I’ve been involved with Macmillan for the past 5 years. My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 40, and for the next seven years Macmillan were part of our lives. Unfortunately my mum died when I was 18, at the age of 47. Because Macmillan were so incredible at that time, I wanted to do something in honour of my mum.
I decided that I was going to dedicate as much of my free time to volunteering as I could. So I signed up to become a speaker for the team in the Greater Manchester area.
The volunteering I do for Macmillan ranges from helping out the local team with fundraising to doing talks at colleges, schools, organisations that have fundraised, and raising awareness of Macmillan. I also fundraise by getting involved in the overseas challenges.
I have been given the opportunity to do cheque presentations, and give talks to a range of groups from a line dancing group to a law firm. I have also been able to be a judge for a cake bake and speak to my local MP about car parking charges. Because of my fundraising and volunteering I was nominated to be a Torch Bearer for London 2012; which I was given the privilege to do on June 25 2012 and which has allowed me to inspire and speak to pupils at local schools about fundraising.
I also use social media to say ‘this is what I am, this is what Macmillan do – support us’. It’s so important that people go out there and volunteer because it’s the people that take the time out of their own lives to help support and be there for people affected by cancer that has the impact.
What inspires me is that, at talks or collections I do, somebody comes up to me and says ‘thank you for saving my life’. Because cancer affects so many people, everyone will have a different skill set that they can use to support Macmillan. If you want to do something that you’re not trained in, Macmillan are there to train you and support your development.
Macmillan provides a vital service that people can rely on at the most difficult time in anyone’s life. Through volunteering, I can make a difference to those people that need the support.