Volunteers thanked for their dedication to CancerCare in Lancaster district

on Tuesday, 23 January 2018. Tags cancer, Cancer Support, CancerCare, Kendal, Lancaster, North Lancashire, Slynedales, South Lakeland

Celebration event is opportunity to thank volunteers for altruism

Volunteers at CancerCare in Lancaster were celebrated at a special recognition event.

Neil Townsend, chief executive of CancerCare, said the charity simply could not do all the things it does for people affected by cancer if it wasn’t for the organisation’s many volunteers.

The celebration event on Tuesday, January 23, was attended by around 30 volunteers from across the Lancaster district.

Carole Stewart from Morecambe, one of CancerCare’s many dedicated volunteers, said she wanted to give something back after the charity helped her when she had cancer several years ago.

Carole, who worked as a nurse with the Blood Service for 20 years and is now retired, has been a volunteer receptionist at CancerCare’s Slynedales base on Slyne Road in Lancaster for more than five years.

She said: “Like many people who volunteer with CancerCare, I was diagnosed with cancer and I used the services.

“I was so grateful for the help I received that I thought I would come and volunteer.

“Many people have that personal connection and others just want to help.

“You are so vulnerable when you have cancer – having somewhere you can get help and support is just what you need.

“I enjoy being a volunteer. It was a real challenge at the beginning because I hadn’t worked as a receptionist before.

“I have enjoyed doing something new. Volunteering helps the charity but it also helps you as an individual. I am always learning.

“It’s a nice atmosphere to work in. When clients come in, I understand how they are feeling because it happened to me.

“I think people should give volunteering a try. It’s not for everyone but you often find you get more out of it than you’d expect.”

Each of the volunteers was given a packet of seeds with the fingerprints of clients printed on the packet as a special reminder of the day. Members of staff from CancerCare made cakes and prepared a buffet meal as a way of thinking the volunteers.

Andrea Partridge, volunteers and engagement officer; Kate Parr, centre administrator at Slynedales and Anna Saczek, events fundraiser for CancerCare, all thanked the volunteers for their selflessness and compassion.

Neil Townsend added: “What I like about our volunteers is that they give us a rich tapestry of people.

“If it was just the staff, CancerCare would be a very different place. The volunteers have a slightly different approach. They add a richness to our CancerCare family. Without them our team would not be as strong.”