I started volunteering when I retired. My mother had just passed away from cancer and because Macmillan had helped her, I wanted to give something back.
I volunteer at a Macmillan drop-in information centre, signposting and providing guidance, information and emotional support.
I also volunteer through the Helping Matters scheme, a befriending service. I make home visits to people with cancer once a week and do some light housework, pick up a prescription, or go out for a coffee. One lady who I was supporting, who sadly passed away, said 'I love it when you visit, it makes me feel like a normal person and not a cancer patient.' That’s what makes volunteering so rewarding; you’re making a difference to someone’s life.
There is a social side too - I’ve made friends with my fellow volunteers, and we meet for lunch and a chat and give each other support.
Macmillan provides volunteers with invaluable training, and the support is the best quality you could ever have. They are very concerned about the volunteer’s well being, and if you ever have any questions or problems they are there to help in any way they can.
I would encourage anyone to volunteer because of how rewarding it is. You don’t have to be an expert; you just have to be yourself. If you only have 2 hours a week, that’s enough. Just try it to see what it’s about!