My history with volunteering in general goes back for over 40 years. I started when I was in my teens and carried on all throughout my working life. About eight years ago I had plenty of time on my hands and by coincidence I saw an advert for a Macmillan Volunteer Cancer Information Reviewer.
This really appealed to me because I was still working at the time and I knew I’d be able to fit in the role around my job. I started with the Information Reviewer role and I loved being part of the Macmillan volunteer family. It snowballed, in a really great way, to the point where now I’m retired and I enjoy spending lots of my time volunteering for Macmillan.
'it's the little things you do that have a big impact.'
I enjoy doing a lot for Macmillan and I’d say to other people thinking of becoming a volunteer, you can give as much time as you choose to. Some people volunteer once a year at our London Marathon cheerpoints, and some people are giving their time every week – every bit of volunteering is worthwhile.
'some of the people I WAS PARTNERED WITH ARE NOW FRIENDS.'
As well as seeing the impact for others, volunteering with Macmillan has had a huge benefit to my own mental health and wellbeing as it has given me a sense of purpose. I learnt a long time ago that there are two things that drive me in life. The first is being happy, the second is making a difference. If I can make a difference then that keeps me fulfilled, it keeps me going. Macmillan is a safe place, a safe environment and there is always someone to speak to. Being a volunteer is a great way to support yourself and other people.