This month's focus: Office volunteers
Sam Lucas shares her experience being an office volunteer
“After my husband was made redundant at the same time as I came to the end of a contract at work, we decided to pack our bags and have an adventure. We spent three months in the South West of America, living the dream and just enjoying some time together. When we came back he was able to get another job straight away but I was having more trouble finding the right role. So when I saw an advert for a volunteer in the Prostate Cancer UK office I thought it might be just the thing to give me some more experience and get me out of the house where I was slowly going stir crazy.
I now volunteer four days each week, I spend one day with the volunteer management team and three with corporate partnerships who are responsible for getting lots of wonderful companies to support us.
I do three days a week with the Corporate Partnerships team: it’s a varied role which is a good thing as I get bored easily! I get to do some online research on potential new corporate partners, and I’ve learned to code the corporate donations we get so that we can allocate the money they raise to the right project. And I support people who work for our partners and are raising money for us as a team with their colleagues. I’m always amazed at what people are prepared to do – I just know I could never consider a marathon or climbing three mountains in 20 minutes or any of the crazy things they achieve.
My remaining day is spent with the volunteer management team which is a nice change of pace. My role there is usually more a matter of data entry but I’m gradually getting to know some of our volunteers through emails and phone calls to make enquiries about this or that. It’s always really nice to speak to people up and down the country who are working so hard in their communities. They all have amazing stories to tell and are lovely to chat to for a while during a busy day.
Recently I hosted a stall at the Pride Volunteering Fair. It was raining and windy and as I struggled along to the event weighed down by my heavy banners and a box of leaflets, I wondered if anyone would come. I needn’t have worried, within minutes someone was asking about Prostate Cancer UK. I suddenly panicked about what to say but when I opened my mouth all these words came tumbling out about how important it was to get the message out to men about the risks of prostate cancer, and from then on I didn’t stop talking all evening. People left promising to volunteer, promising to tweet about us and most gratifying, they left promising to tell their friends. It was a nerve wracking experience but I’m so glad I did it.
For me, volunteering has been a huge help. If I'm honest I'm a bit of a loud, openly bisexual middle aged woman with weird hair and tattoos (but keep that to yourselves, they've not seen them yet) so finding the right workplace to accept me can sometimes be challenging. I'd also been suffering with depression and I desperately needed something to lift my spirits. Prostate Cancer UK have welcomed me with open arms and the respect and camaraderie I've discovered there has brought me back into the real world again. I'm very grateful to them for having me and letting me be a part of such vital work.”
If you’re interested in being an office volunteer keep an eye out for opportunities on the volunteer section of our website.