A CHARITY store in Helensburgh has been named top of the shops for the second year running after it raised the most money of all UK branches during its Stand Up To Cancer campaign.

The Helensburgh Cancer Research UK (CRUK) store, in Sinclair Street, raised more than £12,000 in just two months thanks to generous donations from shoppers and local businesses.

And after out-performing almost 600 other stores across Britain, members of the Burgh branch couldn’t be prouder of their efforts.

Alison Sturgeon, assistant manager, said: “We are delighted and surprised, We weren’t expecting it as a small seaside town to beat hundreds of others around the country, so it’s a nice surprise.

“We are already making plans for next year’s campaign and we are very, very grateful to everyone.“We want to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated, it really is a tremendous amount and it’s the whole area that has contributed, we are the hub but it’s not just Helensburgh.”

Organisers at the Helensburgh CRUK shop had planned to hold a fund-raising festival in September, however, the event was cancelled due to poor weather.

Despite that disappointment, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the team and they still went on to raise a magnificent total, while also earning the praise of local politicians and national organisers.

Helensburgh and Lomond MSP Jackie Baillie said: “This is wonderful proof of just how generous people in our community are, raising £12,000 in two months is nothing short of spectacular.

“Despite positive steps forward in the treatment of cancer, there are still far too many people who are diagnosed who end up dying from the disease.”

Alison Sturgeon added: “All these people who have bought raffle tickets and went to events like Take This, that money has all gone into the pot.“The festival made headlines for the wrong reasons but people who sponsored us said just keep the money as donations so that was really great.

“We’ve had so many stories of people having a great time, so not only are we making money but people are enjoying themselves, so that’s tremendous.

“We want to have some more gigs and to hold a festival next year and make it really great. We have learned a lot along the way and we want to continue the work we’ve done but we really just want to have some more fun and make another load of money.”

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman in Scotland, said: “We’d like to congratulate all the staff, volunteers and customers from our Cancer Research UK shop in Helensburgh who worked so hard to make fundraising for Stand Up To Cancer such a success.

“Since Stand Up To Cancer was launched in the UK in 2012, more than £38 million has been raised and over 40 trials and projects have been funded, that involve more than 10,000 cancer patients.

“The good news is more people are surviving cancer than ever before but too many lives are still cut short by this devastating disease.

“Every day our scientists and researchers are working tirelessly to beat the disease but research in the laboratory alone won’t get us there.

“That’s why the talents of our team at Helensburgh are so vital. By raising some serious cancer-crushing cash they’ll help speed up breakthroughs from the petri dish in to better treatments for patients.”

The Helensburgh store will be staying open late until 7pm on Friday, November 30 for a Christmas sale, with special offers, mince pies and mulled wine.