Bath MP Don Foster unveiled the new-look Cancer Research UK store on Westgate Street just before Christmas, over a decade after he opened it in 2002.
The MP rolled up his sleeves and hit the shop floor to work alongside some of the original volunteers he met back in 2002 when the shop first opened its doors for business.
Twelve years on and some of the volunteers still work at the store, which has undergone a number of changes to create an improved shopping experience for customers.
A new layout will allow space for more stock and better changing room facilities.
New community boards have also been introduced which will display cancer awareness leaflets, to give local people easy access to information on the signs and symptoms of the disease.
Don Foster MP said: “I’m delighted to support my local Cancer Research UK shop and find out more about the wonderful refurbishment that has taken place.
“It is hard to believe it was 12 years ago that I opened this store. The fact that some of the volunteers from the original photo taken that day are still here and volunteering is a testament to their unflinching loyalty to the cause.
“Research is cancer’s number one enemy and it is people such as these volunteers, who are enabling the charity’s doctors and scientists to keep making huge advances in the fight against cancer.
“While more than three people are diagnosed with cancer in the South West every hour, there is good news. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, Cancer Research UK’s work is helping to ensure more men, women and children survive the disease.”
The MP is now encouraging the local community to show their support for the shop in any way they can, whether it’s donating or buying goods or volunteering for a few hours a week.
May Sullivan, 86, from Bath, who is one of the shop’s original volunteers, has been at the Westgate Street shop for 26 years.
She said: “It feels like we’ve turned back time in more ways than one with the special visit from Mr Foster and our fabulous new face lift.
“I started volunteering for the charity when I retired and needed something to do. Also my son worked as a cancer research scientist and so I knew it was a worthwhile charity to support, and I still like to volunteer today.”
The Bath Cancer Research UK shop sells good quality clothes, accessories and household goods, with profits going towards life-saving research to beat cancer sooner.
Each bag of donated items could be worth up to £25 for the charity. All donations are welcome but the shop is currently in particular need of menswear, DVDs and CDs.
Shop Manager, Alex Gillett, said. “We have a long and proud history in Bath so we can’t wait to unveil our beautiful new-look shop and look forward to welcoming customers old and new through the doors.
“Every step we make towards beating cancer relies on every pound, every hour and every person, so we’re delighted to have the backing of our local MP and hope people in Bath will continue to support the shop as they have so fantastically over the past twelve years.”