Unlock your abilities

Brought to you by Volunteer News

Macmillan offers all volunteers the chance to access an amazing array of courses, both online and in person. Whatever your role and wherever you’re based, they could help you build on your existing skills and develop new ones. Who knows what opportunities they might lead to? 

Joanne from Southport found that Macmillan’s learning and development opportunities helped her to take her volunteering from strength to strength. 

She originally volunteered as a Macmillan walk leader after both of her parents were supported by Macmillan during their cancer journeys.

‘Initially I went on Macmillan’s cancer awareness course where I learned that Macmillan supported families as well as the actual patients,’ says Joanne. ‘I was quite enthralled by that. Later, I put myself on a lot of Macmillan’s courses so I could support myself as a walk leader by learning how to better facilitate my groups and how to improve my confidence as a volunteer.’

Branching out

One of the most significant skills that Joanne developed was learning how to listen and respond to people with cancer. The courses that she attended helped her to discover her capabilities in this area – and her passion for it – which led her to start volunteering in an additional role as a Macmillan information and support centre volunteer. Joanne is a friendly face at the centre, making visitors feel welcome and directing them to the information and services they need.

‘The biggest thing I’ve learned has definitely been listening skills. I now feel confident in being able to listen to people, to treat everyone as individuals and to respond to their needs accordingly. It’s stood me in really good stead when volunteering at the information centre.’

Bundles of benefits

Alongside gaining an enhanced skillset, Joanne says one of the best things about attending Macmillan’s courses has been meeting a fantastic mix of people from different backgrounds.

‘It’s a great opportunity to share in other people’s knowledge and bring that knowledge back to your own role,’ she says. ‘Going on courses has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone a little bit, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. They’ve also been inspirational, they’ve reassured me about all the things that I’m doing right, and they’ve supported me to better support others. That gives me a lot of satisfaction as I feel really passionate about what I do.’

Develop yourself

To find out what could be available to you – and how it could help you to take your volunteering to the next level – simply head over to our online learning area, LearnZone. You’ll be able to get stuck into a selection of courses including an introduction to social media and our new cancer awareness course.