Brought to you by Volunteer News
You may already know that Macmillan’s Online Community is a friendly place that anyone affected by cancer can visit 24/7. But did you know that much of the smooth running of the platform is thanks to volunteers called Community Champions? This army of passionate supporters kindly give their time to make sure Macmillan is there for people whenever they need us.
With the opportunity to ask or answer questions about all things cancer-related and to talk with others who are in similar situations, to many, Macmillan’s Online Community provides a lifeline.
It’s a powerful resource that allows members to join discussions on specific cancer types, speak to others with similar experiences, start their own blogs and more. It even enables members to put their questions to a variety of experts who specialise in everything from particular cancer types to diet or speech and language therapy.
Community Champion volunteers ensure that the people who visit the Online Community are welcomed, supported, at ease, and able to find the information they need. It’s an absolutely vital role, as Jazmine Bradley, Macmillan’s Online Community Officer explains.
‘Without our Community Champions we wouldn’t be able to run the Community,’ she says. ‘We’re so busy behind the scenes that we don’t get as much time to read as many posts as we’d like, but the Champs act as our eyes and ears. They alert us to worrying posts, members in distress, plus any unsolicited posts or technical issues that we as staff might need to be aware of to make sure our members are happy. The Champions are all truly wonderful people, and Macmillan is very grateful for their ongoing dedication.’
Jim, a Community Champion volunteer from Uxbridge in London, says one of the best things about volunteering as a Community Champion is the flexibility of the role.
‘I get really tired as a result of my cancer so I can’t commit myself to a regular volunteering role because I never know how I’m going to feel. As a Community Champion I can log on and respond to posts whenever I feel up to it. I can fit my volunteering around how I’m feeling.’
Community Champions receive plenty of support too, explains Jim. ‘We’re not all knowing. But the Online Community staff are always there in the background to help us if we don’t know how to respond to posts. Ultimately it’s really rewarding to be able to contribute and be useful.’
Don’t forget to let the people you support in your volunteer role know all about the invaluable round-the-clock peer support that’s available on Macmillan’s Online Community. In the meantime, why not head over there and take a look for yourself?
I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, I can remember what it’s like when you’re chucked in the deep end with cancer, and I try to tap into that knowledge when I’m supporting others.
Jim, Community Champion
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