As it’s National Volunteers’ Week (June 1 to 7), CancerCare North Lancashire and South Cumbria is featuring a variety of people who kindly give their time to support the charity and the local community.
Sarah Rashleigh has been a volunteer for a wealth of good causes over the years.
Originally from Warwickshire and now living in the Lyth Valley, Sarah volunteers as a receptionist for CancerCare at the Lakes Centre on Blackhall Road in Kendal.
Sarah says she enjoys the flexibility of volunteering with CancerCare: “I’ve always done a bit of volunteering and coming to CancerCare suits me.
“A lot of volunteering roles are not as flexible. I do it once a fortnight on a Monday.”
Sarah, who has a background in nursing and is mum to four children and eight grandchildren, has previously volunteered with hospices, a Mental Health Helpline, and The Samaritans – all in The Midlands – before signing up with CancerCare. She has been a CancerCare volunteer receptionist for around four years.
In addition to this Sarah is a member of the Women’s Institute and a strong supporter of the hospice movement.
Her role as a receptionist at the Lakes Centre is an important one as she makes sure that everything runs smoothly and there is a point of contact for members of the public.
Sarah explains: “When people arrive I welcome them and if they haven’t been here before I can show them around and perhaps make them a drink.
“I also will be answering phone calls, checking emails and keeping up to date with the chief executive’s blog, among other things.
“As I’ve been coming here for a long time, I’m a familiar face for people. It’s nice when people start to know you.”
Sarah also takes a register of people who attend other meetings and groups at the Lakes Centre. Rooms are rented by the likes of Cruse Bereavement Care, the Marie Curie charity, fitness trainers and the University of the Third Age.
When asked about the younger generation and volunteering, Sarah says: “They may come to it eventually. I’m of a generation that has the time and the inclination to do it.
“When you move to a new area, if you can find a voluntary role that suits you, it is good way of meeting (new) people.”
Sarah says she would like to see greater numbers of people using the charity’s services in Kendal.
Therapies include counselling, hypnotherapy, Alexander Technique, aromatherapy massage, group activities, support groups and a Children and Young People’s Service.
She adds: “It would be nice if more people would take advantage of CancerCare’s free services.
“It can help people through a sticky patch. It’s good that it’s for relatives as well. I like the uniqueness of that.”
If you are interested in volunteering with CancerCare please contact Andrea Partridge, Volunteer and Engagement Officer, on 01524 381 820 or email andrea.partridge@ cancercare.org.uk or go to www.cancercare.org.uk