Sidmouth Cancer Research volunteer plea

VOLUNTEERS who’ve assisted at Sidmouth’s Cancer Research shop for a combined 38 years have led a plea for more vital helpers.

Workers at the Fore Street store recently bade a fond farewell to 92-year-old colleague Joan Banting – who retired from her role of more than two decades due to ill health.

Joan, who moved to Sidmouth to start a new life following the death of her husband, said: “When walking down High Street I saw the Cancer Research shop – and ended up working there Mondays and Saturdays for 23 years.”

Shop manager Sharon Lupu (pictured) said Joan would be missed by colleagues and customers.

“Her cheerful manner and wonderful sense of humour have been a great asset,” she said.

Sharon added: “We really need more volunteers at the shop for a variety of different jobs – stock room sorting and till work especially.”

She invited residents to have a trial run and added: ”We are very welcoming and appreciate all the help we can get. Even a couple of hours a week is such a bonus. The more workers we have, the more money we can make for cancer research.”

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Mary Herring, 85, has volunteered at the shop for 15 years. She said she is doing something useful and feels part of an important workforce – making friends along the way.

Sharon wanted to share a poem, penned by a new recruit who wanted to remain anonymous, about volunteering.

Anyone interest in volunteering can call the shop on 01395 577203.

“I’d like to say some words dear reader, to add a little clarity,

About donating time and energy to a rather splendid charity!!

Cancer Research is a very worthy cause – I know you understand

And by helping out at any time I’m proud to give a hand.

A few years back ill health put paid to my stressful dull career

But I must confess I’ve found it happier as a humble volunteer!!

It gets me out the house and determined to complete that covert mission

To escape the clutches of that curse they call day time television!!!

I work alongside years of different era’s age is not a problem you must see,

In fact just ask our senior helper as she’s only 93!!!

So if you have some time to spare, please come join our friendly staff

We are a unique personality (and plus we like to have a laugh!!)

Our shop is just a little cog in the machine of the research quest,

But with your help we will ensure a cure to make cancer second best!!”