The Volunteer Experience
Hear stories from our volunteers about what it's like to work with cancer patients and the Irish Cancer Society.
Volunteers speak out
"I love working for the Irish Cancer Society! Having moved from the world of insurance and finance, I started as a volunteer working on some of the Society’s biggest and most exciting campaigns. From that I secured a paid role working selling Christmas cards and decorations to our loyal supporters and customers. Soon after, an opportunity arose to cover a maternity leave contract in the Supporter Services team and I’ve been in that position ever since. I’m very proud to say I started out as a volunteer and secured a management role on the most respected fundraising team in Ireland."
- Jason Jenkinson
"I read about the Volunteer Driver Service in a newspaper article when the scheme first started and it leapt off the page at me! I had wanted to become a doctor when I was younger but unfortunately it wasn’t to be; Volunteer Driver Service was a very practical and useful way I could help people when they are sick. I called the Irish Cancer Society straight away, but at the time they had a full complement of volunteer drivers. They told me they would be in touch at a later date and last spring I got a call to say that demand for the service had increased, and new volunteer drivers were needed. After some training and a few formalities, I began driving patients, and I absolutely love it. It gives me so much pleasure to help people and to make their lives that little bit easier."
- Mary Bruton, Naas, Co Kildare
"As a head and neck cancer patient I found it very reassuring and received great hope when I spoke to survivors who were post treatment. Thankfully I’m now in that position as a survivor and I’m always happy to listen to and try to empathise with a patient who may be worried about something that is on their mind. It is good to speak with someone who has been through a similar cancer experience, after all they may know what you’re talking about. The Irish Cancer Society's Survivors Supporting Survivors programme is an excellent medium for cancer patients and I’m delighted to be a part of it.”
- John Langton, Dublin
"I have been a volunteer driver with the Irish Cancer Society Volunteer Driver Service since it started in St Vincent’s. My mother suffered from cancer for years so it’s nice to feel I’m giving something back. The Irish Cancer Society are leaders in their field and run a professional service. I feel that I’m contributing in a small way to the quality of life of a cancer patient."
- Michael, Dublin
"The poster was up in the local newsagents at home and I decided to give it a try. I’ve wanted to volunteer for a while but most volunteer work is either very time consuming or just didn’t suit me. The way the Irish Cancer Society works is in a very practical way. I either volunteer for a pick up or I’m called by the office to do a drive. It’s usually once a month so doesn’t impact too much on my time. I pick up my client and bring them to their appointment in Dublin. Then, as I don’t have to be back to pick them up for a couple of hours, I can do some shopping or play a round of golf."
- Gerry, Wexford
"When I was going through cancer I spoke to an Irish Cancer Society Survivors Supporting Survivors volunteer, a wonderful lady, a lifesaver. We just had one conversation but she was so understanding. At the time I had lots of support but that call, from someone with a similar cancer, really made a difference. I knew then I wanted to give something back."
- Sharon Burrell, Dublin
"The thing I like most about the Volunteer Driver Service is the flexibility of the volunteer work. If I’m going to Dublin anyway I can volunteer for a drive. I’m going back to Wicklow anyway so it’s not an imposition. I like the way that everything is done geographically. The office won’t call me for a job that’s a million miles away. The clients usually live locally so it’s not as if it’s out of the way."
- Pamela, Wexford