Cancer Research UK is a UK-based non-profit organisation whose mission is fighting cancer by investing in research. This organisations reckons that every day 400 new cancers are discovered all along the island. Thanks to the work done by scientists, researchers, doctors and nurses, these persones might get by the disease for more than 10 years. Baiba Plume, Internal Communications and PR Manager for the charity shops, explains how they work and which goals have they met.
1. When Cancer Research UK first started?
It all started in 1902, when the Imperial Research Fund was founded. In 2002, the brand Cancer Research UK was born from the merger of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and The Cancer Research Campaign.
2. Where does the funding go and which projects do you support?
We are the only charity in the UK to fund research in more than 200 cancers. You can find more about our income and spend in our annual review which was launched a week ago. Our income was £621 million, out of which £434 million goes towards charitable activities, including research, information and policy activities, work with GP’s, campaigning, as well as the construction of the Francis Crick Institute.
3. How do you get the items to be sold in the shops?
Different ways – most of it is donated in our shops; we also work with corporate partners and organise donation stations in events across the country. You could also find our donation stations in train stations, shopping malls, large businesses and elsewhere. Around 90% of our income is from unwanted items donated to us mainly by the public. We also sell a range of new products in our shops, as well as in our online shopping portal,which is a growing part of Trading's business.
4. How do you get organised?
Each shop has a manager, but the work couldn't be done without 17,000 volunteers who give up their spare time from day to day. Some of the volunteers have been with for more than 30 years!
5. Could you please tell me a successful example of the role played by your shops?
Our shops are often the hub of local community and besides our financial contribution, we also support other areas of charity to reach their aims such as policy and cancer information. We inform the public about being sun smart or how to leave a legacy to us.
6. How does society perceive you?
It’s hard to measure the impact, but being the ‘face of the charity on high street’, we’re certain that it creates a large part of our brand presence and lets us connect with the public.