Pass on the volunteering bug

Brought to you by Volunteer News

Young volunteers are crucial in supporting people with cancer, and we’re really proud that so many of them pour their boundless energy and enthusiasm into Macmillan’s volunteering opportunities. If you know a young person who’s keen to make their time matter, why not arrange to bring them along to volunteer with you at a fundraising event?

There are loads of enjoyable ways for young people to get involved with Macmillan. But don’t just take our word for it – hear what Lowri Parsons (pictured) has to say. Lowri is now 13, but was just 11 years old when she first started volunteering with Macmillan.

‘I was inspired to volunteer for Macmillan because my Nana is part of the Pontyclun and District Macmillan fundraising group and I wanted to get involved too. The first thing I did with them was a bucket collection in M&S – it was great fun.’

Since then, as a part of the fundraising group, Lowri has gone on to give her time to Macmillan in lots of different ways. She’s done everything from getting a team together for Macmillan’s Mammoth Quiz to helping out on Macmillan stalls at local fêtes. What’s more, inspired by a Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event held at her school, Lowri decided to host her own event at home with the support of her family. She wrote invitations to neighbours, helped organise the event and raised an amazing £450 for Macmillan. Her fantastic efforts led to her being named the 2017 Young Macmillan Champion award-winner for Wales.

Quality time

Although under 16s can’t officially register as Macmillan volunteers, they are welcome to take part in numerous volunteering opportunities as long as they have parental permission and are accompanied by a responsible adult. Those aged 16 to 18 also need parental permission, however they don’t need to be accompanied – they can simply be supervised by the Volunteer Manager on the day. 

Lowri says that volunteering with her family and friends is a great excuse for spending more time together. Her mum, Cerys, says: ‘Lowri is the one who pushes us, to be honest. Whenever we finish one fundraising event, she’s always asking, "When are we doing the next one?"'

Not only does Lowri give up her time to support Macmillan, but she also encourages her friends to get involved. ‘Whenever I’m off to volunteer for Macmillan, I post it on social media and ask my friends to come and join in too, which they often do. It’s brilliant,’ she says.

Keeping young volunteers in the loop

Although Lowri is too young to be an official member of her local Macmillan fundraising group, this hasn’t put her off, and the members go out of their way to keep her involved. In particular, her Nana, Yvonne, keeps her posted on any upcoming events.

‘It’s a breath of fresh air to have Lowri with us,’ says Yvonne. ‘Young people can do fantastic things for Macmillan because as well as raising money and awareness, they also bring lots of new ideas and skills to the table. Being involved with Macmillan – and being given the right level of support – has been good for Lowri too, so it’s a win-win situation.’

Lowri says she would encourage any young person to volunteer for Macmillan.

‘They’ll get a good feeling from volunteering. Getting involved in an event doesn’t take up much of your time, but it can make such a big difference.’

If you know an enthusiastic young person who’d like to support Macmillan, why not invite them along to a fundraising event? They’re welcome to do so many things including cheering and marshalling at challenge events, assisting with manning and decorating Macmillan stands, handing things out to the public and getting stuck in with bucket collections. All they need to get involved is permission from a parent or guardian and the appropriate supervision.

If you’d like to bring someone who’s under 18 along to a fundraising event, please let your Volunteer Manager know in advance. Who knows, perhaps you’ll inspire an award winner of the future.