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Charity shop spreads wings

PUBLISHED: 09:55 07 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:57 06 July 2010

Norfolk's local cancer charity has spread its wings with the opening of fifth shop in the county.

Big C has helped thousands of patients and their families with its research, fund-raising and support work since it was formed nearly 30 years ago.

Norfolk's local cancer charity has spread its wings with the opening of fifth shop in the county.

Big C has helped thousands of patients and their families with its research, fund-raising and support work since it was formed nearly 30 years ago.

Its growing stable of charity shops - with the latest at Sheringham also the first to be open seven days a week - makes an important contribution to its annual income of £1.7m.

And the charity is seeking to open two a year for the next five years, to help raise money and awareness for its cause.

Fund-raising relations manager Sharon Hulbert said every penny of Big C funds was spent in Norfolk and Waveney.

Over the past 29 years it had provided £14m worth of services and equipment. They included the £1m-plus Big C centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital complex where they also paid the running costs.

It also helped research, particularly giving a boost to pilot projects at the UEA which helped them attract bigger funding.

Equipment provided include a £150,000 digital mammograph at King's Lynn which was more patient-friendly and gave earlier detection.

Its support for patients' families was also expanding, and all of its new shops, including Sheringham, had room to hold outreach help sessions for patients and their carers.

Mrs Hulbert added that the value of legacies had fallen in the recession, but the workload of cancer cases continued to rise because of the area's expanding and aging population - so the charity needed to keep driving forward with its fund-raising.

Opening the new shop, in the former Sheringcraft shop at Station Road, chief executive Daniel Williams said:

"Our aim is to bring our charity to the heart of local communities. This is now the third new shop we have opened in market towns across Norfolk and is part of ambitious expansion plans. What I want to highlight is that this is a local charity bringing local services to local people and every penny raised in Norfolk stays in Norfolk."

Big C has two shops in Norwich at Castle Meadow and Timberhill, and at Beccles and Yarmouth.

The Sheringham shop at 50 Station Road always welcomes donations of quality goods, and offers of help from volunteers. Contact managers Laura Ball or Sylvia Grimbley on 01263 823004.

Big C is staging its annual cycle ride at Holkham Hall on Sunday October 4. Call 01603 619900 or visit www.big-c.co.uk for entry forms and more information.

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