Shoppers donate more than £3,000 on World Cancer Day

Charity 'Delete Blood Cancer' was encouraging people at Tesco in Fratton to sign up and become blood or bone marrow donors. From left, Tesco community champion Gemma Morrison, Wendy McGarvey, Claire Hunt, Sarah Gray and Marnie Yates Picture: Keith Woodland (170191-003)
Charity 'Delete Blood Cancer' was encouraging people at Tesco in Fratton to sign up and become blood or bone marrow donors. From left, Tesco community champion Gemma Morrison, Wendy McGarvey, Claire Hunt, Sarah Gray and Marnie Yates Picture: Keith Woodland (170191-003)
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SHOPPERS have raised thousands of pounds for a charity battling to save lives researching cancer treatments.

Relay for Life, which works alongside Cancer Research UK, had stands across the Portsmouth area on World Cancer Day, on Saturday.

Volunteers for Cancer Reasearch UK, from left, Sarah Porter, Alex Newton, Jasper Whitworth, six, Maxine Kirk and Jayne Bowater Picture: Keith Woodland (170194-009)

Volunteers for Cancer Reasearch UK, from left, Sarah Porter, Alex Newton, Jasper Whitworth, six, Maxine Kirk and Jayne Bowater Picture: Keith Woodland (170194-009)

More than £3,000 was raised as people visited the stalls to find out more information about cancer and what Relay for Life does as a charity.

Volunteers were at Gunwharf Quays, Tesco supermarkets in Fareham and Whiteley, and at Cascades Shopping Centre, in Portsmouth.

Briony Biddle, a volunteer for the charity, said: ‘From our stand in Gunwharf we raised £1,400 which was amazing. It was the first time we’d been there for the day.

‘Across the four areas, we raised £3,200 which is really good.

Across the four areas, we raised £3,200 which is really good.

Briony Biddle

‘We spent time speaking to people who had been affected by cancer and it was really moving meeting them and knowing the money we raised is helping.’

In Gunwharf, there was live music by choir Quay of Sea Voices. Run by the Fine Voice Singers Academy, every member has been affected by cancer in their life.

Briony added: ‘This is something that we do every year and it is something we like doing.

‘We are raising money on a day when a lot of people are thinking about loved ones who have been affected by cancer.’

Elsewhere in the city, Tesco in Fratton was also doing its part for World Cancer Day.

The store was working with charity DKMS which looks for and raises awareness for bone marrow donors.

They were encouraging customers to sign up to become a bone marrow donor.

Donors can help people with leukaemia in need of a transplant.

Gemma Morrison, community champion at the store, said: ‘The drive went really well.

‘In total we had 128 people sign up over the two days and we raised £206 too. We were really happy with the number of potential donors we found.

‘It was fantastic to do our bit and also raise awareness of the importance of bone marrow donors.

‘It’s one of those things that unless it affects you, you aren’t really aware of it.’

The store decided to hold the event after meeting George O’Shaughnessy, three, from Baffins.

The toddler is battling leukaemia for a second time and is in need of a transplant. Four possible donors have been found as a possible match for the three-year-old.

Gemma added: ‘George’s mum Amy comes into the store cafe and we learnt about his cancer returning.

‘We wanted to help out so organised the drive with the charity.’