Volunteers sought to support cancer patients

The Trust’s doctors and nurses provide amazing care for cancer patients at the Lister, but they need volunteers to help support cancer patients and their families through tough times.  The new Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre, which is set to open in June 2014, will be the new home for the hospital’s existing Macmillan Information and Support Centre.  This is a service where cancer patients and their families can go for information, practical advice and emotional support about cancer – and the centre needs more volunteers.

Kelly Wallace Bates in Lister's current Macmillan information and support centre

Kelly Wallace-Bates, Macmillan information and support manager, said:

“Often cancer patients and their families need someone to talk to about their worries, and have questions about cancer, its treatment or living with the disease. People need to have someone who cares and can spend time listening to their concerns or fears.  Our volunteers can make a huge difference to how patients are feeling – and we need more people to help us give this hugely valuable support to our

One of the service’s existing volunteers, Jean Draxler said:

“We are meeting people who are facing a traumatic time in their lives.  At the end of my day, I feel a sense of achievement that I have hopefully been able to help in some way.”

A second volunteer, Val Young went on to say:

“I didn’t realise I would get so much out of volunteering in the Macmillan Information and Support Centre – I am part of a friendly, caring team and our regular training helps to make sure I can help in any way I can.”

The team at the Lister is looking for two groups of volunteers – one set for the Macmillan Information and Support Centre itself and the other to support staff and patients in the cancer centre’s chemotherapy treatment area.

To help out in the Information and Support Centre, people need to be well organised, compassionate and have excellent communication skills.

In lending a hand in the chemotherapy treatment area, volunteers must be cheerful and willing to help staff with duties such as making refreshments for patients and running errands.

Anyone interested in either role will need to be available most weeks. Full training will be given and expenses covered.   In return, volunteers will have the support of the team around them, along with the satisfaction of really making a difference to people with cancer and their families.

To find out how you can get involved, please contact Jill Rix in the Trust’s voluntary services team by emailing volunteer.enh-tr@nhs.net or calling her on 01438 284285.