23 things we loved about volunteering in 2023

Published: 30 November 2023

Looking back on 2023, here are 23 things about volunteering we want to shout out and celebrate. 

A large group of Macmillan volunteers wearing green Macmillan t-shirts and holding rainbow flags, waving at the camera and smiling.

2023 has been another fantastic year full of impact for our volunteers, and you continue to be there to support Macmillan and people living with cancer in so many incredible ways. 

As we approach the end of the year, it’s natural to look back and reflect on what has happened over the last 12 months. Here are 23 of the things about volunteering in 2023 we want to shout about and celebrate.

Of course, we could list so many more, and we are excited to see what amazing things you will all continue to do for Macmillan and people living with cancer in 2024.

  1. Our first Thanks to You Awards were held, celebrating the fantastic achievements of supporters who have shown incredible heart, strength and ambition in the ways they have been there for people living with cancer and Macmillan.
  2. We celebrated Volunteers’ Week in June, coinciding with the Thanks to You Awards.
  3. Macmillan Moments launched to recognise the people making an impact everyday through their volunteering.
  4. We welcomed Carrol Pollock as the new Chair and Matt Howard-Murray as the new Deputy Chair of the UK Volunteer Forum.
  5. 250 volunteers supported our fundraising at York Race Day, collecting more than £35,000 over two days.
  6. In September volunteers took part in fundraising collections across the country, contributing to the £650,000 that was raised for this year’s Coffee Morning activity.
  7. In fact, there were over 1,100 volunteers taking part in Coffee Morning fundraising collections, in more than 400 M&S and Costa Coffee stores. 
  8. Our Action Team volunteers took part in a pilot scheme to check in with some of our corporate partners ahead of their Coffee Morning activities, calling nearly 200 stores to ensure the smooth running of their fundraising plans
  9. 37,000 leaflets to promote Coffee Morning fundraising were delivered by 240 Action Team volunteers.
  10. Events up and down the country from the north of Scotland to Cornwall had volunteers cheering and making loads of noise to support the people taking part for Macmillan.
  11. 160 volunteers supported at all 12 of Macmillan’s Mighty Hikes this year, creating an incredible atmosphere for the participants by helping to give out medals, drinks and cheering people across the finish line.
  12. Volunteers attended Pride events across the UK, including a Belfast Pride Parade for the first time, showing the support we have for the LGBTQIA+ community and that we are here for everybody.
  13. More than 700 people volunteered as Macmillan Buddies.
  14. Our Macmillan Buddies spent over 50,000 hours supporting more than 3,500 people living with cancer.
  15. People who have been supported by a Buddy often share how their Buddy has supported them, with one person telling us: “I just wanted to say thank you for sending her to me. She is truly an asset to Macmillan; a genuinely good soul, and very upbeat with a good energy”.
  16. We held online information sessions to inform and inspire potential Macmillan Buddies, with over 2,300 people finding out more about what being a Buddy is all about.
  17. Corporate volunteers have written nearly 12,700 cards to Macmillan supporters and partners thanking them for their support throughout 2023.
  18. Our corporate volunteers have been busy creating special care packages for people living with cancer and we are on track to have given out nearly 3,000 by the end of the year.
  19. We recruited and trained 20 new Macmillan Neighbours at Lloyds Banking Group this year, whose role will be to raise awareness of and signpost to cancer support and provide a listening ear to colleagues where needed. Our Neighbours played a crucial part in helping Lloyds Banking Group to win Best Wellbeing Initiative at the Business Culture awards recently, for the difference this work has made to colleagues affected by cancer across the business.
  20. 580 volunteers completed our 2023 volunteer experience survey, with 84% telling us that their experience of volunteering at Macmillan was positive.
  21. We started a Cancer Community Meet-ups pilot scheme in Glasgow for people living with cancer to get support from each other.
  22. We thanked Joelle Leader, our Director of Volunteering, for everything she’s done for people living with cancer, as she gets ready to retire at the end of 2023.
  23. Volunteers who support us through partner organisations up and down the country have been supporting people living with cancer in our local communities in roles such as information and support volunteers, complimentary therapists, patient support and more.

What a joyful and impactful year 2023 has been – and it’s all thanks to you, our incredible volunteers. Everything you do is helping to change the lives of people living with cancer and we are so grateful for all the time and support you give us. Looking ahead to next year, 2024 is set to be another bumper year with lots of opportunities to get involved with volunteering.

If you’d like to find out more about our current volunteering opportunities, take a look on the website or via Assemble.

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