A grandmother who has helped to raise an estimated £2.5 million for Cancer Research UK through her management of the charity’s Leamington shop is retiring from her role there after 24 years.
Chris Millington, of Cubbington, has been manager of the shop in Bedford Street since July 8, 1991, after some years running her own hairdressing business and working at House of Fraser.
She said: “My mum and sister had had cancer and I have lost some other family members to cancer, so when I saw this job advertised, I went for it and got it. This is really dear to my heart because all the money raised goes towards the charity.”
Last year, Chris’s shop raised £108,659 plus another £28,289 in gift aid - and, she says, for every £1 raised in the shop, 84p goes directly towards funding cancer research.
But there are other aspects to the job that Chris has loved as well. She said: “I did work five days a week until last year, when I reduced to four as I’m trying to ease myself out of work. This shop has been my baby as my children have grown up while I’ve been here.
“I really love my job because it’s so rewarding. There are lots of customers who come in every day because they want to support the shop and many of the volunteers tell me all their problems - I’m a bit of a mother figure to some of them and will miss them dreadfully.”
But after her final day at work on Friday, Chris will have plenty to keep her busy - including looking after her new granddaughter Erin - who was born on August 13 - for a few days a week, visiting National Trust properties with her partner Bill and helping out her 91-year-old mother.
She said: “I may even come back as a volunteer and will definitely stay involved in the charity.”