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Christmas Star Appeal: Shining the light on volunteer, Jess Simmonite

As part of our Christmas Star Appeal, we’re shining the light onto some of our staff and volunteers from both Weston Park Hospital and Weston Park Cancer Charity. We’ve spoken to long-term volunteer Jess Simmonite about her amazing volunteer work with the charity.

Tell us more about your volunteer role at Weston Park Cancer Charity?

My volunteer role is very varied. I support the charity as much as I can within events, especially things like Race Night, Golf Days etc, and I am very flexible to do whatever the charity needs me to do at each event.

I also help out with the tin collections when needed. This sees me travel to locations to collect their charity tins and replace them with new ones.

What inspires you to volunteer at Weston Park Cancer Charity?

My mum had cancer and I always wanted to give back to the hospital that treated her through her first diagnosis and then supported her when she unfortunately was diagnosed a second time until she sadly lost her fight two years ago.

I started volunteering when she had finished her first treatments and was in remission, and I have been supporting the charity ever since.

The group of people I volunteer alongside (both staff at the charity and other volunteers) are amazing people and it is so nice to feel so involved and so welcomed, whilst still getting lots of support and encouragement as well.

It is something I plan to keep doing for a long time to come (if they will let me!)

What does it mean to you to be involved at the charity?

It means so much, I love the different things that I can get involved in, and it is such a varied role.

Meeting such amazing people and getting to do different things is so rewarding. The staff at the charity are also mindful of other demands that volunteers might have and accommodate this so well.

I feel like I am part of the team and I get to feel like I am helping to make a difference (however small that might be) to help other patients who might have to go through cancer treatments.

If I can take some pressure off the staff at the charity to allow them to do other things, or so that they don't have to have as many staff at an event, then I will do my best to support, and it makes me feel so happy that I can do this.

It also sometimes makes a nice change from my main job roles, so for me, volunteering is a bit of a break for me as well. There is a freedom to help out as much or as little as you want to, which I really like as well.

Do you have a Christmas wish for the charity?

My Christmas wish would be for more donations to allow for the hospital to be improved further, and also for kinder and less harsh treatments to be researched and implemented for those going through cancer.

And, also for the staff at the charity to get a well-earned and well-deserved break!!!

What is your favourite Christmas film?!

That's difficult. I would say maybe The Holiday (I like a cheesy romantic film!) or The Grinch.

To find out how to volunteer and get involved with the charity, contact volunteering@wpcancercharity.org.uk

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