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  • Volunteer Stories

    Carol’s story.

    Carol has volunteered at Cavendish for 11 years. She supports our reception team by welcoming clients, making cups of tea and coffee, and supporting with admin work.

    carol (9)“I first started my time at Cavendish eleven years ago, and whilst it may seem so long ago, I can safely say I’ve loved every minute of it. I get such a great deal of self-satisfaction and happiness from helping others who need care, and I take that rewarding feeling home with me every night.

    What started as simply something to get me out of the house quickly turned into something I very much love, and have a great passion for. My days are filled with meeting new people from all walks of life, not only from working on the reception in our centre, but also as part of the fundraising team. Being part of the fundraising team is so rewarding as it means I can go out and about within our local community, meeting people whose lives have been affected by cancer.

    Being a volunteer is great, I have the privilege of waking up in a morning and looking forward to my day knowing that in some way I am helping someone who has been affected by cancer; it makes it all worthwhile.

    I would personally urge anyone to help volunteer in any way possible, please don’t hesitate. If you’re at home and you have a few hours spare, why not consider volunteering, it’s a great way to spend your time knowing that you’re dedicated help has made someone’s life just a little bit brighter.”

    Yvonne’s story.

    After she stopped working full time in 2014, Yvonne found herself with a lot of time on her hands with nothing to fill it. Having previously worked for 8 years at the Places for People group in their Supporting People division, it seemed only right to volunteer at Cavendish and spend her time helping out others.

    ‘A few of my good friends have been through Cavendish, and that’s how I found out about the amazing support they provide’.

    Whilst Yvonne has only been volunteering as part of the essential admin support team since early 2016, she immediately knew she had found somewhere where she belonged.

    ‘As soon as I walked through the door I was made to feel at home, it’s got a much more personal feel to it compared to my previous jobs. Its closely connected community means that decisions are able to made quickly and efficiently, resulting in the best care for anyone who walks through the door’.

    Due to limited funding Yvonne considers it even more important now than ever to volunteer.

    ‘So many charities need help, especially in today’s climate, and every little helps. Even if you don’t have any specific abilities, any help that you can volunteer is always appreciated, especially in a place like Cavendish’.

    ‘I love spending my time helping others, it’s great!’

    Margaret’s story.

    Since being made aware of Cavendish a number of years ago after using the service and seeing just how helpful it could be, Margaret has been volunteering here since 2008.

    ‘They really made a huge difference in my life through all the support I received. It’s such a friendly and welcoming place which means they’ll always respond to anyone’.

    As part of Cavendish’s speaker team it’s up to Margaret, alongside a number of other volunteers, to help raise awareness of how Cavendish can support anyone affected by cancer in the local community.

    ‘It’s great to go out and talk to people in the local area and understand their stories, especially how cancer may have affected them in their day to day life’.

    More recently Margaret has started working on a new initiative for Cavendish called ‘Cancer Buddies’.

    ‘It’s a new service we’re going to start up where people who use our service can be ‘buddied’ up with someone else whose life may have been affected by cancer. It’s extremely helpful knowing that there can be someone there to talk to’.

    Cancer can be a tough time for anybody, and it’s always good to know you don’t have to go it alone.

    Peter’s Story

    Peter is 61 years old and has a varied career which has included being a carpenter, social worker, residential home manager and learning and development consultant.  Peter was diagnosed with advanced and incurable prostate cancer in October 2016 and has since received chemotherapy and hormone therapy at Western Park Hospital.  Both Peter and Linda, his wife, received support from Cavendish Cancer Care after Peter’s diagnosis and now Peter is proud to be a Cavendish Cancer Buddy.

    “After my cancer diagnosis I was struggling and my wife and I decided to go to the Cavendish Centre after hearing about them through one of our friends.  After our initial assessments I decided counselling would be useful for me and Linda decided to have a different therapy.  I was due to have four sessions of counselling but after just two both my counsellor and I agreed I’d sorted my head out.   When I had my review with Paula she told me they were starting a buddy scheme and asked if I would be interested in volunteering.  I agreed without hesitation.

    I have now completed my training and am supporting two people affected by cancer.  To date I’ve mainly been in touch with them via phone and text but am going to meet with one of them face to face soon.  One person I’m supporting has cancer and the other is coping with a loved one’s cancer.

    I’m thoroughly enjoying being a Cavendish Cancer Buddy.  Cavendish really helped me and it feels good to be able to give something back.  The support is client led so they know I’m there if they need me but I won’t overwhelm them.  I listen, am non judgemental and am a shoulder to lean on.  I can also signpost them to alternative sources of information if needed.

    Cavendish Cancer Buddies gives people an outlet and allows them to say what they need to without having to protect someone else’s feelings.  For anyone who is on a cancer journey just having someone there, who wants to be there and wants to listen is invaluable.”