Experiences of volunteers in a childhood cancer charity

We were delighted to be involved in the research looking at experiences of volunteers in a childhood cancer charity.

Recent research undertaken by a doctoral student at Leeds University, Rachael Eastlaugh, highlights the value of volunteering at Candlelighters.

The research firstly looked at motivations for volunteering at Candlelighters and identified three main reasons. These reasons included recognition that the charity works in an emotionally challenging area, that some had used services and felt they were “giving back” and others had been drawn to the charity.

Overall participants felt that volunteering fits with their sense of self and at the charity they had opportunity for new learning that led them to have increased confidence.

Volunteers talked about togetherness, gaining something from working with other volunteers and from being a part of something; as well as having a sense of belonging.

The feel of the Candlelighters “family” was also clear, with volunteers experiencing being a part of the charity, developing strong bonds and developing the importance of their own families in their experience.

Marie Peacock, Head of Income Development said, “Our volunteers support us in a variety of ways and we could not continue to provide support for families facing childhood cancer without them. They are a much valued part of our team, it is wonderful that this research evidences the benefits felt by our volunteers from being a part of Candlelighters”.