Happy Volunteers' Week!

Published: 03 June 2024

Chris Parker, the Director of Volunteering, shares his message of appreciation for volunteers as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Volunteers' Week.

Thank you for all you have done so far this year.

The collage features 9 different photos that feature Macmillan volunteers. These include volunteers at events, our telephone buddies and volunteers at our Support and Information Centres.

Hello and happy Volunteers’ Week!

2024 has already been an amazing year of volunteering at Macmillan Cancer Support and, in my role as Director of Volunteering, I continue to be inspired by all of our incredible volunteers who give their time and energy to make a difference to people living with cancer.

Volunteers’ Week is always a special week; not just here at Macmillan, but up and down the United Kingdom as communities, charities, hospitals, and many other groups and organisations celebrate the amazing impact of volunteers. But this year is extra special, as we mark the 40th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week.

Did you know that new research measuring the value of volunteering has found it contributes an astonishing £18.7 billion to the UK economy? The research, conducted by the Centre of Economics and Business Research, found the socio-economic value of volunteers has largely recovered to pre-pandemic levels and will continue to grow.

I don’t know if those figures amaze you? Whilst the research helps demonstrate the important contribution volunteers makes, it doesn't quite capture the full story…

The £18.7 billion figure doesn’t quite capture the resounding noise you made as you cheered in London, Glasgow and Bath.

It doesn’t quite capture the endless energy given as you collected vital donations in Bradford, Southampton and Derby.

It doesn’t quite paint the picture of how you turned your local Parkrun green as part of a World Cancer Day takeover.

It doesn’t even come close to telling the 10,000 inspiring stories from all the people living with cancer who have been supported by a Macmillan Buddy since launching in April 2020.

It doesn’t describe the change that Macmillan volunteers help make happen, through our Volunteer Voice Network who have helped to shape Macmillan’s Open Strategy and have been part of the judging panel for this year’s Thanks to You Awards, and our Cancer Voices Community who help influence Macmillan’s work by sharing their lived experience of cancer.

Volunteering goes way beyond that £18.7 billion figure. It cannot be captured in monetary value. It is that, and so much more. It is the irreplaceable passion, skills and experience volunteers bring.

On Thursday, we’ll be celebrating the passion, skill and experience our volunteers bring at our Thanks to You Awards. A huge thank you to our winners for their outstanding contributions to support people living with cancer and Macmillan. You can find out more about our winners by visiting our dedicated Thanks to You Awards webpage.

Whilst Volunteers Week is a great opportunity to say thank you to all those who volunteer, it is also an opportunity to inspire others to get involved. So, I am really excited that Macmillan are partnering with the Big Help Out again this year. This initiative will take place at the end of Volunteers Week (7-9 June) and is designed to give people opportunities to have fun and try something new through volunteering, whilst making a difference in their communities.

The Big Help Out is supported by His Majesty the King, and this year we have heard him speak bravely about his own cancer experience. Therefore, the Big Help Out has particular importance to us at Macmillan, as we work to inspire more people to give their time in support of people living with cancer. So please take a look at Macmillan’s opportunities on the Big Help Out app and see how you can get involved or inspire others to do so.

Thank you once again for the passion, skills and experience you continue to give.

-Chris Parker, Director of Volunteering

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