COLUMN: ‘We owe a great debt to all our volunteers’

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At the start of June we celebrated National Volunteers’ Week. If there is one thing I have learned it’s just how important volunteers are to Macmillan.

I’ll confess when I first started working for Macmillan I wanted to do everything myself. People told me to utilise my volunteers, but if I’m honest with you I was new and wanted to impress, particularly with the cause being so close to heart. In those first few months, you try to do pretty much everything yourself – until something finally twigs that you simply can’t. You need people who can help you.

I should explain that I work entirely with fundraising volunteers and I am so lucky that I have been lucky enough to find and work with a great team of volunteers, with such varied skills and interest in the way they want to help Macmillan.

We have volunteers who go out and deliver talks on our behalf – this could be to golf clubs, schools, groups, clubs and societies. There are volunteers who kindly collect, count and bank money on the charities behalf. We have volunteers who help out at local community events, pulling together information and do an activity to raise funds – and we have volunteers who help on an ad hoc basis to help us marshall events or collect at supermarkets.

Let’s be clear, volunteering is not a job. It’s a role which fits around your lifestyle. Whether it’s minutes or months, hours or days, whatever time you can give really will matter.

We owe a great debt to all our dedicated volunteers, most of them have been motivated to give something back because of their own cancer experience. I can honestly tell you I’d be lost without their help, so if any of the team are reading this – thank you for what you do.

We are always looking for new volunteers. From a corporate ambassador to an extra pair of hands banking money on our behalf – to a volunteer with a marketing background and finding extra people to help us collect at supermarkets.

If you would like to get involved and support Macmillan in your local community, then contact me on 07545419725.