Volunteers wanted for ground breaking cancer centre 

16/01/2012 00:00 

A major £100 million Cancer Centre due to open in Camden in the Spring is appealing for volunteers to provide a warm welcome and support to cancer patients, their families and carers.

Adele Smith (left) and Kat Lewis (Photo: Geoff Crawford, Macmillan Cancer Support).

Adele Smith (left) and Kat Lewis (Photo: Geoff Crawford, Macmillan Cancer Support)

University College Hospital (UCH) and Macmillan Cancer Support are recruiting dozens of volunteers for the state-of-the-art Centre, which will be the first of its kind in the NHS and will redefine the way cancer patients are treated. It will use the best diagnostic and treatment techniques to improve survival rates, along with outstanding emotional, practical and financial support.

Kat Lewis, Macmillan Information Specialist at UCH, says: “It’s not too late to make volunteering at the new UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre  a  New Year’s resolution for 2012. The service we provide is vital for patients and their families because sometimes they just need to know that there’s someone to provide practical and emotional support. Relatives need to talk about what’s going on. They need to talk to people who will understand and that’s what volunteers do.”

“I love being a volunteer at UCH,” says Adele Smith (48), who has been giving cancer patients advice and information for the past year. “I really enjoy it when I can help patients and have the chance to give them advice and encourage them. It makes me feel really good.”

Adele adds: “I know that I am really helping people. I visit patients and talk to them about services. Most of my time is spent talking to patients. People just need support and help.”

In the past year Adele has worked alongside patients young and old, as well as their family and friends. She’s given advice on everything from where to get a wig, to what benefits are available and healthy eating.

The UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre is located in Huntley Street on the site of the former Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Obstetric Hospital. It will be run by highly specialist staff who will ensure that patients have immediate access to the very best treatment for their particular type of cancer. It will require as many as 30 volunteers a day providing a range of greeting, support and advice services.

Says Kat Lewis: “We’re looking for people for a whole range of volunteer roles. They need to be committed and enthusiastic, want to work with people and able to talk to patients; people who can start a conversation with someone, even if it’s just about the weather.”

As Macmillan Information Specialist at UCH, Kat is excited about the new Cancer Centre and the opportunity it will give to serve more patients and their families. She predicts that any new volunteers recruited for the Centre will soon be hooked.

“Volunteers will find, as I do, that this is incredibly rewarding. Whatever your role, you know that you are making a real difference in people’s lives and lifting the burden off their shoulders. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning!”

  • To volunteer as part of this groundbreaking project please get in touch at: cancer.centre@uclh.nhs.uk  (put ‘Volunteering’ in the email title), or call Naomi Neiland, Volunteering Manager for the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre, on 020 3447 7360.
  • To find out more about volunteering roles, click here



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