Volunteers Week

Over the last week Macmillan in the East of England have been celebrating the volunteers within the region who do a whole variety of things in order to help the charity continue to provide the service they do to those suffering from cancer, their families and friends.

I have pinched the next paragraph from Macmillan. Ian, a volunteer from Hertfordshire and Secretary for the Stevenage & North Herts fundraising group says;

Whatever time you can give to charity it is very much appreciated. Whether you get involved a little or a lot we’re all appreciated the same. We, volunteers, do more than we think we do to help fundraise, bring awareness to the charity and yet it’s so rewarding for me“.

We all have our reasons for wanting to help, whether it’s giving minutes or months, hours or days, the time volunteers give really does matter. But what do Macmillan do for us in Stevenage and North Herts?

Macmillan Cancer Support provide medical, emotional, financial and practical support to people living with cancer and their friends and family.

Every day in Hertfordshire 15 people are diagnosed with cancer. In Stevenage there are 2,500 people living with or beyond cancer. By 2030 that number is expected to rise to 4,700.

We are lucky enough to have 98 Macmillan Professionals in our county to help those people, however we still need your help to raise more funds and provide more services to help the ever increasing number of people who need support.

There are so many different ways in which you can volunteer for Macmillan and give your time.  If you would like to see what volunteering opportunities are in your area please visit;

http://volunteering.macmillan.org.uk/

Why volunteer for Macmillan Cancer Support in Hertfordshire?

Tonight I am off to the North Herts Macmillan fundraising group meeting, the first one of the new year.

The members of this group have their own personal reasons for wanting to give something back to Macmillan. All of us have been touched by cancer in one way or another, whether it is through family or work, we have all seen the effect that cancer has but also the support that can be given by the likes of Macmillan and other charities.

Over 98% of Macmillan’s income in 2013 came from voluntary donations and fundraising which raised a record-breaking £186.9 million in that year of which £89.2 million came from fundraising events and support from corporate partners.

As the number of people diagnosed with cancer continues to grow, the demand placed on the NHS and these charities will increase. There will be a record 2.5 million people living with a cancer diagnosis in the UK in 2015, an analysis by Macmillan Cancer Support predicts.

Macmillan say the surge will create a crisis of “unmanageable proportions” but as one comment I have seen remarks “there will be 2.5 million reasons to help”.

We have been extremely fortunate in North Hertfordshire with the recent completion of the new Cancer Unit at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, to replace the outdated and poor facilities that were available for the local community. This facility was funded jointly between the NHS and Macmillan so would not have been possible without the contributions made from fundraising events and support from corporate partners.

Fundraising groups are only a small part of the bigger picture for charities like Macmillan but the work of these groups is vital to Macmillan. All of the volunteers in the North Herts group are from the local community so we help to raise funds for Macmillan to serve the people living with cancer, whilst raising awareness of who Macmillan are and what they do.

As well as attending group meetings, we all help to organise fundraising events such as coffee mornings, quiz nights, walks and bike rides and much, much more.

You can also volunteer to help at a Macmillan information and support centre to help reach more people affected by cancer, and ensure they get the support and information they need.

So, the aim at tonight’s meeting is to start our plans for the year ahead and to set our fundraising events and targets.

If you want to give a little bit back to your local community, why not come along and join us at Chesfield Downs Golf & Country Club at Jack’s Hill, Graveley, Nr. Stevenage to see what we do. We will be in the bar for 7.30pm, 2nd Wednesday of the month!

Hope to see you there.