Self Help UK

National Volunteer Week - Celebrating our Beyond Diagnosis volunteers

1st Jun 2023 | Posted in : Nottinghamshire, Self Help UK News, East Midlands News

Lots of people across Nottinghamshire take time to volunteer and make a huge difference to their communities. During National Volunteers' Week we will share some stories about our Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis service volunteers.

Today's story is from Pam who was very grateful to be supported by the service and her volunteer. 

Volunteers – Pam’s story:

When Pam came to our service, life was really tough for her. Having just had back surgery, she had been left with lower limb paralysis and she didn’t know whether she would ever walk again. She had been a very independent person and it was overwhelming for her to think that she would have to rely entirely on others and not be able to lead her old life. She felt trapped and lonely. 

Our Cancer Support Co-ordinator, Emma, spent time listening to her and identified some immediate practical support that might help and also paired her up with a volunteer, Sophie, for some weekly emotional support sessions. Pam has a very supportive family, but she realised that she couldn’t always be completely open with them, as she didn’t want to upset them. With her volunteer, she could say exactly what was on her mind and she found that very helpful.  “Sophie has been marvellous!”   she reported back to staff.

Over the following weeks, and with physio input, her mobility improved and she started to regain a bit of confidence and go out occasionally. Her positive spirit and determination always shone through – she wouldn’t give up. After a few months, she was able to manage without her volunteer and we withdrew our service – letting her know that she could come back to us in the future if things changed. Pam told us that she was hoping to go by train to London with her daughter to celebrate her 87th birthday – to have tea at the Ritz!  This was an amazing goal, given how things had been when we first met her.

In the photo Pam is celebrating her birthday over lunch at Carluccio’s in St Pancras Station! (Unfortunately, the tube strike meant it was impossible to get to the Ritz by taxi, so, undeterred, they had a wonderful time in the shops and café’s in St Pancras Station instead!).