Regional award for Pennine’s Macmillan volunteer team

From left to right: Sandra Buckley, Jean Hand, Val Welden, Rita Gunshon (all volunteers), Sarah Plant (Macmillan Information & Support Assistant) and Charlotte Brosnan (Macmillan Information & Support Service Manager).
Regional award for Pennine’s Macmillan volunteer team
04 June 2018

A team of volunteers based at North Manchester General Hospital has been named Macmillan’s Service Team of the Year for the North West.

The seven volunteers, based in the Hospital’s Macmillan Information and Support Centre and working on behalf of Pennine Acute NHS Trust, have all been dedicating their time and efforts on a weekly basis for a number of years, to help support people affected by cancer, and their families.

The service provides support and information for people across Bury, Rochdale, Oldham as well as North Manchester – and anyone can drop in to the Centre.

Among other tasks, the volunteers make up cancer information packs which are given to every patient diagnosed with cancer across the Pennine Acute area. Each pack is specific to the type of cancer the person has and contains up-to-date information on all aspects of cancer and living with cancer, as well as signposting to practical or emotional help and advice, including financial advice.

Members of the team are also strongly committed to masterminding the annual Macmillan Coffee Morning, aiming to make each event bigger and better than the year before. In 2017 they raised £1210.

Volunteer Jean McPherson summed up why the volunteers are so committed to the service: “We put ourselves in the place of the person coming through the door. They come here with all sorts of emotions and you just want to be a friendly face for them. It can take a lot to ask for help, and we’re glad to be here to give it.”

Service Manager, Charlotte Brosnan, who nominated the team for the award, said: “Our volunteers, many of whom have been affected by cancer, are a vital part of the service we provide. They welcome people visiting the centre and help to put them at ease. We couldn’t do what we do for people affected by cancer, without the team who volunteer their time week in and week out.”

In a letter to the volunteers, Julia Palca, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Macmillan praised their extraordinary dedication and commitment and said: “Thank you for the amazing difference you’re making to the lives of people affected by cancer in the North West.”

The team will be presented with their award at a ceremony at the Pennine Volunteer Awards in the summer.