In 2009, I saw a newspaper article about the new Macmillan Information and Support Centre. It said that the manager, Jo, was looking for volunteer and I thought that it would be just right for me. It has been two years on and I'm coming in every day.
Because I've been through cancer myself, I find that I can really empathise with people as I've had a lot of the same worries.
I do a little bit of everything, meeting and greeting people who come in, directing them to the right source of information or pointing them in the right direction for support, if I can do so. I also do a lot of application forms for people, either for Macmillan grants or for Disability Living Allowance. The DLA forms are horrendous and it’s just one less thing for people to worry about. At the moment, probably about 25% of the people we see are looking for advice and help with financial issues, such as getting the benefits to which they are entitled.
Volunteering for Macmillan has really made a difference to my life. The best thing for me is giving other people with cancer something that I didn't have. I get a huge amount of satisfaction from being able to do something to help people, doing something positive in a negative situation. It has also really helped me to get my confidence back after my treatment.
I really enjoy coming into work. They’re such a good bunch of people and with Pat here, it’s always going to be extra special.
Volunteering for Macmillan gives you a lot of satisfaction. I felt very honoured to receive an award given to people who help cancer patients having gone through it themselves. For someone to take the time to put me forward meant an awful lot.
I can’t imagine a world without Macmillan – not if I have anything to do with it, anyway.