Lauren Syms
Posted by
Lauren Syms

Meet volunteer John Dodds #volunteersweek

Lauren Syms
Posted by
Lauren Syms
31 May 2016

Please can you tell us about how you first became involved with Bloodwise?

I became involved after attending a regional presentation held at York University, where I heard, for the first time, of a cancer charity especially relevant to my own blood cancer I.e. Non Hodgkinson's Follicular Lymphoma.

I also joined the York Haematology Support Group which has proved to be a wonderfully supportive forum for blood cancer patients to exchange knowledge, tips and experiences as well as sharing feelings in a safe, supportive, confidential environment.

Please can you tell us a little bit about the different voluntary activities you have been involved with to support Bloodwise?

I've chosen to be involved in a variety of different activities with Bloodwise including:

  • Participated, with my wife, in the annual Forget Me Not Walk on Holy Island three times; Managed Small Change Big Impact collections at York Station.
  • Attended The Premier of "The Girls" (the musical written by Gary Barlow) in Leeds, and collected after the show.
  • Helped support a fund raising Murder Mystery Evening event sponsored by Nestle at The National Railway Museum.
  • Collected at the new Northallerton Wickes store opening

I am also available to support exhibitions and do talks, as requested, in the region.

What has been your most memorable experience whilst volunteering for Bloodwise?

It's hard to specify a particularly memorable experience. Meeting people with blood cancers; those who live with those experiencing blood cancers; speaking to individuals who have lost loved ones to blood cancer; all of these can be fascinating, insightful and humbling.

The tenacity, human spirit and sheer cussedness can be inspirational.

What is your favourite thing about being a Bloodwise volunteer?

Whatever I did last for Bloodwise usually gets flashed up as my favourite thing.

Quickly followed by the next thing that I'm about to do!

Do you have any top tips for our charity collectors when they are out and about representing Bloodwise?

All of the old familiar and obvious things I guess:  eye contact, have a smile on your face, acknowledge people with a few friendly words. Open body language to encourage interaction. Don't hide your collecting tin away, making it difficult for the public to make a donation. Be prepared to talk and explain what Bloodwise are about.

I'd add one final point. If you don't enjoy fundraising, don't do it! Your dislike/discomfort will show and you'll be doing a disservice to both yourself and Bloodwise. Choose to invest your time actively supporting Bloodwise at something you enjoy and are good at! Let your talent show and maximise your contribution.

Find out more about volunteering for Bloodwise >

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