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Charity urges shoppers to visit store after coronavirus closure leads to funding shortfall

PUBLISHED: 09:43 04 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:43 04 July 2020

Cancer Research UK currently funds around 50% of all cancer research in the UK. The Great Yarmouth superstore is located at Gapton Hall Retail Park. Photo: Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK currently funds around 50% of all cancer research in the UK. The Great Yarmouth superstore is located at Gapton Hall Retail Park. Photo: Cancer Research UK

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Cancer Research UK is urging shoppers to help cover a “devastating” shortfall in funding by heading out to the charity’s flagship store on its first day of re-opening.

Social distancing measures have been put in place in store to help shoppers visit with confidence. Photo: Cancer Research UKSocial distancing measures have been put in place in store to help shoppers visit with confidence. Photo: Cancer Research UK

It was almost a year ago that Gary Durling, 49, opened the Cancer Research superstore at Gapton Hall in Great Yarmouth in memory of his father who died from lung cancer.

But now the charity expects to see fundraising income drop by 30pc as a result of the pandemic and “devastating” three-month closure, and wants shoppers to head to its outlets in an effort to sustain vital clinical research.

In a statement, the charity said: “With its shops typically contributing more than £25m every year to vital research, Cancer Research UK has suffered a dramatic loss of income after a devastating closure of its stores.

“Customers are a key part of funding this research, so strict measures are being followed to ensure people in the town can shop, volunteer and donate goods safely.”

Gary Durling, whose late father Roy Durling died of lung cancer, said that he hoped people in Great Yarmouth would be inspired by the charity's determination to shop and help save lies. He cut the ribbon to open the store just last year. Photo: Gary DurlingGary Durling, whose late father Roy Durling died of lung cancer, said that he hoped people in Great Yarmouth would be inspired by the charity's determination to shop and help save lies. He cut the ribbon to open the store just last year. Photo: Gary Durling

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These include social distancing, hand sanitiser stations, cough guards at till points, face coverings and gloves for shop staff and volunteers, additional cleaning and a 72-hour quarantine period for donated items.

Steve O’Brien, the superstore’s manager, said: “To save lives tomorrow, we need the public’s support today - so we want people to know we’re making every effort to create a safe shopping experience.

“Covid-19 has hit us hard and after three long months, and nearly a year since we first opened, we’re delighted to be able to welcome new and familiar faces back through our doors again, as well as a host of new donations.

Social distancing measures have been put in place in store to help shoppers visit with confidence. Photo: Cancer Research UKSocial distancing measures have been put in place in store to help shoppers visit with confidence. Photo: Cancer Research UK

“Our shops are full of new and pre-loved items, fashion one-offs and homeware treasures – particularly after lockdown clear-outs.

“As well as being sold at bargain prices, every sale helps to fund our work. But right now, clinical trials are being postponed and we’re having to delay vital research.”

“That’s why we’re asking our customers to do what they can. Whether they shop, donate goods or volunteer their time – all are essential to help us keep making breakthroughs for people with cancer.”


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