Volunteers help celebrate 30th anniversary for the Cancer Research UK charity shop of Kenilworth

Volunteer Elsie Davies, shop manager Emma Thornett and volunteer Christine Jones at the Cancer Research UK charity shop in Kenilworth.
Volunteer Elsie Davies, shop manager Emma Thornett and volunteer Christine Jones at the Cancer Research UK charity shop in Kenilworth.

It's all about giving back.

Two long-time volunteers at the Cancer Research UK charity shop in Kenilworth shared a few thoughts on serving at the shop for three decades.

Kenilworth Mayor Alison Firth, the Cancer Research UK charity shop of Kenilworth manager Emma Thornett and three volunteers who have been there since the store opened.

Kenilworth Mayor Alison Firth, the Cancer Research UK charity shop of Kenilworth manager Emma Thornett and three volunteers who have been there since the store opened.

More than a dozen of the volunteers from the shop along with the Kenilworth Mayor Alison Firth gathered to celebrate the shop's 30th anniversary.

Christine Jones, who has volunteered at the shop since it opened, said: "I really love the work and the people. It's very rewarding. I just wanted something to do, and I've always worked in detail.

“It's been a big part of our lives. I was 41 when I started volunteering here, and now I'm 71.”

Both Christine Jones and Elsie Davies started volunteering at the charity shop after responding to a notice they saw in the local paper.

The volunteers at the Kenilworth Cancer Research UK charity shop with the Kenilworth Mayor Alison Firth along with the shop manager (at centre) Emma Thornett.

The volunteers at the Kenilworth Cancer Research UK charity shop with the Kenilworth Mayor Alison Firth along with the shop manager (at centre) Emma Thornett.

Christine added: “It's for cancer research. I've had quite a few family members die from cancer. My dad died from cancer and my auntie. It's really a good charity.”

November 30 was the 30th anniversary of the charity shop, which is located in the town centre on Warwick Road.

Thirty years ago the charity shop went by a different name – The Imperial Cancer Research Fund, and was the second charity shop to open in town after the Oxfam charity shop.

Elsie said: “I originally came because my father died of lung cancer, and it was a charity I wanted to support.

Cancer Research UK charity shop in the town centre of Kenilworth

Cancer Research UK charity shop in the town centre of Kenilworth

“In my case I had just retired, and it just seemed like a good idea. It's a nice shop to work in, and you form friendships and look forward to seeing people. It's just become part of my life now.”

Emma Thornett, the charity shop's manager, said all the fundraising and money made from the charity shop goes directly back into the charity. The charity aims to reduce the number of deaths from cancer.

While the shop currently has 23 volunteers it's still looking for more people who can help at the shop or with donations.

Emma who was a volunteer herself at a Cancer Research UK charity shop for five years before applying and accepting the job offer to serve as the manager of the Kenilworth charity shop six months ago.

She said: “For many of the volunteers and for me personally it's a good way of being able to help people and to give back.”

Emma commended all the volunteers for their service at the shop.

She said: “These guys have been here for 30 years, and that's mind blowing. You really develop friendships that are almost like family.

“As managers we're encouraged to tell our volunteers they're lifesavers because without them we wouldn't be able to save as many people as we are now.”