Name: Margaret Harrison
What is your role in the charity?
Head of Cancer Support Services
How long have you worked for the charity?
What role were you in before joining the charity?
Learning and Development Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, organising and delivering cancer training and courses for healthcare professionals, patients, carers, volunteers and businesses. Prior to this, I worked as a clinical nurse specialist in Lymphoedema and also Breast Care, so although I have only been in my current role in the charity for four years, I have spent approximately 20 of my 37 years as a qualified nurse within the field of cancer and definitely feel this is where my heart lies.
What do you enjoy most about working at the charity?
Without doubt, it is the opportunity to genuinely make a difference to cancer patients and their families. We all know how frightening and completely devastating being given a cancer diagnosis can be, not only for the patient but also for those who love them. To be able to lighten that load for them in some small way by listening to them, letting them cry or be angry if that’s what they need, booking them onto a pamper session, a complementary therapy treatment or being able to ease the financial worry by helping them with a grant or a welfare appointment is the most rewarding job I could ever do. I also happen to work alongside an amazing team of truly inspiring, caring and dedicated professionals who make coming to work every day a joy.
What is an activity/hobby that you have started doing during lockdown?
Well I have had a hula hoop for a long time and have used it on and off over the years but never very regularly. On April 26th this year, the charity took part in the 2.6 challenge which was an initiative to raise funds for all those charities who were going to miss out on all the sponsorship because of the cancelled London Marathon. Each challenge had to involve the numbers 2 and 6 in some way, so I chose to do non- stop hula hooping for 26 minutes and be sponsored for it! With a little training, I managed to do the full 26 minutes non- stop and since then, I have kept up daily hula hooping throughout lockdown and am loving it and will definitely keep this up as it is a really fun way to exercise – and great for the waist!!
What are you most looking forward to doing after lockdown?
Like most people, I have missed out on lots of family celebrations during lockdown, special birthdays etc. so I am really looking forward to being able to meet up and celebrate with my wider family and hug them again and also be back working with all my colleagues in the support centre!
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
‘Don’t ever ask a question you don’t want to know the answer to’
What helps you the most when you are having a difficult day?
Getting out in the fresh air and walking my Patterdale Terrier, Callie or doing any sort of exercise always helps to clear my head and helps me put things in perspective