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Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

Volunteers are vital

by Alexa Davies

This Volunteers’ Week (1st – 7th June), the team at Brain Tumour Research is thanking all those who donate their time to support our vital cause. Volunteers play a vital role in supporting our charity and without their commitment, our work wouldn’t be possible.

We are grateful to all of the many volunteers on our team who are helping us get closer to our vision of finding a cure for all types of brain tumours.

Today, we’re introducing you to just a handful of those amazing individuals:

“I just love working with the team”

Lorraine first started volunteering at our head office 10 years ago and is very much part of the Brain Tumour Research family. She came onboard because she wanted to “give something back” after her granddaughter Shannon had been diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was nine years old.

Speaking about her granddaughter, Lorraine said: “Despite living with long-term difficulties as a result of her brain tumour diagnosis, I am so proud of Shannon, and particularly proud that she graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a degree in music and sound technology.”

She added “We both volunteer at Brain Tumour Research to give something back. Our tasks often involve sending out merchandise to the charity’s supporters to help them with their fundraising, along with other volunteers. I just love working with the team. People are so nice. It makes me happy to see us making a difference.”

Following her diagnosis with a rare craniopharyngioma in 2005, Shannon underwent emergency surgery and has endured several operations over the years, plus treatment including radiotherapy and hormone replacement. Her most recent craniotomy in 2014, when she was 17, resulted in Shannon losing the sight in her right eye and she has very limited ‘letter box’ vision in her left eye. Her Labrador Retriever guide dog called Indy helps her remain independent.

Shannon, pictured with Lorraine and mum Paula, said: “The rewarding aspect of volunteering is how much I have seen the charity grow since I first volunteered during my school summer holidays back in 2013. Witnessing the increase in donations over the years has been a real privilege and I enjoy being treated as part of the team and being welcomed as a staff member.”

“Volunteering has given me the chance to connect”

Claire joined us as a digital volunteer last year, assisting our Digital Marketing team on campaigns including 10,000 Steps a Day in February. Claire, who was diagnosed with an intraventricular meningioma in 2008, helped out by answering questions and motivating supporters through their challenges.

She said: “I like talking to people and finding out their personal experiences, so my volunteering was an opportunity for me to utilise my skills and experience, and to boost people’s spirits with a message of encouragement.

“My digital volunteering has given me the chance to connect even more with the brain tumour community. To anyone thinking of volunteering for Brain Tumour Research, I would say: go for it and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Everyone is so supportive and helpful; we’re all in this together, like a family.”

“There was great team spirit”

Jenni and Nick recently volunteered inspired by a friend whose granddaughter has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. The couple are already keen supporters of Young Lives vs Cancer as their own granddaughter has leukaemia and generously donated their time to support Brain Tumour Research at Ascot.

Jenni said: “We knew Brain Tumour Research needed volunteers to help with a collection at Ascot and we are local so decided to offer our services. I also wanted to support my friend who is a great supporter of the charity already. We did a bucket collection and people were very responsive. The atmosphere was buzzing on the day and we came across people who had been affected by brain tumours and other cancers too.

“There were about seven of us volunteering and we each had our own station. We met up afterwards though and there was a great team spirit. We raised more than £2,800 in total on the day – enough to sponsor a day of research at one of the Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence.”

From supporting us at our Head Office with admin and fulfilment, to representing the charity in the community, and getting involved virtually from home, we rely on volunteers who help out in all sorts of ways. To register your interest in volunteering for Brain Tumour Research, please fill in our online form here.

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