David K
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Steve Prescott-Jones - Connecting with Volunteers

David K
Posted by
11 Aug 2014

This week we hear from Steve Prescott-Jones, Regional Chair for the North, about his experiences volunteering with us and also the Patient Support Group he is involved with

Hi Steve, can you give us a bit of background about your involvement with us?

I joined my local Branch of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research around 16 years ago after having had Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APL). Initially I just helped out but soon became Branch Secretary and Treasurer. In the last few years I have got more involved regionally having been deputy chair for the northern region for the last 3 years as well as being a Deputy Trustee. I recently had the honour of being voted regional chair for the north.

What drives you to keep fundraising?

Fundraising helps advances in research which saves more lives. Hopefully as research progresses things like early diagnosis and alternatives to intensive chemotherapy such as ATRA will stop people going through the kind of high impact treatments I did which meant a year or so of very strong chemo and being pretty much full time in hospital.

Fundraising is also fun and being part of a local fundraising Branch/group (& the wider charity) brings you into contact with all sorts of interesting people you wouldn't normally meet!

What do you do to recruit more people to the Blackpool Fylde & Wyre Branch?

I attend a local patient support group to both help where I can but also raise awareness of the local Branch, I also use social media to share information but have to admit it does appear to be more difficult locally to attract younger members. When I joined we were not allowed to approach people directly to get involved.

Could you tell us more about the local support group?

The support group it was started by a couple of local patients just over a year ago, Jez Baugh and Lee Conchie (Unfortunately Lee passed away a little while back). The group has grown in numbers and has had speakers from various charities including Catriona Tait (Regional manager for the North) and myself for LLR, Consultants, Doctors, therapists, benefit advisors etc and provides general support and a forum to share experiences.

What do you get from volunteering with us?

I feel I'm helping in a small way and contributing to us getting closer to saving more lives but there is still some way to go.

If someone were to ask you how your activities have helped you personally, what would you say?

My involvement has helped me feel that I am giving something back as without fundraising and research I probably wouldn't be here today.

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and tell us more about the patient support group, the different benefits of volunteering and the paths it leads to is really very varied

If you would like more information on the Blackpool Fylde & Wyre Branch, or any of our other Branches then please do contact me on 0131 524 1321 or email me on dkennedy@beatingbloodcancers.org.uk.

Last Week’s blog with Maria Clarke from the Glasgow & District Branch and Regional Chair for Scotland can be found here