A familiar face in a Felixstowe shop has won a national award for their service.

Sandra Barton, 77, has been at the town’s Cancer Research UK store for almost 22 years, a decision she made after losing her husband, Philip, to cancer when he was just 47.

For her commitment to the cause, Mrs Barton has been awarded an honorary fellowship at the charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards.

Mrs Barton spent her career as a radiographer at Wrightington Hospital in Wigan.

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After her husband's cancer diagnosis, she lost him and both her parents in quick succession.

In the years that followed, she became a volunteer in the Cancer Research UK shop in Felixstowe.

She said: “When my husband was diagnosed at 45 with a brain tumour, he was told he had six to nine months to live, but he lived for two years, even though he was paralysed from the waist down.

"I nursed him at home, as well as looking after our young boys.

“When everything settled down, I learnt Italian so I didn’t go brain dead and then 22 years ago this August, I started working at the Cancer Research UK shop in Felixstowe.

“I wanted to be on the till as I like talking to people and do a few extra things too."

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Mrs Barton’s dedication did not go unnoticed.

Shop manager Viv Palmer said: “Sandra is a well-loved face in Felixstowe and is a fantastically cheerful and optimistic person."

Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said: “The Flame of Hope Awards give us the opportunity to celebrate and thank the amazing people who give their time and energy wholeheartedly and who have made outstanding contributions"

Mrs Barton paid tribute to Cancer Research UK's work.

She added: “I work there because I would like there to eventually be a cure for cancer, so people don’t have to go through what my husband and my sons went through.”