The Macmillan Volunteer Forum

The voice of the volunteers.

Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. They bring unique experience needed to reach people living with cancer. In return, we do everything we can to support them.

The Volunteer Forum

The Forum is a Board of Trustees approved programme and was created to continuously improve the Macmillan volunteer experience The Forum’s over 125 volunteers come from a wide variety of experience, backgrounds and volunteering roles.

The Forum is a national platform for volunteers to share their experiences volunteering, as well as feedback on policy, process and key organisational developments.

The Volunteer Forum gives volunteers a platform to:

  • Discuss upcoming or developing volunteer projects at Macmillan 
  • Offer perspective and guidance on a range of topics including training, events, and developing new resources
  • Offer views, insights and suggestions that help us inform the improvement of volunteer recruitment, engagement and support.

Making a meaningful difference to volunteering

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Volunteer involvement

Members of the Forum and members of staff collaborate in working groups, where they share their views and give feedback on specific areas of organisational evolution.

Forum members' contributions go on to shape and improve work carried out across Macmillan.

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Macmillan staff recruitment

Members of the Forum have played an active role in interview panel for senior and middle management at both a regional and national level, as well as mould internship recruitment. Their input ensures that the needs of volunteers are met now and in the future.

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Communications

The UK Forum collaborated with the Strategic Comms team to co-create a new strategic communications and media plan.

The volunteer comms and media group made up of regional forum members, influenced and supported the development and pilot of regional volunteer newsletters. This has established a newsletter by volunteers, for volunteers, about volunteering.

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Volunteer reward and recognition

The Forum network took part in a rewards and recognition review. Their experiences were utilised to shape and create future regional and national 'thank you' events, as well as a blueprint for what rewarding volunteers might look like in the future.

The Forum secured a whole system change of our awards process. The Forum network also influences and leads in the decision making at a local and national level for the annual volunteer awards panel.

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Volunteer led influence

UK and Regional Forum members influenced the defining of the key themes for the new Macmillan Strategy (2017-2020) via a series of workshops and a Current State workshop. These discussions looked at where we are with Volunteering currently and where we hope to be in the future.

The UK Forum shape and influence the award winning annual Macmillan Volunteer Conference. This has included networking session where conference attendees were able to meet other volunteers, create new connections and discuss their roles and experiences. Alongside this, members of the Forum have hosted the Awards Ceremony and Chaired the conference providing a face and voice of volunteering.

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Live Forum volunteer opportunities

Bring your passion for Macmillan and enthusiasm for volunteering to help us develop and improve our volunteering programmes. Below are our live regional forum member vacancies across England:

 
 
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How often does the Forum meet?

The UK Forum meets once a quarter and the nine regional Fora will meet in the month following. If you would like to hear more about the forum or would like to know if there are any opportunities to get involved in your area, please email the Volunteer Forum Team.

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UK Forum members

Richard Bond — The UK Forum Chair

Richard Bond has been involved with Macmillan since 2007, taking on a variety of volunteering activities for the charity. 

Richard has gone from Regional and National Fundraising, to serving as a member of Macmillan UK Council, the Area Chair for Nottinghamshire, and as the Volunteer Representative on the Macmillan Volunteer Working Group. 

The Board of Trustees asked Richard in 2014 to establish the UK Volunteer Forum to help put the volunteer voice at the very heart of everything that Macmillan does. He has chaired the UK Volunteer Forum since then. 

Richard studied Business Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and is currently the Commercial Director for the Coal Authority. Richard has previously served as the IT Director for Center Parcs Ltd and Managing Director of Jamie Hempsall Ltd.

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David Swinton — Chair of the North of England Forum

Following his retirement in 2012, David Swinton was looking for an opportunity to utilise the skills and experience he had amassed over the forty plus years of his career. He then decided to join Macmillan as a volunteer in Northumberland, in the North of England. 

Since this time, David has volunteered within North Tyneside, Newcastle, South Tyneside as well as Northumberland. From talks to Rotary, W.Is and schools, taking part in fundraising events, volunteering at information centres and representing Macmillan, David has a breadth of volunteering experience with us. 

When not busy with Macmillan activities, David direct amateur stage productions and is a senior official for Motor Sport UK.

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Liam De Roe — Chair of the East of England Forum

Liam has been a Macmillan volunteer for six years, mainly in an ambassadorial-speaker role. Liam has also been devoting time to help the local Committee with its various fundraising activities. 

Having spent most of his working life dealing directly with the public, Liam enjoys the contact with people that his volunteering role affords him. 

Liam actively seeks to represent Macmillan at any Golf Charity Days, as it helps him network with people both on and off the golf course and spread the word about the services our charity provides. He has been the Chair of the East of England Forum since November 2018.

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Mark Wilson — Chair of the North West of England Forum

Mark has been part of the UK Volunteer Forum for over three years. In late 2017, Mark became Chair of the North West Regional Volunteer Forum. 

Prior to this, Mark spent ten years volunteering in the Cheshire, Merseyside & IOM Fundraising team where he managed donation banking processes. 

Mark also helped to re-establish the North West areas’ social media presence, helping to grow followers across Facebook and Twitter. 

Mark is known for his fanatical support of Everton FC and, in his words, being a proud scouser.

