Ross's Story

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Ross's Story

Ross case study.jpgTo me Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries is a place for those affected by cancer. Whether you are a patient, or you know someone with cancer or you're just looking for some information, Macmillan is a safe place to come and chat about anything.

I have been volunteering for 7 months and each time I step into the library I give those who want a chat or information my time and it makes me feel fulfilled.
"please know you don’t need to go through it alone​"

I got involved due to my own personal experience. Having been through cancer and all the treatments of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, I felt I could offer empathy and more importantly, a person for someone to talk to. During my treatment I was 23 and felt that there was no one I could relate to in hospital as the ward I was in was mainly older people, in fact I had more in common with the nurses. This made me feel alone as I didn’t have anyone to speak to who was my age. I decided to volunteer as I wanted to ensure that people who are affected by cancer, no matter how old you are, don't go through it alone. I feel that males in their twenties aren’t as forthcoming with their worries, stresses or emotions, I want to let them know that we offer a service that includes everyone and that no one should feel left out or ignored. A service like this didn’t exist during my time, but had it; I would definitely have used it as Macmillan offer great support and information for anyone affected by cancer. The range of information that is offered covers all aspects of cancer from health, finances, recovery and much more. I can’t recommend highly enough the importance of Macmillan in today’s society as so many people are affected. Please know you don’t need to go through it alone.

My aim for being a Macmillan Cancer Information & Support volunteer was to give those affected by cancer someone they could ask questions and talk to. Since I started I realise how much being there can make a difference to those who visit the drop in services, which has given me a better understanding of what people are looking for and what their concerns are. This has allowed me to become a better volunteer.

"it’s ideal and user friendly for anyone to drop in to find out more with leaflets, books and face-to-face chat"
What I get the most out of volunteering is the knowledge that me being there ensures no one has to go through it alone. Whether they are a patient, family or friend of someone diagnosed or a carer, the presence of Macmillan in Glasgow Libraries and the volunteers including myself are delighted and proud to offer our time for those who need information and support.

The time I feel I made a real difference to someone was a conversation with a woman who had just finished her first course of treatment and found it difficult to speak with friends and family. She felt alone and didn’t want to burden her close family with her concerns and emotions. Listening to her at first, she managed to get some things that had been troubling her off her chest and I was then able to offer her one of our services to help her take the next step. The woman was laughing and had a smile on her face when she left with her daughter, knowing that I played a small part in that certainly reaffirms the importance of the service.

Libraries have been the hubs of communities for such a long time, offering an encyclopaedia of information for those who want to learn and understand the world. This makes it the perfect place for Macmillan to offer information and support on cancer for anyone who wants to know more. With libraries in communities all over Glasgow, it’s ideal and user friendly for anyone to drop in to find out more with leaflets, books and face-to-face chat.

What I found unexpected, but encouraging, is the support from those who work within the libraries and visitors who are delighted that we are right in the heart of their community helping to make people aware of the service offered by Macmillan.

Three words that sum up my experience are: rewarding, important, listening
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