We asked some of our wonderful volunteers who give up their time to help Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust about their experiences. Here we speak to Anne.
In what way do you volunteer for the charity and what does it entail?
I help out at medical conferences where Jo's has a stand. I talk to nurses and medical professionals in general about the work the charity does.
When did you first start volunteering for the charity?
My daughter was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2008 and the first thing she did was make contact with Jo's to get information and receive support. Because her office was only around the corner she sometimes also visited the office to help. Her involvement with the charity has continued over the years, and two years ago she became aware that they were short of volunteers to help at some nursing and medical conferences. My daughter then rang me to ask if I could help. I had just retired from nursing and had time to spare so was more than happy, especially as I am confident talking to medical professionals.
Has there been a particularly striking moment/experience during your work as a volunteer? If so what was it?
It always surprises me how even amongst medical professionals there is such a lack of knowledge regarding cervical cancer, HPV and the exact specifics. I have to say before my daughter's diagnosis I didn’t know a lot about the disease and its exact causes either as my speciality area was spinal cord injury, but I am now passionate to raise awareness and prevent other young women and their families from avoidable suffering.
What would you tell someone who is not sure yet if they should volunteer for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust?
In whatever way you want to volunteer, just do it. Jo's is doing such an amazing job in supporting women who are affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities and it's so worth while getting the word out there.