Meet our Volunteers
Our volunteers are incredible and give up hours of their precious time to support those living with cancer across our region.
They are central to the work that we do here at Weston Park Cancer Charity, and make a huge difference to the lives of the patients and families we support every single day.
To mark Volunteers’ Week 2019, we caught up with just some of our amazing volunteers, to hear more about what inspired them to support our mission to create a better life for everyone living with cancer across our region and highlight the many ways in which they give their time.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your support – we couldn’t do it without you.
Kim was diagnosed with a rare form of bowel cancer in 2017, aged just 35 and as a thank you for the care and treatment she received at Weston Park Cancer Centre, she wanted to volunteer her time as a way of “giving something back”.
“I was so grateful for the treatment I received at Weston Park Hospital that I promised myself once treatment was finished and I was well enough, I would do all that I could to support Weston Park Cancer Charity and to ‘give something back’ as my way of saying thank you.
“The mission I set myself was to help raise awareness, as well as much-needed funds, and to support the amazing work the Charity do for so many people living with cancer across our region – myself included.
“I joined the Weston Park Cancer Charity volunteer ‘squad’ in June 2017 and since then, I have been tasked with accumulating and distributing collection tins across the Barnsley area, as well as helping to source new and potential collection tin sites. I also help out at charity events, assisting with bucket collections, hosting stalls and running raffle’s and tombola’s. I am up for just about anything the charity throws my way.
“I have met some lovely people along the way and just knowing that my involvement and fundraising efforts are making a real difference, and supporting the charity’s vital work, makes it all worthwhile.
“My commitment and passion for Weston Park Cancer Charity has influenced my family, friends and work colleagues to get involved and show their support through fundraising and my 9-year-old son, Luke talks so fondly about the charity and his participation in fundraising events.
“My mum is also now a regular volunteer, too, not to mention my friend, Natalie who accompanies me at most charity events.
“I have and will continue to encourage others to join me in creating a better life for cancer patients across our region.”
Following the death of my best friend Kath who sadly lost her battle with cancer, I felt like I wanted to ‘give something back’ and although I was already volunteering at Weston Park Hospital, I wanted to be more involved with Weston Park Cancer Charity.
I got in touch with the Weston Park Cancer Support Centre to see if I could be of help in any way and though I didn’t quite know what to expect, I knew I wanted to help patients – patients like Kath. I thought if I could chat to them for a while – about anything – and make them smile, they could forget the word “cancer” for a just second.
My role at the Weston Park Cancer Support Centre is to help to put patients (and their families and friends) at ease and to inform them about the vital cancer support services funded by Weston Park Cancer Charity. I also help to run the daily snack trolley service, selling confectionery and lending an ear during treatment.
At first, speaking to patients and family members seemed very daunting, but a year on I feel that in my own small way, I am really helping people, and I receive a lot of wonderful feedback from patients who say that they are very appreciative of the time I spend with them.
I am truly privileged to have been given an opportunity to meet all the wonderful people (patients, staff, families and friends) at Weston Park Cancer Centre, all while helping to make treatment that little bit brighter.
Are you looking for something new and exciting to do?
This was the heading on a sheet of paper that caught my eye as I waited for my sister to attend her appointment at Weston Park Cancer Centre.
At this point, I had recently retired, so when I saw an advert for a volunteer receptionist, it was just what I had been looking for.
That was over three years ago and since then, I’ve meet some lovely people, both staff and supporters. Some have done amazing things to raise funds, some just want to quietly give a donation, and many want to show their appreciation for the treatment and care they, or a family member or friend has received.
Whether the donation is small or big, it’s all appreciated and I am lucky enough to see first-hand exactly where those donations go, and the big difference it makes to so many people.
I can honestly say I look forward to my day at the Weston Park Cancer Charity office; you never know what’s going to happen, and yes, sometimes it gets a little crazy, but when it does, there’s always cake and biscuits.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and as a result, I learnt a lot about cancer and the treatment(s) of cancer.
As no other close family member had been through cancer treatment, which for me, included chemotherapy, it was a real eye opener for my family and I, and following treatment, I wanted to do something to help people, like me, facing a cancer diagnosis; to show them that you can get through it and that life can continue as normal.
Primarily, my role at the Weston Park Cancer Support Centre involves greeting visitors as they arrive at the centre and making LOTS of tea and coffee. I chat to patients and family members about anything they want to talk about; cancer related or not, ensuring that they are settled and that the centre is a warm and inviting place to visit.
I also prepare the room ahead of our Look Good Feel Better sessions, which provides tips and techniques for minimising the side-effects of cancer treatment, such as skin changes and hair loss, and help to raise awareness throughout the local community, by helping to host stalls at volunteering fairs and events.
A big highlight of the past three years for me was getting breast cancer patient who was very scared at the prospect of starting chemotherapy to talk about her fears. Her husband told me that she hadn’t been able to talk about it with anyone else – not even him – and it was a lovely feeling to think that I had been able to help her, even if it was only (to me) a little thing.
I talk about the centre to everyone and encourage anyone affected by cancer to drop in and see what it is like. Despite initial preconceptions, it is wonderful place, made even more special because of the care and support it provides within the local (and wider) community.
You can see immediately where the money raised by Weston Park Cancer Charity is being used, and the staff – especially the healthcare professionals at the centre – who deal, on a daily basis, with people at one of the lowest points in their lives, do an absolutely amazing job.
Janis is one of our longest serving volunteers and has been giving her time to Weston Park Cancer Charity for a little over 10 years; as a way of helping to support a service [the Weston Park Cancer Support Centre] which “provides vital care and support for anyone living with, and beyond, cancer; patient, family or friend.”
“My role is to meet and greet patients and visitors when they arrive at Weston Park Cancer Centre and to make lots of cups of tea and coffee; helping them talk about the things that are important to them, and ultimately, leave the centre feeling better than when they arrived.
“I feel a lot of satisfaction being able to help such a great organisation – and that my help, however big or small, is much appreciated.
“Being a volunteer with Weston Park Cancer Charity is such a positive experience. You are made to feel part of a team striving to make a difference and ultimately, create a better life for everyone living with cancer across our region, both now and in the future.”