Pat Parker
Pat Parker

A Burntwood woman who has survived breast cancer twice is urging people to support charity shops as they reopen.

Cancer Research UK says the impact of closing its shops during the coronavirus crisis has had a “devastating” effect on its funding.

But with stores reopening, Pat Parker – who is a supervisor at the charity’s Lichfield shop – said local people could now play their part in helping in the fight against cancer.

The 72-year-old lost her mother to breast cancer as a child and has been diagnosed with the same disease herself in 2002 and 2008, while her sister Irene has also been diagnosed.

“As a cancer survivor and a member of staff it was doubly difficult to see the Cancer Research UK stores 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 both me and my sister a full life, something that was sadly denied to my mum.

“I really hope local people will hear our message and show their support by shopping at the store or volunteering for us – they really could save lives.”

Pat Parker

Cancer Research UK has launched a new TV appeal to encourage people to help support the life-saving work it carries out.

Shops have introduced social distancing and hand sanitiser stations, as well as quarantining donated items for 72 hours.

Jane Redman, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Staffordshire, 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 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 Staffordshire 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.”

Jane Redman, Cancer Research UK


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.