A message from our Chief Executive Officer and taking care of your wellbeing

Two shop volunteers in masks socially distancing on the shop floor

We're in this together

We're here to help you look after your wellbeing while our shops are closed.

Read on for reflections from Julie Byard, a thank you from Michelle Mitchell and information about new wellbeing resources. You can also read more about how at Cancer Research UK, we're showing our solidarity with the NHS.

A message from Julie Byard, Director of Trading

I hope you enjoyed the festive season, however different it may have been.

A new year brings time for reflection, and to look forward. With most of the UK in another lockdown, we’ve once again closed all our shop doors, apart from in Guernsey, while we stay home to protect each other and the NHS. I speak for everyone in Trading when I thank you for your exceptional support last year. It’s a real comfort to know that we continue to navigate the challenges with you by our side, even when we’re at home and not in our stores.

Our resilience has been tested, and it will continue to be for a few months longer. Prioritising our wellbeing has never been more important. That’s why I’m delighted to be able to offer you a trial of a brilliant NHS wellbeing app, which we’re providing to our volunteers and staff. You can read more about the free trial below. You can also watch a message from our Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Mitchell, where she shares some of her hopes for 2021.

Thank you and, as always, please take care of yourselves and one another.

''There's cause for optimism in 2021''


While we'll all be glad to leave 2020 behind, we should also recognise how much progress we've made together, our fantastic research community, staff team and you, our volunteers, despite the challenges all of us faced. COVID-19 did slow us down, but we never stopped.

Hear from Michelle Mitchell about the difference you make by volunteering, and her hopes for 2021, in a special message recorded for you, our shop volunteers. 

Hear from Michelle

A painting of mountains and trees

To support the wellbeing of our staff during a challenging time, we’re launching ‘Thrive: Mental Wellbeing’, the only clinically effective NHS approved mental health app for organisations. As well as the staff launch, we’re delighted to also be able to offer a free three month trial of Thrive to you, our volunteers, as a thank you for everything you do for us.

Thrive offers NHS approved screening tools, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) programmes and mindfulness content. It's designed to provide support for anyone looking to improve their mental wellbeing, at a time and place to suit you.

The app is easy to use, completely personalised to you and provides lots of tools to help you relax. You can download it from Monday 18 January on your Apple or Android app store, by searching 'Thrive: Mental Wellbeing'. You’ll need an email address, password of your choice and your access code STAYPOSITIVE to sign up. You don’t need to use a CRUK email address.

To benefit from your free trial, you’ll need to register your account by the end of January. Once the three month period ends, Thrive will be able to help you find useful NHS resources to continue with your wellbeing journey.

We hope that you’ll enjoy using the app to support your wellbeing. To learn more, watch this introduction or join our live webinar with the Thrive team on Tuesday 19 January, 4pm for tips to get the best from the app.

Join the webinar

Our Hour of Need

With a vaccine on its way, we’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel in this COVID-19 crisis. But huge challenges remain before life can start to return to normal and the Royal Voluntary Service is calling on Britain’s charities and community organisations to come together during our ‘Hour of Need’. Tens of thousands of volunteers are needed this winter to help those affected by the pandemic and to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme safely and quickly to millions.

So that’s why we’re proud as an organisation to be showing our solidarity with the Royal Voluntary Service and the NHS. We know many of our volunteers and staff are missing the roles you usually play and the sense of purpose it gives you. If you’d like to read about the ‘Hour of Need’, you can find out more below.

Find out more