Pauline on being a practical support volunteer

Pauline has been a Macmillan practical support volunteer in Manchester for over four years. 

She finds that volunteering helps her use her free time in a meaningful way.

Pauline's story

I’m a volunteer for the Macmillan Solutions project in Manchester.

I started volunteering when I was at work and received the staff bulletin with information about the Macmillan Solutions project which was looking for volunteers, and just like that I thought ‘that’s something for me’.

Over the past four years I’ve helped about five families – from elderly couples to families with young children. I help out on the practical side, such as gardening and ironing, as treatment makes people affected by cancer very tired - doing simple things around the house means a lot to them. You can tell it really helps them not feel isolated, there is help there, and they’re really grateful for that. 

I don’t specifically give emotional support, but it has happened in the past that I have sat down and listened, providing emotional support when the people I support have wanted to talk to someone.

I see myself as being a friend as well as a volunteer. I do things around the house that a friend or good neighbour would do. Volunteering makes me feel I’m using my time in a very worthwhile and meaningful way.

To volunteer is very flexible – you can make it work around your life. I work and can fit in one hour, two hours at the most a week. You just have to have a genuine interest in helping people; that’s all it takes.

Watch: all about Pauline's experiences

Watch: all about Pauline's experiences