The Deborah Hutton Award

for supporting people affected by cancer

Deborah Hutton died from lung cancer in 2005. She wrote 'What can I do to help?' a book of practical ideas for family and friends to help their loved ones going through the cancer journey.

Criteria for this award

This award is for a person or group:

  • offering emotional support or advice to people affected by cancer
  • demonstrating empathy, care and compassion
  • helping people at a time of need

How to nominate

Nominations are closed for this year.

You will need to demonstrate how the nominee has met the criteria and exceeded the expectations of their role. Make sure you include any relevant evidence in your application.

We accept posthumous nominations with no restrictions in place for how long ago the volunteer passed away. It is also possible to fast track an award if the nominee has a terminal illness. In these instances, please contact the Volunteering team directly.

If you are not a Macmillan Professional or a Macmillan staff member, your nomination will need to be endorsed by someone who is. If you don’t know anyone suitable, please call us on 0207 840 4720 or email If you need someone to endorse your nomination, don’t forget to allow enough time for them to read and approve it, and for any amends to be made.

The Care of the Dying Volunteer Service, 2015 winner

Based at Royal Liverpool University Hospital, this incredible group of volunteers give their time to sit with people who are in the last weeks of life and have no family or few visitors, so might otherwise be alone.

The volunteers do their best to help make the very toughest of times that bit easier for the person with cancer – gently reading or talking to them, or simply sitting with them to offer some companionship.

They also provide vital respite and reassurance for families and carers, giving them a much-needed break from being bedside. The service is truly pioneering in its approach and has become integral to the hospital – complementing and building on the clinical care provided by the healthcare team.

Durham Not Alone Direct Volunteering Services, 2015 winner

The volunteers in this service offer practical and emotional support for people going through cancer treatment who live alone or who are carers. They came up with the idea after speaking to people who were turning down a second round of chemotherapy because they lived alone and thought they wouldn’t be able to cope with the side effects.

Since then the volunteers have taken complete responsibility for the project and always go the extra mile to publicise it – meeting regularly with nursing staff to keep it at the forefront of their minds, spending time talking directly to people affected by cancer on chemotherapy wards, and promoting the service in the local media.

In fact, the service has grown so much that in 2015 it will be split in two, to cover an even larger area. This will help ensure that even more people in Durham get the cancer treatment and care that's right for them. As well as this, these brilliant volunteers fundraise for Macmillan whenever they have time.

Sandra Stephenson, 2015 winner

Sandra volunteers in Macmillan’s Welfare Rights Team, where her positive attitude is infectious and she’s a huge inspiration to her fellow team members. Her role involves speaking to people with cancer over the phone and putting together social reports to support their application for a Macmillan grant, but she always goes above and beyond this.

Despite only having volunteered for just over a year, Sandra has made that time matter – helping hundreds of people affected by cancer access just short of £60,000 in Macmillan grants.

Always wearing a smile on her face, she’s a natural when it comes to building relationships with people over the phone. And if extra volunteers are ever needed, Sandra’s the first to put her name forward.

Allison White, 2015 winner

Allison first started volunteering at her local Macmillan office after organising her own fundraiser and dropping off the money there. She went on to start volunteering at her local information and support centre six years ago.

In addition to this, Allison recently set up her own support group, Great Aycliffe Support Group, despite still experiencing a number of health issues related to her own cancer. The group meets monthly to listen to speakers, and fundraises together.

Because some members live by themselves, Allison also arranges day trips for the group – giving them the invaluable opportunity to get to know people in similar situations, so they don’t feel so alone. Just another way in which Allison makes a meaningful difference to the lives of others affected by cancer.

For any further queries, please contact our Volunteering team at or on
020 7840 4720.