Volunteers wanted to make a difference in the community

Volunteers are being sought by Macmillan Cancer Support and partners to help people affected by cancer across North and South Lanarkshire.
Volunteers are being sought by Macmillan Cancer Support and partners to help people affected by cancer across North and South Lanarkshire.

If you are wanting to make a real difference to your community and help people affected by cancer a new partnership project is wanting to hear from you.

A new initiative which sees Macmillan Cancer Support teaming up with partners CultureNL, South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture and NL Leisure, is being established and is looking for volunteers.

The partnership aims to create a network of Macmillan cancer information and support services and physical activity programmes for people affected by cancer across North and South Lanarkshire over the next few years.

The partnership aims to create a network of Macmillan cancer information and support services and physical activity programmes for people affected by cancer across North and South Lanarkshire over the next few years.

The partnership aims to create a network of Macmillan cancer information and support services and physical activity programmes for people affected by cancer across North and South Lanarkshire over the next few years.

These will be developed within libraries, leisure centres and community venues.

People affected by cancer often feel isolated, alone and, crucially, unable to access the right information and support at the right time.

So the objective is to make it as easy as possible for people to get the support they need, because Macmillan believes no-one should face cancer alone.

Volunteers are at the heart of Macmillan in Lanarkshire so if you are warm, friendly, supportive and non-judgemental, with great communication skills, a willingness to learn and can commit to a few hours per week, then the team would like to hear from you.

In return, volunteers will receive full training, ongoing support and development and gain valuable skills and experience.

Lynn O’Hara, Macmillan volunteer manager, said: “We are really excited to be working with the people of Lanarkshire.

“We will offer Macmillan core training and additional role-specific training depending on the role that is of interest to volunteers. Modules for our core training includes listening skills, cancer awareness, boundaries and confidentiality.

“We’re looking to recruit cancer information and support services volunteers to be based in libraries. These volunteers will offer emotional support, a listening ear and a signposting service to support with financial concerns, work and access to local services.”

Information and support services volunteers will be working as part of a team helping to offer support to people affected by cancer on a regular basis. The aim of the programme is to offer a listening ear and signpost service users to other services they may need – for example, financial advice, physical activities, counselling or complementary therapies.

The role will initially be available in Bellshill and Hamilton Town House libraries and in community venues such as health centres, community centres and other venues.

Days and times are yet to be decided, but are likely to be daytimes during the week. Activities will include: meeting and greeting people; providing a warm welcome to the Macmillan service; providing a friendly, listening ear; supporting people on a one-to-one basis depending on their individual needs; making direct referrals to the appropriate agencies; explaining the resources and services available in Lanarkshire and beyond; collecting and recording information about people who use the service; keeping the information displays stocked and up to date; setting up and closing down the service; and attending volunteer development sessions to keep informed and up to date.

Lynn stressed that training will be provided, but qualities volunteers would need for the role include: good listening skills with an ability to actively listen; an open, warm and friendly manner; to be non-judgmental; have good communication skills, awareness of own limitations and boundaries, and commitment to the role; a willingness to undertake training as required; and the ability to work on your own and as part of a team.

Lynn went on to explain what will be involved in the Move More scheme.

She said: “As part of the Move More project we are recruiting walk leaders, gentle movement instructors, motivators and gardening support volunteers to increase physical activity levels of cancer patients which research has shown can increase energy levels and reduce feelings of fatigue during or after treatment.”

The roles are “regulated work with protected adults” and all volunteers will be required to become a member of the PVG Scheme (Protected Adults). The commitment needed will be for volunteers to spare a few hours per week, for around six months or more, depending on the needs of the service and the volunteer’s flexibility.

Volunteer application forms can be found online at www.culturenl.co.uk/macmillan.

For further information, contact Lynn O’Hara on 01698 332 839 who will be happy to discuss your enquiry and the roles in more detail.