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

Celebrating National Volunteers’ Week

by Alexa Copson

This National Volunteers’ Week (Thursday 1st – Wednesday 7th June), we’re saying a huge THANK YOU to our wonderful team of volunteers who help us get closer to our vision of a cure for all types of brain tumours.

We wanted to introduce you to a handful of those amazing supporters who donate their time to support our vital work, at our head office, in their communities and online from the comfort of their home, and share what volunteering means to them.

And keep reading to find out how you can get involved and donate your time to Brain Tumour Research, wherever you are.

“A real sense of teamwork”

Lorraine (left) at a supermarket collection with Jenny from Brain Tumour Research

Lorraine Jolly is one of our fabulous community volunteers. They support us out in the field, helping to ensure events run smoothly, attending a variety of fundraisers organised by our supporters, getting stuck in with bucket collections and processing collection tins amongst other activities.

Lorraine lost her husband Mark in June 2020, at the age of 49.

She said: “I really enjoy volunteering for Brain Tumour Research. I feel like I'm making a difference in the community, and love working with the wider team. There is a real sense of teamwork within the charity, and I like knowing I am helping a worthwhile cause.”

“A fantastic charity”

As well as organising the annual Andi Peel Charity Basketball Match, Ross Bland gives his time to support our Community Fundraising team with events in the North, making sure supporters have a wonderful time.

Ross with loved ones

“I became involved in volunteering for Brain Tumour Research after my friend Andi was diagnosed back in 2020, who has since lost his fight with the disease. Unfortunately, he is not the only person I know who has suffered, or is still suffering from having a brain tumour. I know of two other people under the age of 40, as well as my mother-in-law who are managing life with a brain tumour. It is far too common and there is not enough awareness or funding for Brain Tumour Research,” Ross said.

He added: “It is a fantastic charity filled with amazing, enthusiastic, hugely supportive and passionate people. I will continue to volunteer and do all I can to help the cause in the future.”

“It’s great to work for an organisation that recognises the importance of volunteering”

Many workplaces can support employees with volunteering opportunities. One such organisation that helps Brain Tumour Research in this way is Valero, London, which has encouraged colleagues to get involved with volunteering for us, as well as supporting the charity by taking part in Wear A Hat Day.

Alison won an award at work

Alison Millard, Distribution Co-ordinator at Valero, won an award at work for her volunteering. She said: “I was delighted to win the Valero field-based volunteer of the year award for 2023 and even more delighted to be told Valero would make a donation of £700 to the charity of my choice. There are so many great charities out there doing amazing work but Brain Tumour Research is a charity very close to my heart after losing a dear friend and work colleague back in September 2021 very suddenly to a brain tumour. I also have a friend living with pituitary gland tumours.”

Alison added: “Last year we had a fun Wear A Hat Day at work, raising lots of money. The day highlighted the importance of the work Brain Tumour Research does into finding a cure for this terrible disease.

“For me it’s great to work for an organisation that recognises the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community. I hope my donation can make a difference to people’s lives.”

“I want the work to escalate”

Fiona Bingham was just 33 when she died in 2017, two years after she was diagnosed with a grade 3 astrocytoma.

Now, Fiona’s parent Dodie and John Rutherford support us through volunteering and recently, the family helped raised more than £100 at a supermarket collection.

Dodie said: “I support Brain Tumour Research because I lost a newly-married, precious daughter to a brain tumour when she was only 33. After the shock of diagnosis, we had to come to terms with the fact that treatment options had not really changed in more than 25 years and that funding had been so very poor that brilliant, dedicated researchers had been forced to research other fields of medicine.

“Losing so many children and young adults to brain tumours is totally unacceptable. Research is now being conducted because Brain Tumour Research has made it possible and has promoted the cause so widely. I want the work to escalate and spread. Funding and public support are key.”

Dodie and John wearing pink top hats

“I promised my mum I would do everything in my power”

Lisa Harrison said that volunteering for Brain Tumour Research was “an easy decision to make”. Her mum, Marion Greenwood, died from a glioblastoma (GBM) in November 2021. She added: “I promised my mum I would do everything in my power to raise funds and help others where possible.”

Lisa (right) with Community Fundraiser Kerry

Lisa is another supporter who volunteers to support us in her community and told us why she enjoys the opportunity to raise funds and awareness for our cause. She said: “I enjoy volunteering as it helps raise awareness of this awful disease and it’s heart-warming to be able to meet other families who have or are going through the same as myself and my family. I can’t thank Brain Tumour Research enough for their continued support.”

“I will always remember my time spent volunteering”

University of Brighton student, Abby Rodriguez, spent six months with us on a volunteer placement. Working closely with our Community Fundraising team, her role included assisting with admin, attending events and all-important stewardship calls to supporters.

 “I have had the privilege of volunteering with Brain Tumour Research for the past six months and it has been one of the best experiences,” Abby said.

“The team and supporters are some of the most lovely and passionate people I have ever met, and I feel as if I have been able to make a real contribution towards raising awareness for brain tumours. I will always remember my time spent volunteering and am so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to get involved with such an amazing organisation!”

Abby during her placement

Volunteer for us wherever you are:

  • In the community: Working with our Community Fundraising team you’ll be getting stuck in with activities such as bucket collections, helping support events like our Walk of Hope, attending a variety of supporters' events, and much more
  • Online: Inspire thousands of fundraisers who take part in our Facebook challenges, offering assistance and motivation, and help ensure these run smoothly, all from the comfort of your home
  • At our Head Office: Join us at our HQ in Milton Keynes and support our Office team with major campaigns like Wear A Hat Day, ensure fundraisers receive their packs, assist with stock counts and make sure thousands of parcels are out the door on time
  • Got your own ideas? We’d love to hear from you

Wherever you’d like to volunteer, we’d really appreciate your support. Please get in touch to let us know.

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