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Read what some of our volunteers say about why they got involved volunteering with Action Cancer.

Angelina Madden - Volunteer Gardener:

I take great pleasure in gardening whether it’s in my own garden at home, or at Action Cancer! It’s a sensory experience to watch the changes through the seasons or to cultivate and nurture new plants from seed or cuttings. I would say that there’s a gardener in us all, it’s a relaxing, mood enhancing and creative way to spend time, helping your well-being with the drifts of colour in your borders, the exercise as well as attracting wildlife! To think it all started with my mother who inspired my passion from an early age! It’s nice to create an inviting environment for Staff and Visitors to AC that will enhance everyone's well-being, and inspire more people to give gardening a go!


Anne Hulme – Banbridge Group:

“I have been a volunteer for Action Cancer since 1986 just after my Mum lost her battle with cancer at the age of 52.
It was a devastating time for me and my family but by joining Action Cancer as a volunteer I seemed to regain my sense of purpose.
I personally have met so many wonderful people since joining my local Group in Banbridge and I am always aware of how so very often people just want to stop and talk about their own personal experience of cancer and I never fail to be impressed by their generosity and kindness.
During my time in the Banbridge Group I have watched Action Cancer grow and improve in every way.It would be impossible not to be impressed with the vast number of cancer related services it provides for the people of N. Ireland and it is wonderful to think that I am playing my part in helping so many people.

We work hard in the Banbridge Group but at the same time we enjoy everything we do and we try to make all our events fun. There would be few people in Banbridge who have not heard of us or come along to one of our fund raising events and I have to say I feel a great sense of achievement when people stop me in the street or send me a message to say how much they have enjoyed and appreciated what we are doing.
This is what makes being a volunteer worthwhile.”


Betty Browne – Antrim Group

“With time on my hands when my children went off to school, and being one of those people who likes to be kept busy, I decided to do some volunteering. Like many others, I had family members and friends who had been given a cancer diagnosis. I had no knowledge of any particular charity, but on opening 'Yellow' pages 'Action Cancer' was the first charity I spied. Back then in Antrim, a local lady, a Mrs Margaret Mercer, had been volunteering single-handily for the charity (a group at that time having 'folded'). I contacted Margaret, spoke to some friends about reforming the Group and 32 years later, the Antrim Group is still going strong. Volunteering for AC provides me with the satisfaction of knowing that the giving of my time can help save lives and provide that vital support very much needed by cancer patients and their families here in the Province. Ultimately, what's important to me is that every penny the Group raise (between £8,000 and £11,000) is used here in NI. "To leave my children (and grandchildren) a cure for this awful disease" is my personal motivation.”

Rebecca Shields, Fundraising Office Volunteer

“For me Volunteering with action cancer has been an extremely enjoyable experience. Volunteering with this outstanding charity has taught me so much; they have helped me develop certain skills such as computer skills and communication skills. They have also helped me build up my confidence a great deal through their friendly encouragement. When I started volunteering with action cancer I was not confident, I was a very shy person, but they brought me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow in confidence, and as a person. In fact the team at action cancer inspired me so much through their amazing work that I based my GCSE English presentation on the charity. The team at action cancer gave me mountains of helpful information and provided me with leaflets and posters which where a big success with my class. I love volunteering with action cancer not only because I get to be involved in the fight against cancer, which has affected so many, myself included, but because at action cancer we are all made to feel like part of the team”

Elaine Carson, volunteering in the Fundraising Office since May 2012

“I have been an Action Cancer Volunteer since May 2012. Initially I got involved with Action Cancer as a way of giving back. Having had a personal experience with cancer I know how vital the support that Action Cancer provide to cancer patients and their families is. I feel this is my way of giving back for the help and support I received during my diagnosis and treatment.
Myself and my partner, Mark, began volunteering together and straight away we both loved the friendly, welcoming environment from the fundraising team. We both felt very comfortable from the start. I have been involved in helping out with numerous different projects including trek mailings, wedding favour orders, the newly rebranded Bra Walk and some corporate events, all of which I really enjoy. I get a real sense of satisfaction that I am able to help out where I can, freeing up staff to start working on the next campaign. Staff are very friendly and so appreciative of what I do, I really know I am helping.

I love helping out at events, I love seeing everything come together, I get a real sense of community spirit seeing supporters arrive and knowing I am part of something that will raise money for people in Northern Ireland. It makes me feel so good. I love that I can help Action Cancer and not be surrounded by a negative feeling associated with cancer, but helping in an environment which is fun. This gives me a release from the stress and daily issues that life brings and that a cancer diagnosis brought to my life. My volunteering has a positive effect on my life.
My greater family circle also get involved at some of the events I help out at and I love seeing my son and partner have fun while raising money for a charity which helped me so much.
I have gained so much from my volunteering, I have built on my skills, but more importantly for me I love seeing how me doing even a small bit, can help a charity provide services for people I have never met. “


Verity McGrath, Volunteer Receptionist:

“Volunteering at Reception for Action Cancer has allowed me to make a positive impact on helping people.  While developing and learning new skills.  Being part of the Action Cancer Team, is a great way to see the amazing significance that Action Cancer plays in so many people’s lives, it is such a worthwhile organisation.”


Lauren from our Lurgan store:


"I always wondered why somebody couldn't do more for cancer, then I realised I AM SOMEBODY. Just by giving a few hours of my time makes such a difference and I get satisfaction knowing by giving my time as a volunteer I also give people a second chance at life. Volunteering in an Action Cancer retail store is something I would definitely recommend, find out how you can help!"

Thomas from our Lisburn furniture store:

"I started in the Lisburn store initially as an 8 week placement but was gaining so much learning and experience from working with Ann an the team within Action Cancer that I extended my placement to 6 months and is now I am working towards a qualification in retail. I really enjoy working with the furniture and meeting different members of the public knowing that by volunteering I am supporting a great cause."


Stephen Genney - Peer Mentor

"Being a Peer Mentor has given me the opportunity to put my experience of being a Cancer Patient to more than surviving the process but to a much more useful purpose of providing a basis of support and guidance to others undergoing a similar journey in their lives."

Niall Connor

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time as a peer mentor for Action Cancer and am very grateful to have been given this opportunity by Action Cancer. Not only does this role allow mentors to help people with cancer who are in need of support but it has also been an opportunity to meet other peer mentors and learn about their cancer journeys. Overall, being an Action Cancer Peer Mentor has been an enjoyable, educational and extremely rewarding experience."


Chris Wright - Peer Mentor

Sonia Copeland – Volunteer Counsellor

What I do as a volunteer.
I am a volunteer Counsellor for Action Cancer. I provide opportunities for clients to explore their thoughts and feelings, and to identify worries or concerns around any stage of their individual cancer journey, from diagnosis, treatment, recovery and bereavement.

Why I got involved with Action Cancer.
Action Cancer is a wonderful local charity. It provides vital support services, raising vital monies through various events, to support people affected by cancer. As a cancer survivor, who used the services many years ago, I wanted to give something back to this superb organisation, with wonderful dedicated staff.

What I get out of volunteering.
I feel a sense of pride that I can in some small way, help to give clients time to talk and to explore their feelings, as well as learning new skills to help them cope better with their experiences of cancer. This in turn improves their quality of life. At times it is overwhelming to see the change in a client after their sessions, from the first time they walk into the counselling room.



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