Charity pound shop raises £132k for cancer research

Oxford Mail: From left, Pat Millard, Aaron Webb and Shiri McAndrew outside the Cancer Research shop which took over the former Halfords shop in Botley Road Buy this photo From left, Pat Millard, Aaron Webb and Shiri McAndrew outside the Cancer Research shop which took over the former Halfords shop in Botley Road

A PILOT charity shop in Botley Road has raised more than £132,000 for research into cancer.

Cancer Research UK opened a £1 shop on the site of the former Halfords store last August on a temporary basis.

It closed its doors on Saturday as retailer Waitrose plans to develop the site into a new supermarket.

More than 121,000 people have visited the shop and goods worth £132,000 have been donated.

Cancer Research UK had a rolling agreement with the landlord on the site to occupy the building until its permanent future was decided.

Now, the charity is to put all the profits from its eight permanent county shops – including two in Headington – to directly fund research taking place in the city.

It is the first time the charity has agreed to restrict profits from shops to funding research in a specific geographical area and the trial will run for a year.

The success of the pilot project in the Botley Road may lead to similar outlets and donations stations appearing throughout the UK.

John Egen, Cancer Research UK’s retail manager for Oxfordshire, said: “We were really excited to open the new superstore. It was a fantastic, convenient location with good parking facilities which we believe made it easier for local people to donate and shop with us.

“The pilot scheme has been very successful and the charity may look for more permanent premises that are similar.

“We always knew this would be a temporary location. The local support – both shopping and donating - has been overwhelming. It worked so well we have already opened a similar £1 outlet and donation station just outside Edinburgh and we are certainly looking for more suitable spaces across the UK.

“Cancer Research UK relies entirely on donations to fund its life saving work. I hope people in Oxfordshire will continue to support our long-standing shops in the county by buying and donating quality items.”

Aaron Webb, who has worked at the outlet for eight months, said: “I really enjoyed it. I met lots of really nice people. Everybody who came in loved the pound shop idea.’’ The charity said it has spent more than £120 million in the last five years in the city on funding research.

Helen Johnstone, Cancer Research UK’s spokeswoman in Oxfordshire, said: “This is the first time that all profits from a shop has been restricted to a specific area.

“Every week around 12 people in Oxford hear the words ‘you have cancer’ and every week five people in Oxford die from the disease.

“Cancer Research UK has funded research in Oxford for more than 70 years. We need ongoing support to fund more years and more breakthroughs. Forty years ago, just a quarter of cancer patients lived as long as 10 years. Today, half of all patients survive beyond a decade.

“Our ambition is to see three in four people in Oxford survive their cancer within the next 20 years – but we need public support to help get us there.”

Text OXFORD to 70080 to give £3 or visit www.cruk.org to get involved.

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