September Volunteering Update

Girl in a purple t shirt laughing as she sorts clothes in a shop

A message from Julie Byard, Director of Trading

We’ve released a new Cancer Research UK product designed specifically for patients. Our very first own-brand post-surgery bra is now available online as part of our Cancer Care Collection, with all proceeds going directly to breast cancer research.

This was developed thanks to feedback from supporters who have undergone breast cancer surgery and treatment, and with insight from hospitals and clinics. The 60% organic cotton bra is seamless, tag-less, wireless and sits high enough under the arm to provide support for lymph node removal. As a volunteer in one of our shops, you are making this kind of innovative development possible - thank you.

In this newsletter, you’ll discover how we’re improving communications about how your support is beating cancer, what we raised for children and young people this summer and how we’re celebrating National Inclusion Week.

Take care,


It’s National Inclusion Week at the end of September

As an organisation, we believe that it’s everyone’s responsibility to create an inclusive environment to work and volunteer. In the last week of September, our staff will be getting involved in talks and training sessions about the importance of an inclusive workspace.

So, this is a great opportunity for us to reflect on volunteering. What could we improve to make sure that everyone feels included?

A small step we’re taking is a new feedback inbox. It’s a safe space where you can tell us your suggestions to help you feel welcome and included as a CRUK volunteer. You can send us good news stories of things you like (“we have Friday cake as a shop team”) or things we could do better (“I don’t know where to find the volunteer fair treatment policy”).

We’ll treat your comments respectfully and gratefully. Thank you for helping us help you.

Jonathan's story

A woman in a stripy t shirt has arm around a man in a green t shirt and glasses

Jonathan has been volunteering in the Canton shop in Cardiff for almost 7 years. He has incredible enthusiasm for his volunteering and is much loved by his peers, not letting his hearing and eyesight impediment stop him.

In 2021, Jonathan was awarded a Special Commendation as part of our annual Flame of Hope Awards. Here’s what his manager, Kat, told us about why it’s so special having Jonathan in her shop.

Understanding the impact of volunteering

Female researcher in a lab coat pipetting in a laboratory

Over 33,000 volunteers support our work, doing a range of roles. You told us in a recent survey that you want to hear more about how your support is beating cancer.

So, we’re preparing a volunteer impact assessment to ask how you support our work. For example, as well as helping on the tills and sorting stock, you might promote our fundraising campaigns on social media, or volunteer at events. This assessment will show us the full picture of the huge impact you have. We'd love you to get involved, so do look out for an email about this at the end of September.

Thanks for channelling your inner child!

Young girl is carried by a man and hugged by a lady with dark hair

Huge thanks for supporting our latest fundraising campaign: Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People. With your support, our shops raised a huge £416k in six weeks, which is £55k more than the original target.

That money will help children like Georgia, pictured, who was diagnosed as having acute myeloid leukaemia after her mum noticed her suffering a string of colds and breathlessness. Following successful treatment, Georgia is now 14 years old. She and her family are dedicated to helping other young people with cancer. We're delighted to have featured Georgia as a star in our shop window marketing.

What's coming up...

October is Stand Up To Cancer month

Brought to you by Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, Stand Up To Cancer is a fundraising campaign that brings the UK together to speed up progress in life-saving cancer research. Read about some of the work this campaign funds.

London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week is 16-20 September! Proving that high-end looks don’t need a high price tag, celebrity stylist @EllisRansonx has recreated iconic London Fashion Week looks using preloved items from our online marketplace stores. We love the message that new looks can be created from charity shop fashion. You can catch up on our @CRUKShops Instagram, where you’ll find lots of inspiration that shows second-hand doesn’t mean second choice.

Look out for lottery…

The Cancer Research UK Weekly Lottery has been running online for many years and has proven extremely popular with supporters, raising millions for our life-saving work. Many other charities already offer a lottery to their supporters, so we're excited that the CRUK Lottery will be available for eligible supporters to play at all our shops by September. Chat to your Shop Manager to learn more.