Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

International Volunteer Day is this week

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OPAAL‘s Chief Executive Kath Parson has recently spent a lot of time in conversation with some of the fabulous volunteers we have supporting the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy programme.  Since this week sees International Volunteer Day on 5th December we thought in this blog post we’d let our volunteers do the talking:

“Makes a real difference to those we support. It ticks lots of boxes for me, I wanted to continue to use skill, experience & knowledge to help others, to make a positive difference to people’s lives.”

“I want to help people affected by cancer, and am happy to help people through the ‘cancer experience’. For me it’s all about putting something back, I was well cared for and I’m aware that a lot of other people are not so fortunate.”

“Because I believe I can make a real difference, I can help people practically & personally. I have a good idea of what people are going through. I can help them with their concerns or fears for the future. I enjoy being part of a team, and I enjoy the training offered to us all.”

“I feel I can relate to my advocacy partner very well due to my own experiences. I find it useful to have something in common with my partner in addition to the cancer. I am an empathetic person, a good listener and able to support others to express their concerns & worries.”

“Want to help people affected by cancer because I feel there is a gap in services to support people personally and allowing their voice to be heard and express their own feelings, wishes & concerns. Someone to ‘be there for them’. Lonely experience for Older People Affected by Cancer.”

“I enjoy being with Cancer, Older People and Advocacy staff; like helping other people. It’s a fantastic opportunity to give something back, my Grandad was lucky, he had me. Too many people have no one to help them.”

“I want to be able to support someone in need of support at a difficult time in their lives. I have the right skills & attitude to offer this support. In doing so the reward for me will be to feel I am available to support them when they need someone.”

 “I have a disabled son and husband at home and I regard my volunteering time as my time, a time for me to give something back to support others who have no one else to help them. In return I get out of the house, meet some amazing people and am able to work closely with my fellow volunteers as part of a team. We also socialise a lot so this helps me to keep in touch with my local community. It saves me from becoming isolated due to my carer’s role.”

Many, many thanks to our volunteers who contributed these quotes.

If you are an older person who has been affected by cancer, are in one of our delivery areas and are interested in becoming a peer volunteer advocate or would like to get involved in another way, why not get in touch?

Marie McWilliams, OPAAL

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Author: Marie McWilliams

OPAAL's National Development Officer

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