VOLUNTEERS at a Peebles charity shop have received national recognition after the store was named the best in the UK.

Helpers at Cancer Research in the High Street were presented the award at the charity’s annual Flame of Hope ceremony in London recently.

An audience at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall heard how, despite being one of the smallest stores in Scotland, the shop has raised over £2.5 million for vital research since it opened.

And it was a perfect way celebrate the branch’s 30th birthday.

Assistant shop manager Debby Strain said: “This fantastic achievement couldn’t have happened without the support and dedication of our wonderful volunteers, and also all the amazing donations handed into the shop.”

As well as running the shop, the volunteers have recently installed a ‘donation station’ at the Co-op in Innerleithen.

And they also raised funds and provided information on reducing cancer risk during a run of The Naked Truth, a play about breast cancer by Dave Simpson, at the Eastgate Theatre in March.

Victoria Steven, from Cancer Research UK said: “Every step we make towards beating cancer sooner relies on every pound, every hour and every person.

“These awards are our way of honouring incredible people like Debby and her team in the Cancer Research UK Peebles shop, who give their time freely to raise money for research and promote greater awareness of the disease, and yet ask for nothing in return.

“It’s thanks to the support of the fundraising public and our amazing army of volunteers that we can continue to make a real difference and bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

The volunteers were also recognised by charity chairman Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, who presented them with the top award.

He added: “It’s been an honour to host the Flame of Hope awards and hear about the achievements of our many dedicated volunteers. It’s important to say thank you to these truly remarkable volunteers and supporters for the fantastic work they do. Cancer Research UK has made tremendous progress in the fight against cancer but that’s only possible thanks to the commitment of our supporters and volunteers, without whom it would not be possible to fund outstanding scientists, doctors and nurses.”