Barnstaple shop volunteer Jo wins Flame of Hope Award

76-year-old Cancer Research volunteer Jo Kenny

76-year-old Cancer Research volunteer Jo Kenny - Credit: Cancer Research

A North Devon grandmother who has notched up 26 years as a volunteer at the Cancer Research UK shop in Barnstaple, has been recognised for her hard work, at a charity awards ceremony. 

Jo Kenny, aged 76, juggles her volunteer work behind the tills at the High Street charity shop, alongside working at a card and stationery shop at Christmas time. 

As well as the retail work she also helps out at Race for Life most years and for her outstanding dedication to the cause she has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship award. 

Cancer Research UK’s Flame of Hope Awards acknowledge remarkable efforts in volunteering made by people from all walks of life. 

The audience at the ceremony held in Wiltshire heard how Jo started volunteering in 1995 after seeing a poster in the shop window looking for volunteers and decided to pop into the charity shop to find out more. 

Fellow volunteer, Sarah Holland, said: “Jo is just lovely, she is a very valued member of the team and she looks out for the customers and their dogs too by making sure their four- legged friends go away happy with a dog biscuit. 

“She is very hard working and deserves the Flame of Hope accolade.” 

Most Read

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “The past 18 months has shown us – more than ever – how fortunate we are to have the support of our incredible volunteers. 

“The Flame of Hope awards give us the opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to our dedicated volunteers and supporters for the fantastic work they continue to do. 

“One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime, and we can all play a part to help beat it. Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives but this has only been possible thanks to the commitment of our supporters and volunteers, without whom we would be unable to fund outstanding scientists, doctors and nurses.” 

The 2021 Flame of Hope awards were held at six locations across the UK throughout November. 

Alison Birkett, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the south west, said: “This is the first year we have celebrated our Flame of Hope award winners with events across the UK - making the occasion more personal for our amazing supporters. 

“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.” 

Cancer Research UK has celebrated the achievements of more than 1,500 people since launching its Flame of Hope awards in 2013.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter