Jane's Story

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Jane's Story

My name is Jane and I have been a volunteer for Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries since December 2014.jane edwards.jpg

I was initially looking for volunteer opportunities which were library related as I returned to studying last year (at home) and my course was in Information Studies.  I enquired about being a library volunteer with Glasgow Life, who put me in touch with Macmillan to find out more about their volunteer services programme. It was something that I had never thought of doing before and at first wasn’t sure if I would be suitable for the role, but on finding out more about it from the very supportive Macmillan staff at the Mitchell library and by going through the accredited training course, I couldn’t wait to get started! 

Since I have been volunteering for Macmillan at Riddrie library, I now have a better understanding of cancer symptoms and treatments through Macmillan training and talking to service users, and find that I promote the service in every day life to work colleagues, friends and family at every opportunity! I am lucky that I haven’t lost any family members as yet to cancer but have lost several friends over the years, and have seen the impact it can have on their family and where Macmillan might have made a difference to them had they known about services available at the time.

The thing I enjoy most about volunteering for Macmillan is the sense of helping people to find services and support that they really need in one place within their local community, and the amazing volunteers and Macmillan staff that I have had the pleasure to get to know and work with. Everyone enjoys their job or volunteer role so much and seems to get so much personal satisfaction from it. 

"The service users I meet have such strength of character and courage while going through treatment or just after diagnosis​​"

Since I have been volunteering, I can see that the Macmillan service has been able to help everyone affected by cancer that I have come into contact with, whether it be by signposting to suitable services, or by just providing a cup of tea and listening. I think my fellow volunteer at Riddrie and myself complement each other in the service we can offer, as we both have different life experiences and skills to draw on for our service users.

The service users I meet who have such strength of character and courage while going through treatment or just after diagnosis, and want to get better and get on with their lives. I also thought that I would get upset every time I spoke to a service user who was upset, but on most occasions I am able to hold myself in check as the last thing the service user needs is to upset someone else, they need someone who is supportive and professional to help them find the services that they really need.

Through the Libraries programme, I have also had the opportunity to get involved in other Macmillan volunteering areas, such as the Outreach Programme with Boots the Chemist to promote the Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries services, and I am now also a Macmillan Cancer Information Reviewer by email. Through Macmillan and Glasgow Life, I also got the chance to volunteer at the Aye Write Book Festival at the Mitchell Library in April this year, which was a fantastic experience and one that I hope to repeat next year! 

"it is a very grounding and rewarding experience which can make a real difference to others​"

I would urge anyone who has a bit of spare time to give up to find out more about volunteering with Macmillan in any of their services, as it is a very grounding and rewarding experience which can make a real difference to others, and relies on its volunteers to keep the services going.

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