To celebrate International Volunteer Day we asked three of our amazing volunteers to talk about what made them get involved with the Cancer Society as volunteers, what they found most rewarding about their experience, and what advice they would give others who were thinking of getting involved.
When I retired from work I thought it would be nice to volunteer for some organisation. As I had had a bout with Cancer that was the obvious choice.
The biggest joy for me is when I see someone who has finished their treatment and they go on to enjoy life. When I see them out and about looking well, that’s fantastic. Also, when someone tells me that my presence in Oncology really did make things easier for them, that makes it all worthwhile.
For anyone thinking of volunteering, just do it. You will get far more out of it than you put in. I was going to say I have enjoyed every minute, but that’s not true of course. There have been some sad times and quite a few tears along the way but that’s because of the area I am in.
My hall of residence, University College, was looking for students to help with Daffodil Day. A ride in a vintage car was promised so, of course, I volunteered. The people at the Cancer Society are so friendly and they asked if I could help out more. It’s a great opportunity to meet people in our community and make great friends.
My first time at the Cancer Society I met a great couple from Dunedin that were volunteering also. Since then, they have taken me under their wing and have taken the time to show me more of New Zealand. I can now call them great friends.
Just do it! There are many reasons not to volunteer; busy schedules, not knowing anyone else that’s volunteering,... but volunteering with the Cancer Society is a way to have an oasis from everyday life.The people who run the Cancer Society are very hospitable and will make sure you feel comfortable.
Boredom. I realised just after I retired I would be a pain in the proverbial to everyone if I didn’t get out and do something.
1) Sitting with terminally ill men to give others a break, and
2) Being there to give a lady who lived on her own a big hug when they told her she was all clear
Give it a go. If it’s not for you, you can honestly say so and no one will damn you for it. We all know it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but at least you gave it a shot.