Praise and pride for volunteers after Hayling Island shop closes

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TRIBUTES have been paid to kind volunteers who manned a shop for 16 years, raising more than £800,000 for charity.

Mavis Julian started raising money for Cancer Research after her 18-year-old daughter Hilary died of stomach cancer in 1974.

Mrs Julian became so successful at fundraising she opened a small Cancer Research shop, in Elm Grove, Hayling Island, in 1995, helped by a group of volunteers.

Mrs Julian passed away in 2002 but a committee kept the shop going until last month, when it was closed down by the charity.

Cancer Research UK shut several volunteer-run shops across the country following a review which revealed paid managers would have to be brought in to comply with health and safety regulations.

Mrs Julian’s son, Ian, praised those who gave their time freely, helping so many people.

The 61-year-old, of St Andrews Road, Hayling, said: ‘It began with coffee mornings, which became an annual event, jumble and book sales, special walks and runs, the annual Paris to Hayling cycle ride, fashion shows and all the while the committee members rattled their tins, leading eventually to the opening of the Cancer Research UK shop.

‘This involved about 50 volunteers, and it became more than a just a store, more of a community shop for friends and customers alike.

‘By the time of my mother’s death £400,000 had been collected.

‘The shop was very small and had the most basic facilities for those working there.

‘What was unique, or at least very rare, was the duration. So many people worked for so many years for nothing, with no professionals involved. They never even received expenses, they always paid for certain requirements from their own pockets.

‘There should be little sadness in the passing of the shop, but rather pride.’

Mr Julian said he is proud of his mother calling her a ‘truly inspirational, charismatic person’ and is glad that some good came of his younger sister’s death.

The building has now been taken over by the Lions Club of Hayling Island.