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Macmillan couldn’t help so many people without its brilliant volunteers

Stacey Smalley, Macmillan fundraiser for Nottinghamshire
Stacey Smalley, Macmillan fundraiser for Nottinghamshire

This month, we celebrated National Volunteers Week.

If there is one thing I have learned it’s just how important volunteers are to Macmillan – and particularly to me.

Anybody who has started a new job will know what it is like.

In those first few months, you try to do pretty much everything yourself…you want to impress.

When I started at Macmillan I wanted to do everything.

It is so much more than a job to me, it is a cause close to my heart.

But then something finally twigs with you that you simply can’t.

You really do rely on and need people who can help you.

I work entirely with fundraising volunteers and I am so lucky that I have over time been lucky enough to find and work with a great team of volunteers with such varied skills and interest in the way they want to help Macmillan.

We have committees – groups of friends, relatives and local people who get together and organise a series of events to support us throughout the year – and act as ambassadors for Macmillan in their community.

Volunteers who go out and deliver talks on our behalf – this could be to golf clubs, schools, groups, clubs and societies.

There are volunteers who are registered to collect, count and bank money on our behalf.

We have volunteers who help out at local community events, pulling together information and do an activity to raise funds – and in the last year we created an East Midlands action team set up so that people could sign up and help us on an ad hoc basis either being a marshal or at a supermarket.

We recently set up the Mansfield Fundraising Group, they held their first event at the Mansfield Four Seasons Centre, selling cakes and holding a tombola.

It was so well supported by the wonderful people of Mansfield, raising £688.

Paula Symonds, the Mansfield fundraising group leader said: “Sadly, like most people, having experienced the impact of cancer on a close family member, I decided that I wanted to do something positive with my free time to help families who are living life with cancer.

“Joining the fundraising group has been a fantastic decision as I have had fun, gained new skills , met lots of new and interesting people and, most importantly, we have been able to raise vital funds to support others.

“It would be great if you could come and join us.

“You don’t need to give up lots of time; a small amount can make a massive difference.”

We owe a great debt to all our dedicated volunteers, most of them have been motivated to give something back because of their own cancer experience.

I can honestly tell you I’d be lost without their help.

So if any of the local team are reading this, thank you for giving you time up to help us make a difference.

If you would like to get involved and join the Mansfield Fundraising Group and support Macmillan in your local community, then contact Stacey Smalley on 07809 554963 or email ssmalley@macmillan.org.uk