Volunteer's dedication to charity earns national praise

A Blackpool volunteer has scooped a national award from Cancer Research UK celebrating her outstanding contribution to the cause. The charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards acknowledge remarkable efforts in volunteering made by people from all walks of life and 2024 marks 21 years of the recognition programme.
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Sue Shuttleworth was named a Cancer Research UK Honorary Fellow in appreciation of her exceptional loyalty and dedication to the cause. The 76-year-old picked up the award at a ceremony at Manchester Monastery.

The audience heard how Sue has shown exceptional commitment to Cancer Research UK volunteering in the shop in Talbot Road for the past 15 years. Sue has thrown herself into quirky fundraising efforts and even sat in a bath while custard was poured onto her!

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Sue’s immediate family have all been impacted by cancer. She has been successfully treated for skin cancer. And she sadly lost a daughter to brain cancer.

Sue Shuttleworth and her award.Sue Shuttleworth and her award.
Sue Shuttleworth and her award.

Sue, who lives in south Blackpool, said: “I absolutely love volunteering in the Blackpool shop as it’s such a mix of customers with holiday makers and the regular locals. We all get on well and have fun together for a good cause. I would recommend volunteering to everyone of every age.

“I was so surprised to be told I was going to receive the Honorary Fellowship. It was a fantastic day at the ceremony and myself and my daughter Sarah felt very moved listening to all the different reasons volunteers support the charity.”

Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said:

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“Thanks to the dedication of more than 25,000 volunteers supporting us right across the charity – from keeping our shops running to helping us operate many of our outdoor events and so much more – Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of progress that has seen cancer survival in the UK double over the past 40 years.

“The Flame of Hope Awards give us the opportunity to celebrate and thank the amazing people who give their time and energy wholeheartedly and who have made outstanding contributions.We are proud to have presented almost 2,000 awards since the first ceremony back in 2003 and to be able to shine a spotlight on their incredible efforts and achievements.”

The 2024 Flame of Hope Awards are being held at six locations across the UK throughout March. Sue is among 135 individuals and groups being recognised.

Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Lancashire, Jane Bullock, said:

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“These awards are our way of honouring incredible people like Sue who give their time freely to raise money for research and promote greater awareness of the disease, and yet ask for nothing in return.

“Time volunteered is not ordinary time. It’s time infused with passion, drive and determination. It’s time honouring lost family members and friends. Or extra time gained thanks to advances in research.

“Every step we make towards beating cancer relies on every pound, every hour and every person.

“That’s why, with volunteer numbers having dropped significantly due to the pandemic, we’re encouraging people to get involved and start their journey to a potential Flame of Hope Award now.

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and learn new skills, and committing just one hour a week can help make a difference to people affected by this devastating disease.”