shop today, but it’s been so exciting.
“We’ve had lots of people in the shop already – it’s been really busy.
“I cut the ribbon in honour of my grandmother who died from cancer a few years ago. She inspired me to start volunteering, and it’s something I love doing.”
Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years. Its research has led to more than 50 cancer drugs used across the UK - and around the world - from chemotherapies to new-generation precision treatments. With an estimated 19,800 people diagnosed with cancer every year in Wales, the charity is determined to continue its mission of funding life-saving research.
Cancer Research UK shop manager in Abergavenny, Sharne Lloyd, said: “We are so excited to unveil our beautiful new-look shop. The team is delighted with the improvements, and we hope the people of Abergavenny will continue to support the shop as they have done so fantastically in the past.
“We are committed to raising even more funds to help beat cancer whilst offering our customers more choice and a much-improved shopping experience.”
Sharne also issued an appeal for people to sign up to volunteer in the shop, saying: “A bigger, better shop means more work for our fantastic team of volunteers – more donations to process, more stock to put out, more customers to help - so we’d love the people of Abergavenny and the surrounding area to consider signing up as a shop volunteer.
“Volunteering can bring you closer to your community, allow you to learn new skills, and make new friends. Shifts are flexible, meaning you can fit them around work and life commitments. Our volunteers are helping beat cancer with every hour of time they spare.”
The shop welcomes donations including adults’ and children’s clothing, accessories, shoes, homeware, small electricals, books, collectables and more. You can even donate old mobile phones and printer cartridges.
Each bag of clothes donated to a Cancer Research UK shop can be worth up to £25 for the charity’s life-saving work, and even more if Gift Aid is added.
Helen Evans, Cancer Research UK Area Shop Manager, said, “Our shops are the high street’s face of the charity and investing in them is vital.
“Money raised through our shop in Abergavenny and our other stores forms a very significant part of Cancer Research UK’s income and helps us fund research which saves more lives.
“We know shoppers want the chance to pick up good quality items and more and more people are realising the benefits of choosing charity shops to do this.
“It is important that our standards continue to reflect those of the high street to ensure we can raise as much money as possible to help fund our life-saving research.
“As well as providing a great shopping experience, we hope the new-look shop will inform, engage and inspire our supporters.”
The Abergavenny shop will be open Monday to Saturday, 08.30 – 17.00, and Sundays and Bank Holidays 10.00 – 16.00.
To find out about volunteering, visit www.cruk.org/shopvolunteer
Learn more about Cancer Research UK’s shops, at www.cruk.org/shops