Call For Volunteers!

Leading cancer research charity calls for more volunteer speakers to join health promotion team.

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Marion Leslie, from Milton Keynes, a member of the Bowel Cancer UK volunteer team.

Have you been affected by bowel cancer, either personally or through someone you know? If you have and would like to raise awareness of bowel cancer, the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, here’s your chance to do something about it.

The UK’s leading bowel cancer research charity, Bowel Cancer UK, would like to invite more people to join their award-winning, trained volunteer team, giving talks in their local area.  The talks, which can be held in workplaces, community groups or anywhere an existing group comes together, provide an ideal way to raise awareness of the disease and encourage good bowel health.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK with 16,200 people dying from the disease every year. However bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer. However this drops significantly as the disease develops.

Bowel Cancer UK’s health promotion work is at the heart of the charity, raising awareness throughout the UK with a programme of talks which was recognised last year with a prestigious award from the Royal Society of Public Health.

Many of the charity’s trained volunteers have personal experience of bowel cancer and during the talks highlight their own experience as well as presenting facts about the disease – its signs and symptoms, risk factors, healthy lifestyle and bowel cancer prevention, including the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme.

Marion Leslie, from Milton Keynes, is a member of the Bowel Cancer UK volunteer team.  She said, “The reason I became a volunteer was because my daughter Natalie was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer three weeks before her 30th birthday.  She underwent nearly two years of gruelling palliative chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. She sadly died five weeks prior to her 32nd birthday.”

“I would like to raise awareness of this terrible cancer, particularly in young people, as I feel my daughter was not taken seriously by her GP and should have been referred earlier for diagnostic testing. I think she was fobbed off as she didn’t look ill despite her symptoms and because she was young. I would not want any parent relative or friend to experience this devastating cancer and hope that I may be able to help prevent this happening to anyone else, by raising awareness through my talks to the general public.” “I enjoy volunteering for Bowel Cancer UK as I have met many new and interesting people who have shared their personal experiences. It gives me great comfort to know that Bowel Cancer UK are involved with improving research to help find the causes of bowel cancer and instigating testing for younger people.”

The call for more people to join the Bowel Cancer UK volunteers comes in the run up to Volunteers’ Week, an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. Over 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year and this contributes an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy.  This year, Volunteers’ Week has been extended from 1-12 June, to include a celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s lifetime of service to more than 600 charities and organisations on her 90th birthday on 12 June.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the team or would like to organise a talk by a volunteer, please get in touch through the website, Bowel Cancer UK.

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