Self Help UK

Why I became a volunteer - a volunteer story for Volunteers’ Week!

6th Jun 2019 | Posted in : Nottinghamshire, Self Help UK News, National Campaigns

Paul, having benefitted from Macmillan support whilst undergoing treatment, once he was in remission wanted to give something back. He chose to become a volunteer for our Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis Service.

Image of our volunteer, Paul

Paul's story in his own words:

"A year before retirement age I was diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and accepted that I would have to forget work to undergo extensive treatment at both Kings Mill and Nottingham City Hospitals. Shortly after diagnosis I was introduced to a Macmillan support nurse and soon realised what a huge role they play and how important their support is to every cancer patient.  When treatment ended and anxiety took over, I again sought help from Macmillan and they provided another level of support which I hadn’t realised existed.  

Once in remission and acknowledging the tremendous support I had received, I felt a need to give something back and the Beyond Diagnosis service came to my attention via the local media. This seemed an ideal fit based on my customer service background and I viewed this as the next stage in my life with my cancer journey experience as an added bonus to help others with a cancer diagnosis.

Since becoming a volunteer I have enjoyed many special moments with people, I have supported and members of their family too.  I have felt their gratitude and seen how much they look forward to seeing me, I have shared stories, discussed sporting moments, visited cafes for coffee time and helped with shopping.  

There have been sad times too and if I needed support or just someone to talk to, the Self Help UK team was always there for me.  Becoming a volunteer has certainly given me more purpose in life and an added sense of fulfilment.

These days I don’t look back, am grateful that I am still in remission and keep looking forward with a positive attitude.   I have always enjoyed helping people and my passion and enthusiasm is just as great today as it has always been. Thanks to the volunteer opportunities provided by the Self Help UK Beyond Diagnosis service."

Paul, Newark

Interested in volunteering for our Beyond Diagnosis Service?  There is more information on our Volunteer page or email us: