As part of Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) the Bay Health and Care Partners (BHCP) are celebrating volunteers from across Morecambe Bay by sharing their stories.
Cumbria CVS is a registered charity and membership organisation and supports the Third Sector and other organisations to recruit new volunteers. Cumbria CVS has over 30 volunteers helping with cancer, digital and administration support. Over the last year, the CVS has been supporting over 2,000 people to get into volunteering through the Support Cumbria website during COVID-19. Now with the lifting of lockdown and many volunteers returning to work after being furloughed, they are reaching to recruit new volunteers.
Flora Hill, 20, of Kendal, has been volunteering for Cumbria CVS in a digital role for around eight months. She said: “I’m a digital volunteer and I help out each week designing graphics for different events and charities. When I started at Cumbria CVS I’d never made any graphics before but everyone is so supportive and helpful and now it’s something I look forward to doing each week.”
Around 16 volunteers support Macmillan’s Information and Support Service at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Furness General Hospital and Westmorland General Hospital. The service is normally face-to-face but is currently available over the phone due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
David Hyde, 76, of Barrow-in-Furness, has been volunteering for Macmillan for two years. David who has had cancer said: “The best part for me is when someone calls in the hub in a distressed state and leaves smiling and gives me a hug. Visitors who have just received a cancer diagnosis and are upset and confused, call in to sit down, gather their thoughts and just want to talk to someone sympathetic with time to listen, before going home to break the news to their family. Helping people is the main reason for me doing the role.”
Northwest Blood Bikes is a charity with around 390 members who cover the South Lakes and Lancashire. Volunteers carry out a wide range of tasks including riding motorcycles to collect and deliver urgently needed whole blood, platelets and samples for analysis between NHS hospitals without charge.
Mark Thomson, 54, of Lancaster, has volunteered for Northwest Blood Bikes for two and half years. He covers urgent deliveries of blood to the NHS locally and nationally when needed and attends fundraising events to highlight the charity to the NHS and raise money to support.
Mark said: “As a keen motorcyclist I saw it as a great opportunity to combine my hobby whilst helping out the NHS. The best bit is the genuine thanks and appreciation you get from the hospital staff and the public, it is very satisfying when a total stranger waves or approaches us to thank us for the service we provide.”
CancerCare has around 120 volunteers across all its centres in Barrow, Kendal, Lancaster and Morecambe. They carry out a variety of duties and play a vital role in helping the charity support its clients. These include staffing reception desks, helping out at fundraising events and driving clients to and from appointments
Sally-Ann Mayne, 57, of Kendal has been volunteering for CancerCare for 10 years as a receptionist at the Lakes Centre in Kendal. Sally said: “I have had cancer three times and even though I didn’t use CancerCare’s service as I wasn’t living in the area at the time, my breast cancer nurse was amazingly kind and always there for me and that is what I wanted to be able to offer to CancerCare.”
You can read the full story at the Bay Health and Care Partners website HERE