Mum: I’ve sur­vived – and so will this store

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life - BY JAMIE LOPEZ

AMUM-OF-TWO who twice sur­vived can­cer is urg­ing peo­ple to sup­port char­ity shops and help save more lives.

Kim­berly Harrison, 39, had an eye­ball re­moved and nearly lost her leg in two sep­a­rate in­stances of can­cer.

Now fit and well, the Orm­skirk res­i­dent is call­ing on the town’s res­i­dents to shop in its Can­cer Re­search shop to help the char­ity’s dra­matic loss of fund­ing.

The Burscough Street store was forced to close three months ago but staff and vol­un­teers are now back in ac­tion.

The shops typ­i­cally con­trib­ute more than £25m ev­ery year to vi­tal re­search and Can­cer Re­search UK has suf­fered a dra­matic loss of in­come since they were forced to close tem­po­rar­ily.

An ur­gent TV ap­peal has been launched to help get its life­sav­ing work back on track and Kim­ber­ley, who cut the rib­bon at the store’s open­ing in Oc­to­ber, is back­ing that ral­ly­ing call.

High­light­ing the scale of the fund­ing gap, the call to sup­port the Orm­skirk shop co­in­cides with the launch of an ur­gent new TV ap­peal to help get the char­ity’s life-sav­ing work back on track.

She said: “As a reg­u­lar cus­tomer it was ter­ri­ble to see the shop close, be­cause I un­der­stand all too clearly what a lack of fund­ing could mean for the de­vel­op­ment of new treat­ments for peo­ple like me.

“Re­search has given me more pre­cious time with my fam­ily, so I hope peo­ple in Orm­skirk will be in­spired by the char­ity’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to carry on beat­ing can­cer and show their sup­port – they re­ally could save lives.”

Thanks to the gen­eros­ity of sup­port­ers like Kim­berly, Can­cer Re­search UK cur­rently funds around 50% of all can­cer re­search in the UK.

How­ever, as a di­rect re­sult of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, it ex­pects to see its fundrais­ing in­come de­cline by up to 30 per cent in the fi­nan­cial year ahead – putting this re­search at risk.

Strict mea­sures are be­ing fol­lowed to en­sure peo­ple in the town can shop, vol­un­teer and do­nate goods safely, in­clud­ing hand sani­tiser sta­tions, cough guards at till points, face cov­er­ings for shop staff and vol­un­teers, and a 72-hour quar­an­tine pe­riod for do­nated items.

Anna Tay­lor, Can­cer Re­search UK spokesper­son for the North West, 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 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.

“Our shops are full of new and preloved 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 Orm­skirk 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.”

Kim­ber­ley Harrison is urg­ing lo­cal peo­ple to sup­port Can­cer Re­search UK’s shop, left; the shop’s safety mes­sage, above

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