We’re currently in the middle of this year’s Volunteer Week and I would like to add my own thanks to those many selfless Doncastrians who freely give their own time to help others.
Volunteers provide valuable support to the NHS and many health related charities and the act of volunteering can be a very positive experience for the person who has decided to lend a helping hand.
My first experience of volunteering came while I was still at school and hoping to study medicine at university. I helped out at a local day centre and it gave me a great insight into the care of older people, which has been an important part of my career since becoming a doctor.
One charity that works with volunteers in Doncaster and is very close to my heart is Macmillan Cancer Support. They have been using Volunteer Week to say a big thank you to everyone who gives up their time to improve the lives of people living with cancer.
The number of people who need practical, physical, and emotional support long after their treatment ends is growing in Doncaster. Locally, the Macmillan Living Well Service – based at Balby’s St John’s Information Centre – supports people affected by cancer with the help of a group of dedicated volunteers.
Lynne Hill, from Bawtry, began volunteering with the team over four years ago. The Service is funded by Macmillan and NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, in partnership with Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust.
Lynne was inspired to volunteer following her own experience of cancer. She has been diagnosed with the disease twice and has lost both her mother and sister to cancer.
She provides general support for the team and says she loves the variety of the role, which ranges from filing to helping out at cancer awareness raising events.
Lynne is one of the many thousands who, when asked why they volunteer, say that it makes them feel like they are doing their bit. In her case it’s personal, she feels she wants to give something back because of what she’s been through and as a thank you for still being here.
Lynne isn’t going to sit around and feel sorry for herself. She admits that cancer has hit her hard but, equally, it has made her all the more determined to encourage more people to take up screening opportunities.
If you and/or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer you can drop into the Macmillan Living Well Service, Monday-Friday (08:30-16:30), call 01302 796 853 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Macmillan Cancer Support offers a variety of volunteering roles, if you are interested in getting involved visit www.macmillan.org.uk/volunteer.
My advice to anyone thinking about volunteering is – give it a go. Your contribution could help make a big difference and you’ll feel all the better for it.