Learning and development for volunteers

We want our volunteers to make the most of their time with us, which is why we provide various learning and development opportunities. Through your induction and ongoing learning you will be supported in gaining the skills and knowledge you need.

What happens at your induction?

It's normal to feel nervous and have lots of questions when you start something new - and that's the same for volunteering. Don't worry, we’ll be there to support you and make sure it all goes smoothly. Your Macmillan contact will have a Volunteer handbook for you. We will also introduce you to your team and anyone else who you might be working with. Please use this opportunity to ask any questions and highlight any areas you would like further training and support in. There are four core areas for you to learn about as part of your induction. These include:

  • About Macmillan
  • Talking to people affected by cancer
  • What volunteering with Macmillan involves
  • How your volunteering makes a difference to people affected by cancer.

This induction checklist shows where you can find all of that information, and lets you know a bit more about what to expect in your first few months.

I have really benefitted from training programmes conducted by Macmillan and have been able to implement them during my role as a volunteer.

Usha, Information and Support Centre volunteer

What ongoing learning is available?

We want to make sure that you feel happy and confident enough to carry out your role. So, in addition to your induction, we offer a range of opportunities for you to learn more about Macmillan, and to develop your skills.

To get started on your learning journey, take a look at the development path [PDF] and discover the available opportunities, and their benefits.

I attended the Writing for Macmillan workshop and loved it. It truly helped me understand the tone of Macmillan.

Rebecca, Volunteer Editorial Board member


  • Volunteer handbook - Your go-to resource for all things volunteering at Macmillan. It is updated yearly, so make sure you check back for the newest edition.
  • LearnZone - Free and easy access to a wide variety of learning resources, online courses and professional development tools.
  • LearnZone User Guide [PDF] – Follow this simple step by step to register for a free LearnZone account.
  • Development path [PDF] - Identify the skills or knowledge areas you want to develop, and find opportunities.
  • Buddy scheme guidance [Word] - A guide to finding and building a supportive relationship, enabling you to learn from other volunteers like you.
  • be.macmillan – Make your own event posters, order free cancer information and find out about our brand.
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news.