When I go out on a Tuesday afternoon I go to spend time with some lovely people and have a chat, cup of tea and quite often we have CAKE. How nice is that?
The unusual bit about my social afternoon is the reason I am there, I am a volunteer and this group is run by a Cancer Support Centre.
Centres of this type are often set up by an individual who has suffered in some way relating to cancer and usually because there is not enough support outside the clinical environment.
Typically a centre provides a community based welcoming environment where emotional and psychological support is available for people who have been touched by cancer. They offer counselling, advice and information, and complementary therapies as well as workshops and exercise classes.
Anyone who has been affected by cancer or by the suffering of a friend or relative is welcome at our local Centre. Friendly staff and volunteers are available to listen with a cuppa and a smile. You can choose to get involved, or just drop in when you feel like a friendly chat and most of the services are completely free of charge.
They have lots of volunteers, most people who visit the centre for support often return to offer their help in some way. Many support centres are self funded and rely on fundraising and grant applications, we also have some support from the local council too.
It’s a very positive environment and I think people return to show their support and thanks for ‘being there’ at a time when everything looked bleak.
There are lots of causes waiting for willing volunteers, you can find somewhere to use the skills you have or you can learn something new.
Have a look for your local volunteer agency or approach an organisation that is close to your heart, and of course it’s a great way to gain confidence if you’re looking for paid employment.