Develop your skills
Are you keen to keep developing in your volunteer role? You can choose from numerous opportunities that will put your skills to great use and help you to develop new ones. Jane, a remarkable fundraiser who’s helped raise £100,000 for Macmillan, found that she flourished when she took on a new volunteering challenge.
After losing both her father and her mother to cancer, five years ago retired teacher Jane learned that she had cancer too.
‘It wasn’t something I was expecting to hear when I went to the hospital so my family weren’t with me when I received my diagnosis,’ she says. ‘I was in shock and I didn’t take in a thing that the consultant said. But a Macmillan nurse was there in the room with me. She explained everything, reassured me and made me feel less alone.
Jane wanted to give something back, so when she met some Macmillan volunteers collecting at a supermarket one Christmas, she decided to give it a go too.
‘It’s great. I’m always amazed at how many people come over and say, “You lot were brilliant during my family’s cancer experience”.
'As well as collecting, I’ve also raised money by organising book sales and comedy nights and I’ve even sold produce from my allotment. However, I was also keen to volunteer in a more direct way.’
It’s no surprise, then, that when Jane heard the new Delamere Macmillan Information Centre in Cheshire needed help tending their garden, she wanted to get stuck in. Based at the hospital where she was diagnosed, and offering the keen gardener the chance to put her green fingers to good use, it was the ideal volunteering opportunity.
‘It gives me a real buzz to use my skills to help create a beautiful, uplifting environment for people affected by cancer,’ she says. ‘I’d tell anyone who’s interested in trying a new form of volunteering to just go for it.’