Macmillan Volunteering – Claire’s experience

About Macmillan Volunteering

The innovative Macmillan DMU Volunteering Scheme brings together several of the University’s strategies: working together with our local community, improving the lives of people in Leicester, and increasing the employability of our students.

Volunteering is open to all students, but students from the Faculty of HLS have the opportunity to undertake the scheme as a module and gain an additional 15 credits to their programme.

How to get involved

Emotional and Practical Support Volunteering– helping someone affected by cancer by either providing a listening ear, popping around for a chat over a cuppa and/or helping with house chores such as vacuuming, gardening, walking the dog.

Fundraising – helping at events or holding your own event to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Raising Awareness of Cancer – representing or acting as an ambassador for Macmillan within the community, signposting about services offered.

If you are interested in getting involved with Macmillan Volunteering at DMU, get in touch with Reema Sandhu (DMU Macmillan Volunteering Coordinator) on 0116 201 3875 or at rkhela@dmu.ac.uk.

Keep reading to find out about Claire’s experience with Macmillan Volunteering. 

Macmillanevent pic

Whilst studying for my Health Studies degree at De Montfort University, I took part in the Macmillan volunteering scheme which had recently been set up in partnership with the University that allowed students to volunteer and receive accreditation at the same time. The scheme consisted of volunteering at Macmillan events, fundraising, and helping those with cancer, their families and friends.

When I first started on the scheme I was amazed at the various areas that Macmillan covered, with awareness and fundraising being held in numerous places – from the council house to the football stadium, to a Macmillan bus travelling through the community. Knowing that Macmillan raised awareness and helped so many in all places made me feel proud to be involved in such a charity.

I volunteered mostly at fundraising events such as the Macmillan coffee morning, Leicester football stadium, De Montfort Hall, and Leicester Marathons, as well as around the De Montfort campus. This meant that I had to interact with a large number of people who all had different reasons as to why they felt compelled to donate to Macmillan, with strangers often telling me about their personal experiences with the Macmillan charity. As a result of all the interaction, I felt my confidence and ability to speak to others dramatically improve, to the point where I was happy to speak at Lincoln University about why they should partner with Macmillan too – something that I would never have been able to do before becoming involved in the scheme.

I would actively encourage others to join Macmillan Volunteering at DMU as not only will you gain 15 credits, but you will be able to feel that your time at university has helped others, your self-confidence will grow, and, most of all, you will have fun and make new friends in the process. Throughout my time volunteering with Macmillan I never once thought  that it was a chore or that it was wasting my time. In actual fact it felt more like I was socialising – I just happened to be holding a Macmillan charity bucket whilst doing so!

Since volunteering with Macmillan I have gone on to working within the NHS, using the skills I developed at DMU. I hope to be able to work or volunteer with Macmillan again in the future.

Claire Potts 

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