Dynamic duo do a great job on CancerCare's reception desk

on Tuesday, 05 June 2018. Tags cancer, Cancer Support, CancerCare, Kendal, Lancaster, North Lancashire, Slynedales, South Lakeland, Volunteer, Volunteering, Volunteers Week

Friends featured as part of national Volunteers' Week

Known as the ‘Dynamic Duo’, CancerCare volunteer receptionists, Ricky Robinson and Peter Needham, make the perfect double act.

We are featuring Ricky (above, left) and Peter as part of national Volunteers' Week so that people can get an idea of what it's like to volunteer with CancerCare.

Together they have manned the reception desk at CancerCare’s Slynedales centre in Lancaster for around three years and have forged a firm friendship.

Peter, a retired aircraft engineer from Bare in Morecambe, started volunteering 13 years ago after his wife Pat passed away. Pat had been supported by CancerCare and Peter wanted to give something back.

Ricky used CancerCare’s services when he became depressed after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He says the counselling he received from Mike McNabb at CancerCare in Lancaster helped him to get his life back.

As a way of saying ‘thank you’, Ricky started volunteering with the charity three years ago.

Both enjoy helping others and find that, by working together, they have time to man the desk and spend time with clients who want to talk.

Ricky, a former maintenance man from Halton, says the comradeship he has found with Peter has also helped him to cope with his prostate cancer diagnosis.

Ricky says: “We’re not just receptionists – we have been through it too. We’ve both done the ‘cancer trail’.

“When I had counselling it helped a lot. It helped me to get my thoughts straight and it made it easier for me to talk about it with members of my family.

“They didn’t know how to handle it and it helped to take the pressure off them.”

Peter says: “I enjoy being a volunteer. I like the atmosphere; it’s a really nice place to work.

“I see the staff and therapists as friends. We’re not the NHS – we’re very different to that.

“The people who come for help are terribly brave. It is inspirational to meet them.

“We try to empathise and be in tune with their mood.

“There are some people who have stopped using the services but they still come back and have a coffee with us.

“We make blooming good tea and coffee!”

Ricky says getting to know Peter has helped him: “Peter has really boosted my confidence.

“Over the last few years he’s helped me to come back to what I used to be.

“We support each other. Everyone has their dark days.”

Both say they would recommend volunteering to other people.

Ricky adds: “It’s nice to be there for other people when they need it.

“We can see it makes a big difference. We’ll keep doing it for as long as we can.”

If you are interested in volunteering with CancerCare please contact Andrea Partridge, Volunteer and Engagement Officer, on 01524 381 820 or email andrea.partridge@ cancercare.org.uk or go to www.cancercare.org.uk

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Notes for editors:

CancerCare is an independent charity dedicated to helping families affected by cancer and other life limiting conditions in North Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Delivered by qualified and highly experienced staff, CancerCare’s wide range of free professional therapy services are designed to help individuals and their families come to terms with and manage the challenges of a serious health condition.

Therapies include counselling, hypnotherapy, the Alexander Technique, aromatherapy massage, group activities, support groups and a Children and Young People’s Service.

With 35 years of experience, CancerCare has helped more than 30,000 local people affected by cancer and other potentially life-limiting conditions. The charity has three dedicated centres based in Kendal, Barrow and Lancaster.

For further information please contact Ingrid Kent, Marketing and Communications Officer, CancerCare, Slynedales, Slyne Road, Lancaster, LA2 6ST

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 01524 381 820

Twitter: @CancerCareLocal

Facebook: @CancerCareCharity