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Helston shop that gave £1m to sufferers closing

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

  • Six months before this month's bittersweet end, Margaret Fitter, right, celebrates Cancer Funding for Cornwall's £1 million fundraising milestone with George Jeffery, Marie Hall, Millie Trythall and Suzanne Cowls.

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HELSTON'S Cancer Funding for Cornwall shop is to close at the end of this month because nobody is willing to run it.

Margaret Fitter, who set up the shop 12 years ago, has, with colleagues and supporters, paid out more than £1 million to people with serious illness since 1989.

She said she was "so upset" to be forced to decide to close after thousands of people had been helped by the money donated over the years.

But, despite their best efforts, she and supporters could not get anyone to take over from her as administrator.

Now aged 74, she is having to give up for health reasons.

The need for a new voluntary administrator was publicised in local media and countywide. Healthcare professionals were also approached, but to no avail.

"The shop will close on January 31," she said.

"I couldn't get anyone to take over as administrator. Because it is a voluntary position, no one wants to do it.

"We have spoken to our personal contacts, we have really, really tried."

Closure will also mean the loss of ten part-time jobs and eight voluntary posts.

The shop is also one of the most prominent in Helston's Coinagehall Street.

However, the work of the Cancer Funding for Cornwall Trust will continue.

"We want to make it quite clear we are still able to give financial assistance to cancer patients in Cornwall and will continue to do as long as people make cash donations." She said people would still be able to request help by talking to their healthcare professionals.

Mrs Fitter is a former Marie Curie nursing auxiliary and it was seeing the effect cancer had on people and their families which prompted her to start fundraising in 1989.

She also paid tribute to the local community's "generosity", her family, staff and customers and landlord, David Martin.

"It is due to his phenomenal support and generosity that the charity has been the success it has been."

And she thanked local businesses Olivers, Dobles, Flambards, Clark's, Scorses, the Lizard 2000 charity and the West Briton.

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