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Amira Chaudry — Chair of the Midlands Forum

Amira is a medical scientist and has volunteered across the country for Macmillan. She has raised awareness on the Macmillan buses, been a marathon cheerleader, carried out emotional practical support, trained as a lead volunteer and HOPE course facilitator. 

In 2018, Amira became the Midlands Forum Chair and member of the UK Forum. Amira has continued to volunteer for Macmillan whilst working within primary care. Her efforts and commitment has also made her a three-time award winner since 2012. 

Amira's journey with Macmillan continues: Amira chairs awards panel, contributes to working, focus and advisory groups as well as sitting on interview panels.

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Chair of South and South West of England

Open for recruitment.

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David Whitelaw — Chair of the London and South East England Forum

David started volunteering with Macmillan's Legacy Promotions Team two years ago, as a way of giving back to Macmillan for the support he received following his own cancer diagnosis. 

After a successful career in hospitality across three continents, David moved into the world of loyalty marketing. He now uses those skills to help the legacy team deliver events around the country that promote the ease and value of leaving a gift in your will to Macmillan. 

Keen to become more involved with Macmillan, David joined the Forum programme and now chairs the London & South East Forum. Outside of volunteering, David enjoys cooking and can sometime be found throwing shapes on the dance floor.

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Wayne Griffiths — Chair of the Welsh Forum

Wayne Griffiths is the Senior Macmillan Ambassador for Wales, the Chair of the Welsh Volunteer Forum, a fundraiser, an organiser of the Rhondda Walk in South Wales and Macmillan speaker. Wayne recently retired as Senior Partner of Devonalds Solicitors, where he practised as a Solicitor Advocate in representation of children and adults in Public Law Child Care Proceedings. 

Wayne’s background also includes Deputy Coroner for the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff and chairs the Pontypridd Contact Centre Charity. Although fundraising has been a part of Wayne’s life for many years, it became particularly significant when in 2012 Wayne’s daughter passed away after battling gynaecological cancer for two years. Soon after her passing, Wayne and his family decided to invoke a fund called the Rhian Griffiths Forget Me Not Fund. This fund has now raised over £403,000 that has been used directly for the benefit of patients and families. 

In 2018, Wayne was the recipient of the Douglas Macmillan Award of which he is extremely proud.

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Linda Richardson and Carrol Pollock — Chairs of the Scottish Forum

Linda Richardson

Linda was a Medical Records Officer in the Health Service for 17 years. She retired from the Boys’ Brigade after 22 years, having previously been in Girls’ Brigade for 16 years. Her current job is as a classroom support assistant within the Communication Development Unit (Autism) at a secondary school. 

Linda has now volunteered for Macmillan Cancer Support for fifteen years. She has been the Chair of the Scottish Volunteer Forum within Macmillan for the past 3 years. The Hamilton Fundraising Group has had Linda as a secretary, before she moved over to committee treasurer. 

Linda has taken part in fundraising events, e-campaigns, Zip Slide, Lighthouse Abseil, Race Nights, Ice Bucket Challenge, Fire Walks, Coffee Mornings, bucket collections and speaking at events in support of Macmillan.


Carrol Pollock

Carrol is a member of the Falkirk Friends Fundraising group. She joined the group in 2010 when she offered to ‘help sell a few raffle tickets’ at an event they were organising. Since then, she has become a guiding member of the group by raising awareness of Macmillan, fundraising and supporting other groups in her local area. 

From hiking up hills to abseiling from the Falkirk Whee,l to delivering talks and even becoming a laughter yoga leader, Carrol takes every chance to raise awareness of Macmillan. She recently co-hosted the Scottish Big Thank-You events, where she was able to use laughter to great effect. 

In her spare time, she likes to go for long walks with her husband, Henry, and little dog Harvey.

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Doreen Mcmillan — Chair of the Northern Ireland Forum

As a retired teacher, Doreen Mcmillan has worked with both junior and senior pupils across her career. In this role there were many obstacles, trials and difficulties to face, yet lots of fun and laughter. These various dimensions helped to equip Doreen with the ability to deal with challenges that life brings, but also those to be faced in the Community Services sector of Macmillan Cancer Support. 

As a lead volunteer, Doreen has the responsibility to make initial calls and meetings with service users, organise volunteer visits and generally have a caring approach to those whom they are in contact in the community. She feels it is so worthwhile and satisfying to be able to give back after benefiting from the service.

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UK Forum Members

Suzanne Killeen

Suzanne is a retired nurse and health visitor with a career of more than 30 years in the NHS. She began volunteering with Macmillan in 2014 as a fundraiser and ambassador. She chaired the South and South West Regional Forum from 2017 until she recently relocated to Scotland where she continues to be a member of the UK Forum. Suzanne has now started working with the coordinator of ‘Macmillan Move More’ in East Lothian.

Suzanne loves family life, walking and giving back to her community by volunteering.


Jackie Easton

Jackie has been a Lead Volunteer for Durham Not Alone, a practical and emotional support service, for five and a half years. She is also a member of the North East Action Team and reviews books and E-Campaigns for Macmillan. 

Jackie is a board member of the Macmillan Joining the Dots project in County Durha. This is a joint Macmillan, County Council and clinical commissioning group initiative to ensure that people affected by cancer have all their non-clinical needs met throughout their cancer journey. Jackie is a member of the UK Forum and represents it on the DVS Governance and the IT and Technology groups.

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