Self Help UK

National Volunteer Week - Celebrating Beyond Diagnosis volunteers, Laura’s story

5th Jun 2023 | Posted in : Nottinghamshire, Self Help UK News, East Midlands News

As we continue sharing stories about our Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis volunteers, today Laura tells us about one example of the support she has provided as a volunteer.

Volunteering – Laura’s story 

I was matched with a gentleman who had received a recent cancer diagnosis. He had already had quite invasive surgery to try to remove some of the cancer and to carry out biopsy when I met him for the first time. I was supported very closely over the phone initially by Rose (Self Help UK Prehab Link Worker) to determine the match, and then we met my match together for the first time at his house. We had an immediate connection and I was asked when we left if I was happy to continue. I was happy to continue in the hope that I could connect further and aid this gentleman's recovery from surgery with weekly walks and communication.

We had such an excellent match, we both enjoyed each other’s company, and I had regular communication with Rose along the way. I was even told about the client’s further prognosis in preparation to see him, when he was given the news that the cancer was terminal and continuous chemo was going to be his only hope. This hit him quite hard, but we talked it through and with the support of his family and close friends, he remained so positive. We were both quite sad when the match had to come to an end. I was convinced he had the support he needed, and therefore my services were no longer required.

A few days after the service ended supporting ‘P’, Rose checked in with him. He told Rose,

“Thank you for what you have done for me, most grateful for what the [Self Help UK] Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis Team has done for me. Going to Benidorm in the morning for a few days with my two lads.''

I was supported beautifully throughout this journey, and received the support I needed when the match came to an end, and I needed someone to talk to also. I have found every Cancer Support Coordinator I have come into contact with to be exceptional. So kind, reassuring and encouraging. They make volunteering for Macmillan something I want to do for a long time.

Laura P (volunteering with Self Help UK's Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis service since July 2021)