December Update

Two volunteers chatting by clothes rail in store

As we approach the end of 2023, we wanted to look back and reflect on the incredible support you have given over the past year. Our shops simply wouldn’t run without the time you give, so a huge thank you.

While the upcoming festivities can bring joy to many, for some it can also be a lonely time. At the bottom of this email, there’s a reminder of the wellbeing support available to you.

This year, the Charity Retail Association shared their groundbreaking report: The Value of Giving Back – The Social Return of Charity Shops. This highlights the huge value charity shops bring to our society beyond the fundraising income raised each year. It’s amazing to see the impact we have and the vital role we play within our communities: improving people’s lives, supporting their wellbeing, and greeting customers with friendliness and compassion. A big thanks to those who supported the project by feeding into the research.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all the best over the holiday period and we look forward to a successful start to 2024 with you by our side.

Thank you.
Julie Byard, Director of Trading
Cancer Research UK

A big thank you this festive season and beyond!

Three volunteers standing by Christmas Tree

We think it’s the little things that matter most – the significant moments we can easily take for granted. They are so precious, especially for people affected by cancer. And it’s thanks to research that people affected by cancer can have more time for more of the little things, this festive season and beyond.

Volunteers are the backbone of our charity and play a vital role in supporting our life-saving research. Every shirt you steam, customer you serve and hour you give takes us a step closer to beating cancer. Quite simply, we couldn’t make the progress we do without you.

As we approach the end of the year, we want to say a huge thank you for everything you do to support Cancer Research UK. Michelle Mitchell, our Chief Executive, has recorded a special video message to thank you for your incredible contributions.


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Diane's story: favourite volunteering moments


This festive season, we also want to shine a spotlight on your experiences of volunteering with us.

Diane, a volunteer at our Carmarthen shop, shares her story of volunteering at Cancer Research UK and reflects on some of her favourite volunteering memories.

“Beating cancer means no more suffering, from young to old - what a fabulous achievement that will be. I lost my husband to stomach cancer 12 years ago so it’s very dear to my heart. I’m very proud to be a volunteer and a fundraiser too."

"My favourite moment in 2023 has to be finding a pair of 9ct gold Clogau cufflinks which a kind person donated. I’m proud of our team doing what we can to keep the shop in tip top condition and keeping the customers happy."

I can honestly say that volunteering is the best thing I’ve done, and it’s really helped me too. I think I speak for all team Carmarthen by saying that it’s the best feeling, making a difference by raising money for such a worthy cause.”

- Diane, volunteer at our Camarthen shop 

We're here to help you

Woman rearranging clothing hanging up in store

From uniform and soup to wellbeing resources, we’ve listed a reminder here of what’s available to you:

· Uniform: We have branded fleeces available to help in the colder weather.
· Soup: We also have packets of soup available.
· Period products: All bathroom areas in our shops and warehouses have a small range available for free.

We don’t want you to be out of pocket when you volunteer with us, so we reimburse reasonable expenses connected to your volunteering. Please discuss this with your shop manager in advance.

A reminder of wellbeing resources:

· The Retail Trust: Access to tailored, free and confidential health and wellbeing support through their website or by calling 0808 801 0808.
· Hub of Hope: Search in your local area to see mental health support services and groups available on
· The NHS: If you’re struggling with your mental health or wellbeing, you can speak to your GP or call 111.
· Samaritans: You can also find support by calling the Samaritans for free on 116 123.

A big step forward for volunteering

Woman looking at her tablet at her kitchen table

We simply couldn’t make the progress we do without you. We want to make sure that you have a happy and rewarding volunteering experience and that you’re able to make the most of your time with us. That’s why we’re introducing a new system to help improve the experience you have.

This system will help us to better support you, by improving and personalising the way we communicate with you and the way we recognise and celebrate your incredible contributions to the charity.

Look out for updates in the new year about what’s coming next and any actions you’ll need to take as we get ready to launch the new system.

Longer, better lives: introducing our new manifesto

two scientists chatting in the lab

We exist to beat cancer, and so far, we’ve made incredible progress – over the last 50 years, we’ve helped double cancer survival in the UK. This progress has been made possible thanks to the incredible support of volunteers including you.

It’s tough right now for cancer patients. Waiting time targets aren’t being met. People face unequal access to treatment, and our cancer outcomes aren’t keeping pace with other countries.

Ahead of the next general election, we have launched our new manifesto for cancer research and care: Longer, better lives. This is made up of practical measures, which we want the major political parties to include in their policies ahead of the next general election. This will make sure cancer is a top priority for the next government.

We're here to support you

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If you received a link to this information by text message it is because you volunteer in one of our shops. If you’d like to stop receiving text messages from Cancer Research UK, or make changes to how we communicate with you, please contact