Eden's Story

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Eden's Story

Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Volunteer Story
Eden 2.pngTo me, Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries is a fantastic project offering the people of Glasgow affected by cancer the best support and information from truly dedicated volunteers. Uniquely, the service runs outside of a clinical environment allowing service users to access the support in their local community and perhaps feel more comfortable. 

I have been volunteering with Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries since August 2015 and have been a Lead Volunteer for the Hillhead service since March 2017. 

As a scientist, I’m fascinated by the scientific side of cancer. I decided to volunteer as I was eager to view the disease from a more personal side and to use my skills to offer help and support to the community. I was also eager to meet like-minded people and to develop ​my skills and learn new things. 

When I applied to be a Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Volunteer I aimed to play a role in supporting people affected by cancer, to learn new skills and to get experience of working alongside like-minded people. I expected this to be challenging. As I have been volunteering for 2 years I really am a vital part of helping people in the community and feel proud of myself and the service. I have also been able to learn so much from people who drop in and fellow volunteers, as well as develop an array of skills such as communication, empathy and listening. Although this can sometimes be a challenge, the support from fellow volunteers and Macmillan Service and Volunteering Officers makes it such a rewarding experience. 

To be able to open someone’s eyes to the different services out there to help them on their cancer journey makes me feel like I’m making a difference. I meet so many fantastic people in the service, from the people affected by cancer who seem so strong and positive to my fellow volunteers who are amazing in their role. My favourite part is listening to the different stories people have to share and being a part in their journey. 

I feel more confident speaking to people and have learned how to communicate more effectively and how to be a strong and supportive leader​

I once met with a person who seemed to be crushed under the heavy burden of dealing with a diagnosis. The woman stayed for over an hour and was able to not only talk about her feelings and have a good cry in a safe place, but was also referred to Long Term Conditions and Macmillan Service, Improving the Cancer Journey and Cancer Support Scotland. She wasn’t aware that these support networks were available to her and seemed so relieved and thankful. I will always remember her.

I think having a service which is specifically in libraries and not in a clinical setting makes a real difference as people in the community can drop in and get support and information in their local community. I think the service is also successful as it is run by volunteers; and the volunteers and staff have such a tight and supportive relationship. I also think that because the service is drop-in, it is more accessible to people.

The most unexpected thing about volunteering with Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries is how much I’ve grown as a person and the skills I’ve been able to develop. I feel more confident speaking to people and have learned how to communicate more effectively and how to be a strong and supportive leader. I’ve also met so many lovely and like-minded people.

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