Barker's HandbagsGENEROUS customers from family-owned Northallerton department store, Barkers, have offered bags of support to people affected by cancer.

Barkers invited customers to donate good condition, barely used handbags to the store in return for a 10 percent discount voucher to use towards a new one from their 2016 spring/summer collection.

The old bags collected by Barkers during the Handbags and Teabags Campaign in May have now been given to Northallerton’s two Cancer Research shops, where they are on on sale to raise money for the charity.

Some 66 clutch, tote or shoulder bags were donated by customers and, on the final day of the month-long Handbags and Teabags Campaign, the department store hosted a tea party in aid of Cancer Research UK in the new Barkers Kitchen. The £400 from every hot drink sold in the morning were donated to the charity.

The sale of the handbags and the drinks raised a total of £900 for the charity.

Accessories buyer Kate McCain said: “Our customers are both very generous and supportive of any fundraising organised by Barkers, so it came as no surprise when we received so much support for our Handbags and Teabags campaign.

“We thought that inviting customers to donate their quality handbags was a great way to recycle the bags and raise vital funds for a great charity.

“We were overwhelmed by the response, and it was fantastic to see so many handbags being brought in. This will help to raise a significant amount for research into cancer, which affects the lives of so many people.”

Jayne Lister, from Cancer Research shop, said: “We are always very short of good quality handbags as they are popular items among customers.

“This was a wonderful gesture by Barkers and their customers, and we expect to raise a lot of money from the sale of these handbags, which are already flying off the shelves.”

It is the third fundraising campaign Barkers has organised for Northallerton’s two Cancer Research shops, both situated on the High Street, as they also organised a shoes amnesty and collected menswear on behalf of the charity.

Both previous campaigns helped to raise thousands of pounds for people suffering from cancer.