Why I volunteer: My experience of cancer made me want to help

Categories: Community Engagement.

Wendy’s mother sadly died from lung disease, and her sister recovered from cervical cancer. As well as this, Wendy herself was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009, and thankfully recovered.

“It was such a traumatic experience, and has really given me a purpose to help ill people, as I can empathise with how they are feeling. The things that happened in my life definitely led me to St Barnabas.”

As part of her role she runs bereavement groups, 1-to-1 sessions and also attends friendship groups in the local area. In an average week, she will dedicate three days to St Barnabas, and sees around four individual clients.

“I remember one particular man from my 1-to-1 sessions whose wife had just died and he himself was also diagnosed with cancer. He had experienced a difficult upbringing, which he wanted to come to terms with. I showed him a special letter writing technique so he could write letters to people in his past and present. It felt very rewarding knowing that when he died he was at peace with his demons.”

 “I would definitely recommend volunteering for St Barnabas, as they are so supportive and provide brilliant personal development. There is always the opportunity to learn more and take on additional responsibilities.”

“Everyone has experienced the feeling of loss, whether it be a person or an object, so it is something we can all understand to a certain extent. I will certainly be continuing to volunteer for St Barnabas for as long as I am able.”

To find out more visit St Barnabas Hospice