In this National Volunteers Week, I was asked “Why do I volunteer?’”
Having been working full time for many years I dropped down to part-time but wanted to keep my brain active and also give something back. I considered several things but in particular, I wanted to use my skills, not to be tied to certain hours a month and, most importantly, to enjoy the work and the team I was volunteering with.
I first met Susan Oliver just before one of her various operations and we always chatted about the work that she was doing with the charity. When she knew I was finishing my contract she managed to persuade me to help out. My first event was on a conference stand in Paris for two days, when I tried very hard to avoid saying “pseudomyxoma” as I did not know how to pronounce it! I now know that it’s pronounced ‘sue-doh-mix-oh-muh pary-ih-ton-nee-i’.
As I do not have personal experience of PMP, I have taken on the role of treasurer and also support the fundraising efforts of our donors. In addition, I volunteer with Natural England at the local nature reserve which involves fencing, planting, land clearance as well as building bird and wildlife habitats. The two roles are very different but I love them both.
Other volunteering stories
I was more than happy to become a volunteer admin, remembering how important I found the reassurance of the woman I spoke to before my surgery and the help and support I received from the group after it.
To be able to chat with others and offer just a tiny virtual hug or an emoji smile can make all the difference. It did for me at a very scary time.
I’m achieving something here. I matter. I am making a difference. Feeling a useful part of the volunteer team perhaps pays back some of the support I’ve received.