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Maggie’s Story

Tell us about your volunteer role?

I volunteer in the treatment rooms at Daisy Lodge and specialise in facials, makeup and nail-art. I’m also training to provide Indian Head Massages. Volunteering for Cancer Fund for Children is a wonderful opportunity to help people feel good about themselves. Beauty treatments are not high on the list of priorities for cancer patients and their families, but once experienced they have a surprisingly beneficial impact on the well-being of the individual.

Sometimes I work with a group which can be good fun, but I find that it’s the occasions when I provide a one-to-one treatment that family members open up and share their concerns or feelings which they often cannot comfortably discuss with their family. Being a good listener and sensitive to a family’s circumstances is a very important factor in my role.

 

What advice would you give to someone thinking about volunteering?

This has undoubtedly been the most enjoyable and rewarding role I have ever had. I’ve learned new skills, met truly amazing people, had lots of fun and gained confidence. I’ve also made many new friends and enhanced my social life and learned to cherish my life more than before. Being a Cancer Fund for Children Volunteer has exceeded all my expectations so if you are considering joining us, I can assure you that the rewards greatly exceed the effort.

 

What has been your most memorable moment as a volunteer?

A young teenage girl had gained a lot of weight due to her treatment which had shattered her self-esteem, even more than her cancer. I spent an hour with her, applying makeup and showing her the tricks of the trade. She became increasingly enthusiastic and involved in the process and was so impressed by the transforming effects that she started taking selfies. The smile on that child’s face, for me, was priceless.

Later on, her mother came to see me, with tears in her eyes. She hugged me tightly and said, “I haven’t seen my child light up like that in years”. That experience touched my soul and I shall never again underestimate the power of making someone look and feel good about themselves.

 

What have you found to be the most challenging part of your role?

Sometimes I am overwhelmed and struggle to find the right words when I hear about the loss of a child, spouse, or parent. However, I have found that being honest and having a genuine empathy has not failed me.

 

What is the most rewarding part of volunteering?

For me the most rewarding aspect of my role is genuinely connecting with family members, and helping them to look and feel better as a result of their treatment. It’s so rewarding to see their self-esteem lifted. I feel so privileged to be able to help and some of the feedback I have received has really touched my heart.