Local MP Caroline Dinenage today paid a visit to the Cancer Research UK shop on Gosport High Street.

During her time at the store, Caroline met the volunteers giving up their time to run it and discussed the prevalence of smoking – the most important preventable cause of cancer – in the area. In Gosport, 26.5% of people smoke in comparison to the 19.5% national average, and 323 deaths in every 100,000 are smoking related.

Speaking after her visit, Caroline said:

"It was fantastic to meet the enthusiastic and committed volunteers who man our local Cancer Research UK branch; however they do need extra support so if you would like to help out please do get in touch with the store.

Whilst I was there I also heard about the high rate of smoking in our area which is driving up the instance of cancer and heard pleas from the charity to vote in favour of plain cigarette packaging when the matter is discussed in Parliament."

Charity shops make an important contribution to causes such as cancer research; in 2013/14 they provided over £76 million of the £351 million which Cancer Research UK spent on research to prevent, control and cure all cancers.