Nicole's Story
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Nicole's Story

My name is Nicole and I started volunteering for Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries in November 2013 after the programme visited my university.

It seemed like a good opportunity to be able to help people as well as learning new skills, so I gave it a shot. Helping people affected by cancer is what I want to do with my life. I realised that I would be able to fit in volunteering along with my studies and part-time job. It was very easy to get involved as I just completed my application form and attended a short interview. I then completed the training and soon after had an induction at the library, and started volunteering!

My volunteer role is as an Information and Support volunteer with Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries. It involves providing a listening ear to anyone affected by cancer. I also signpost people to and explain about services that may be helpful to them, and complete referrals. 
Sometimes service users just like to have a tea/coffee and a chat, which is fine too!
Helping people affected by cancer is what I want to do with my life.​
I feel very well supported by the Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries team, the lead volunteer at my usual library and other volunteers. My information and support officer is very approachable and is always on hand at the end of the phone or email whenever I have any questions or need any additional support. The library staff are also really helpful. The training I have received from Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries is fantastic, and it has helped me to feel well-prepared for the role. There are also development sessions and ongoing training provided through Macmillan's learning programme. This allows me to keep updated and learn about any additional services or places to signpost people to.

Prior to volunteering I was unsure what to expect with the Macmillan at Glasgow Libraries programme and I was a bit nervous at first. The role has exceeded my expectations though as I have met such a large variety of people and gained plenty of experience. The volunteers and service users are so friendly. I really enjoy volunteering and feeling like I am able to do something to make a difference to peoples' lives. The role has enhanced my understanding of the problems people affected by cancer may face, and my knowledge of the services available to them. By volunteering, I feel that I am giving something back to the community.
"I really enjoy volunteering and feeling like I am able to do something to make a difference to peoples' lives."​

I have benefited from volunteering both personally and professionally, and it has been a really rewarding experience. It has also provided me with listening and communication skills, which are really useful for my future job in healthcare. Knowing what help is available to people affected by cancer also enables me to pass on this information out with my volunteering role as well, such as telling friends and family affected by cancer about Cancer Support Scotland and Move More, for example.

What I enjoy most about my volunteering role is seeing service users leaving the service and feeling like some of their problems are being addressed, and knowing that I am making a difference in peoples' lives. However little it may seem to me, even just taking time to listen and chat can make a huge difference to that person. A service user once came in very upset and distressed, and I took the time to listen to her story and try to understand what the main problems were that could possibly be addressed. Just seeing the relief on her face when she found out that there was help available to herself and her family was extremely rewarding, it makes it all worthwhile. No two people are the same and it is always rewarding to meet new people and to be able to help them in some way, no matter how small.

"Just seeing the relief on her face when she found out that there was help available to herself and her family was extremely rewarding​"
If someone asked me today about volunteering for the programme, I would tell them that it is something that takes up so little of your own time but can make a huge difference to the people that you are helping. It costs nothing and is beneficial not only to the people that use the service but also to yourself! I feel good about volunteering and enjoy being able to listen to people and know that even just by doing that, it can be enough to make a difference.

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