In June of 2016, I decided that I would like to volunteer with a charity to make good use of my university summer break. What drew me to Wessex Cancer Trust above any other charity was the wealth of opportunities they presented on their website. Since I first joined, I have been able to dabble in many types of volunteer work, and the experience has been so rewarding.

I first got involved with Wessex Cancer Trust through joining the Southampton fundraising group, a group of lovely ladies who meet once a month to organise events in the local area. I had great fun organising a quiz and ploughman’s meal, selling tickets, and attending the event. Finding out that my first event raised over £600 for people affected by cancer helped me to realise how much of a difference I could make by giving a small amount of time each month, and made me eager to do even more work with Wessex Cancer Trust.

I was soon invited by the fundraising team to help out in the head office at times to suit me. I have been involved in such a variety of work, often being assigned brand new tasks every time I volunteer. Writing for the website, conducting health research, and securing event bookings are just some of the activities I have been involved with in the last few weeks alone. The staff at the office are one of the best parts of office volunteer work; they are a friendly and inspiring group of people, and the office is always full of laughter. Another great aspect of volunteering in the office was that I was always learning something new, and it provided me with the relevant work experience to pursue a career in fundraising.

My favourite part of volunteering with Wessex Cancer Trust is volunteering at events. I have been involved in countless activities, including cake sales, summer fetes, Christmas wrapping stations, and family fun days. My main role is often to greet customers and tell them more about the charity, as well as collecting vital donations, though recently I have been able to take on an additional, unexpected role. Performing as Wolly, the Wessex Cancer Trust mascot, is always a highlight of the day- it never fails to bring a smile to children and adults alike.

I do not expect to stop volunteering with the Trust any time soon. Volunteering has so far been such a worthwhile experience, and I know that in the following months I will still be learning new things and meeting new people at every event. I would recommend volunteering with Wessex Cancer Trust to anybody who enjoys working in a fast-paced, fun environment, all while raising essential funds for people who are affected by cancer.