Give us a shout

From marathons to triathlons and from hikes to cycling events, Macmillan’s awesome volunteers support our challenge event fundraisers across the UK. This autumn, you could join them.

Not only are you guaranteed a great day out with an electric atmosphere, but you’ll also be able to make your time matter without having to make a regular commitment. Volunteer News spoke to event volunteer Brian to find out more.

When Brian sadly lost his wife to ovarian cancer, he began fundraising for Macmillan by taking on sponsored abseils and organising coffee mornings at the school where he worked.

‘I took early retirement and, because I had more time on my hands, I decided I wanted to do more for Macmillan,’ he says. ‘That’s when I started volunteering at events. I’ve helped at the London Marathon, the Brighton Marathon and the Milton Keynes Marathon, as well as lots of 10k runs and triathlons. I like to travel around!’

Make some noise

Being an event volunteer can be incredibly varied, from handing out refreshments to event participants to providing much-needed moral support by cheering from the top of your lungs. ‘Sometimes I’m on water stations, giving cups of water to the runners as they go past,’ says Brian. ‘Other times I cheer at cheer points. I always bring along a football rattle and my megaphone, so everyone can hear me! I enjoy every minute of it. 

‘Cheering really does make a difference. Towards the end of a race, you can often see runners flagging, but when we shout for them, you can see it really gives them a boost and lifts their spirits. It helps them to pick themselves up and get across the line.’

I was so shy and embarrassed about drawing attention to myself, but volunteering at events has really brought me out of my shell.

Brian, event volunteer

Volunteering that fits around you

The flexible nature of the role means that it’s the perfect opportunity for someone who wants to fit it around their career, their studies or other volunteering responsibilities. ‘Every volunteer who comes along to an event is made to feel like a member of the Macmillan family,’ says Brian. ‘I love the sense of camaraderie and togetherness. It doesn’t matter whether someone can cheer at one event a year or one event a week, they will always be made to feel welcome.’ 

Brian says that becoming an event volunteer has made a huge impact on his life. ‘I used to be a very introverted person. I was so shy and embarrassed about drawing attention to myself, but volunteering at events has really brought me out of my shell. I can talk to anybody now. No matter where I go, I feel that whenever I volunteer at an event I’ll be among friends.’

Runners tell us that the encouragement of Macmillan volunteers gets them through the race

Andy, event volunteer