Volunteering for The Royal Marsden- Pam's story
This volunteers week we are shining the spotlight on some of our amazing volunteers.
Pam (pictured left, far right) has been a volunteer at The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity since 2014.
"My late husband Brian was treated at the hospital in 2007. He’d been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer which was already terminal stage 4 when we found it. The staff at the hospital were always lovely throughout our brief time there. That same year Brian was able to see our daughter get married up in Cheshire. He was there in a wheelchair but was able to walk her down the aisle. When we got back to the hospital all the staff were so excited and wanted to know all about it. Brian died two months later, aged 54."
"Whilst at the hospital I had seen there were opportunities to volunteer. When I took voluntary redundancy, I was looking for something to do. I felt if I was going to volunteer it would be for The Royal Marsden.
As I couldn't commit to a set number of hours each week, or on a regular basis, I contacted The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and it was suggested that I start volunteering on an ad hoc basis helping with tombolas at summer fêtes and doing bucket collections at shopping malls and stations.
When a little later the team wanted someone to come into the office and do some phone calls, I offered to help. I get to do a wide range of jobs as an office volunteer and do whatever is needed, from printing out certificates for our fundraisers, to counting t-shirts & pens, and helping out with administration.
I enjoy working with all the people in the office which helps to keep me up to date with things, and I am learning new computer skills too. I had never used a fundraising database before, and learning new things keeps the brain active.
I have experienced lots of great moments whilst volunteering. One that stands out for me was being part of the parade to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016. The Charity was invited to send representatives to the parade in the Mall. Those who were interested went into a ballot to take part and I was lucky enough to get picked!
We had to be at Horse Guards Parade by 7am. We got absolutely drenched during the rehearsal, but the sun came out for the real thing and we got to wave to the Queen and the royal party as we passed the Victoria memorial. It was great fun!
I would say to anyone thinking of volunteering to give it a go. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy it. The team are so grateful for the help, and you get a good feeling that you have done something that’s making a real difference."
Interested in volunteering?
Barry Pridmore, Head of Volunteers, discusses what skills you'd need.
"Volunteers are a vital part of the team and everyone at The Royal Marsden is incredibly grateful for their support. We benefit from the involvement of a diverse group of volunteers who bring many different skills and experiences to our Charity. However, I would say teamwork is really important, as you will need to have the ability to work as part of an amazing team.
I am lucky enough to oversee all of volunteering at The Royal Marsden and witness first hand the difference our volunteers make. I know everything our volunteers do will have a positive impact on someone’s life.