York Cancer Survivor Officially Opens New Charity Shop In City
7:47am 16th December 2013
A young York cancer survivor is becoming Santa for the day to officially open a new charity shop in the centre of York.
Harry, who is 23, has been successfully treated for cancer and is part of Cancer Research UK’s York Group of Friends, who for the last two months have been busy collecting up clothes and homeware ready for the opening.
English graduate Harry, of Fulford Road, was invited to officially open the shop, along with fellow members of the fundraising group. Together they work year-round to raise money to support the work of Cancer Research UK through a range of events and activities around the area.
Winner of the Fundraiser of the Year title at the 2012 Community Pride Awards, Harry said: "I was thrilled to have been asked to open this lovely new shop. It’s an honour to do it. The shop will be a great addition to York, especially for shoppers and tourists who love a bargain!
“And with my ‘Santa’s little helpers’, our York Group of Friends have been as busy as Elves for weeks, working hard to collect as many items as possible and storing them in their garages ready for today’s opening.”
This is the first time Cancer Research UK has had a shop in York.
Harry also said: “Shops like this one provide vital revenue for Cancer Research UK and help fund the charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This research has helped save millions of lives and without it thousands of people, like me, would not be here”.
Back in 2010, after a lump developed from the bottom of his chin up the side of his jaw in just over two months, Harry, then 19, was diagnosed with paediatric follicular lymphoma – a very rare form of cancer. After 12 sessions of intensive radiotherapy , he was given the all clear. He now just has to go for regular checkups.
Harry says: “Mine was such a rare cancer that the doctors said I was the only person in my age group, in the UK, that had been diagnosed with it. It was a complete shock; you don’t think that it will ever happen to you.
“But thanks to research, I am still here. I am so grateful for the treatment that saved my life. Success stories like mine would not be possible without the work of Cancer Research UK and now I do my best to give something back, which today even means dressing up as Santa!”
Simon Ledsham, Director of Trading, Events and Operations, for Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re delighted to be opening a new shop in York during the festive season. It has a vibrant and thriving community and is a magnet for tourists, who we hope will both shop with us and donate stock for our shelves. And of course, we have a fantastic range of Christmas cards and gifts that raise money for research.
“This shop is part of the wider Cancer Research UK high street expansion plan. We hope it will bring the charity’s shopping experience to thousands of new customers in York and the surrounding area.
“As well as providing a great shopping experience, we hope the shop will inform, engage and inspire our supporters.”
Area Retail Manager, Lucy Holbrey, said: “We’re asking people to help stock our new shop by clearing out their wardrobes and cupboards over the next few months and bringing us their good-quality clothes, shoes, bags, household items, books and CDs or DVDs.
“And if people have any unwanted presents after Christmas, bring them to the shop to help give a much wanted gift our Cancer Research UK scientists.
“Each bag of clothes donated to a Cancer Research UK shop is potentially worth up to £25 – even more if our supporters sign up for Gift Aid.”
Nicki Embleton, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for York, said, “Investment in retail is a priority for us because shops are the high street face of the charity. They help to communicate the charity’s prevention and early diagnosis messages to the public.
“In today’s climate, Cancer Research UK is aware that shoppers want to pick up a good quality bargain and this new shop will enable people to do exactly that.”
The York shop will sell quality clothes, accessories and household goods, with all profits going to the charity’s work to help beat cancer sooner.
To find out more about Cancer Research UK’s shops and shopping, visit: www.cancerresearch.uk/shop
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