Meet Kath

When did you start volunteering?

I started volunteering with Candlelighters in September 2021 after I retired from full time work (but wasn’t quite ready to stay at home every day).

Why did you start volunteering with Candlelighters?

I’d heard of Candlelighters as they funded a research project being done by one of my colleagues, Dr Bob Phillips, at the University of York (you can read more about the research we fund here). In one of our staff meetings Bob described his research into how to reduce time in hospital for children with cancer to minimise the impact on the family’s mental health as well as the financial burden. I was impressed that Candlelighters had funded research that could change clinical practice and families’ experience so when I saw that Candlelighters was advertising for a volunteer I was really interested.

Which area of Candlelighters do you volunteer in and what do you do day to day?

I’m a Trusts and Foundations volunteer with the Fundraising team. On a day to day basis I spend time researching whether Candlelighters may be eligible to apply for funding from relevant charitable trusts, or looking for new trusts to add to the organisation’s database. At busy times (like Christmas) I’ve packed orders and sent Christmas cards to supporters too.

What has your experience been like volunteering with Candlelighters?

Candlelighters is a great place to volunteer – I really look forward to coming into the office as there’s such a positive atmosphere and everyone I’ve met is so helpful. I always leave feeling as though I’ve had a good day.

What do you do outside of volunteering?

Outside of volunteering I look after my allotment where I grow vegetables and cut flowers; knit far too many jumpers and try to complete walking the Cleveland Way.

Is there anything you would say to someone who wanted to start volunteering at Candlelighters?

Give it a go – volunteers at Candlelighters are really valued and appreciated, the induction training is good and there’s plenty of ongoing support.

Why do you think people should consider volunteering?

There are lots of reasons to volunteer – doing something that could make a difference (I know that sounds really cheesy), meet new people, be part of something, learn some new skills.

“Candlelighters is a great place to volunteer”