Macmillan’s research predicts that the number of people living with and beyond their cancer diagnosis in South Gloucestershire will rise to 15,900 by 2030. And unfortunately at Macmillan we know that one in four people face cancer alone.
We have a great project in the Bristol area called Macmillan Bristol Buddies. It makes a real difference to the lives of people affected by cancer. Now we want build on this success, by developing a Macmillan South Glos Buddies service.
“Unfortunately we have had to turn down people in need of our support as we currently don’t cover the whole area” says Piers Cardiff, Direct Volunteering Services Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support. “This is really frustrating and why we want to grow our service and recruit a new volunteer team.”
“The support our volunteers provide is invaluable. When you are going through chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or recovering from surgery your energy levels can be very low. A lot of people we support suffer with fatigue and this makes everyday tasks really challenging. Our volunteers take away some of this stress, as well as helping people affected by cancer feel less alone” he explains.
Macmillan buddy volunteers are matched with either a person with a cancer diagnosis or their carer for 12 weeks. They help out in practical ways such as with light housework, gardening or shopping. Importantly, they also provide some company and someone to talk to at a difficult time.
Volunteer Buddy, Colin Willshire, who lives in Filton, has been involved as a volunteer since June 2013. He says, “It is really rewarding volunteering with Macmillan, I feel like I am making a real difference to someone. I’ve supported a few people now and each person is different. Sometimes it is practical things like helping sort out paperwork and mail and with someone else it was just some company and having a chat.”
Our Macmillan Bristol Buddies service currently covers some parts of the South Gloucestershire, but not the whole area. Macmillan is looking to develop a South Glos Buddies service to ensure that people affected by cancer do not lose out.
Piers Cardiff goes on to say, “Ideally we’re looking for around ten people, who are happy to give up a morning or afternoon a week to support someone. We will cover your expenses and give you plenty of training and support so you can carry out the role effectively.”
To get involved and to volunteer to help make sure no one has to face cancer alone in South Gloucestershire please contact Piers Cardiff: 07866 202537 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can visit the Macmillan website: http://volunteering.macmillan.org.uk/