Each year, 12.7 million people discover that they have cancer. With proper research and facilities, 30-40% of cancer-related deaths can be prevented. This year itself the research activities carried out in institutes, universities and hospitals across the UK have produced welcome relief and break though augmentations to our knowledge base of this much dreaded and still cryptic disease.

Through the various charity organisations and stores across the country, foundations like the Cancer Research UK stores, help fund these vital research that is aimed at reducing the number of cancer deaths. The money collected also aids in funding the campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the disease and influencing public policy. Cancer Research UK's work is almost entirely funded by the public. That is why during this Christmas season – the season that is synonym worldwide for giving and gifting; it seemed only appropriate to try and get an insight into the local Cancer Research Store in Kingston, regarding it’s working and more importantly how we as local citizens can contribute to this noble cause. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

On a scale of one to ten, how much support do you receive from the local community?

I would give a nine out of ten, because most of the merchandise is donated by the people and bought by them. We also get a lot of volunteers who come to help at the store, which is extremely useful. The only trouble is that people often bring quite a large amount of their old things, and not really considering if all of it is in good condition or is normally sold at a store.

Is local donation your only source?

We do have a Cancer Research merchandise supply, but most of the income comes from donations from the public. From them, we get a lot of used, but good quality products from big brands like Gap and Superdry.

Does this time of season bring any different reactions from the people?

I feel like during Christmas time, people like to spend more, especially since there is charity involved. We also had the opportunity to sell a lot of Christmas merchandise. Though not a lot of clothes were bought, probably as people often like to have brand new clothes this season. I feel people were also donating more, thanks to the Christmas spirit! Since people are also going out on holiday, I feel they are clearing their homes from things they don’t need anymore, and by donating it, helping others.

Could you give an approximate on how much income is generated in a month?

We aim for about a £1500 per month.

How can we, as citizens help?

By buying more things! It is also useful when people bring nice things to the store -that are in good condition and can be resold at a good price. Volunteering at the store is always welcome, especially during the busy times like this holiday season. We are always looking for volunteers!

Are there any other ways we can be involved with this noble cause?

We also do collaborations with other organisations, like the Sea Cadet Corps Kingston and the local schools of our community.

Why do you like working here?

There is always someone we know who knows someone who has cancer. This kind of a job is one that is not meaningless, but helps the community as a whole. The time and effort I put into this job, everyday, is helping so many more people who need it.

To me as a reporter, that final statement given by the store in-charge; sums it all up. This disease is a raw reality and instead of ignoring or being passive about it we could make a conscious effort to support a change for the better. Endeavours like Cancer Research Stores bring to our door steps a platform where even the younger members of our community can contribute.