Jennie is one of our Challenge Events Volunteers. She attends challenge events such as Total Warrior and the Leeds Half Marathon to help marshal or cheer our runners along.

What made you decide to volunteer for Candlelighters?

My 5 year old grandson was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. We have had a lot to cope with and it still continues during his treatment which is until 2023. We have had some very difficult times through the last year and we continue with supporting my daughter, grandson, his little brother and his daddy.

I wanted to volunteer for time for ‘me’ and for an opportunity to say a personal thank you to Candlelighters as they have provided such fantastic family support that makes such a difference. Anything that makes my grandson smile on those not so good days, during his treatment, hospital visits and stays then that’s a positive to us.

Tell us a bit about your experience of being a Challenge Event Volunteer for Candlelighters.

When I joined as a volunteer I had no idea how I would find it and was very apprehensive, but I love the volunteering role and meeting fantastic like-minded people.

At the Leeds event we cheered on all the runners –getting them smiling and hoping we motivated them enough. Obviously the runners supporting Candlelighters got a bigger cheer! As a “cheering group” we even managed to get spectators to join us with our cheering! We laughed and talked, met new people and friends, and informed them of the good work of Candlelighters.

 What would you say to anyone thinking of volunteering for Candlelighters?

I am not a runner or a particularly sporty person but I am good at talking, listening and cheering loudly so this is a good role for me. Volunteering makes you get out, have a purpose, and all helps with improving your mental wellbeing. And you don’t have to run!

Jennie with some other event volunteers!

Volunteering is an “opportunity to say a personal thank you to Candlelighters”