Volunteer Stories

After retiring from full time employment I wanted to make myself useful in some way, and I knew about the Mulberry Centre as my sister had been treated for cancer some years earlier. As the centre is fairly local to where I live I looked at the web-site and decided to apply.
My role includes a variety of admin support tasks.  I like the atmosphere at the centre where everyone is very caring and supportive. I like keeping my hand in using Word and Excel and computer systems generally. Maintaining accurate volunteer records in the system helps the centre, the volunteers and the clients.  This is an opportunity which gets me out of the house and doing something useful, in a friendly office environment.
Jenny Hawkins, Volunteer Admin Assistant

I have a background in nursing and working in childcare which I absolutely adored. I also worked for a short period at West Middlesex on the maternity department. I returned a few years as after working with my daughter for 13 years in our furniture accessory shop and found myself longing to get back into some sort of environment, specifically in the care industry.
A friend recommended The Mulberry Centre, so I popped in to see the Volunteer Coordinator. After chatting about various roles, I thought this place is amazing and I would really like to make a difference being a Welcomer. Whether it be making a cup of tea, having a warm and friendly chat and being the first port of call to access the services, it’s a pleasure being part of the team.
I work on a flexible rota, covering where needed to get to meet all the other Welcomers and help at fundraising events.
One of the best things about being a Welcomer is seeing someone’s absolute relief at finding The Mulberry Centre and all it has to offer. It’s a very special place and to see the client leaving after a session so calm and relaxed is wonderful.

Carmel Nazemi, Volunteer Welcomer
Volunteering at The Mulberry Centre is one of the most uplifting things that I do in a week. I am inspired by the clients who come to us, whatever their story they always leave me feeling humbled and in awe of their courage and determination, and I love working with all the other volunteers and staff who are part of the team.I am a yoga teacher and have been running a weekly yoga class at The Mulberry Centre for about four years. The class is all seated, focusing mainly on relaxation and using breath and sound to reduce stress and give clients some ‘tools’ to take away to use at home. I also work with clients who are on the wards in the hospital as part of the palliative care project. I never know who I am going to meet or what their needs might be – but that keeps me on my toes and helps me to keep on learning.I would, and do, recommend coming to volunteer at The Mulberry Centre to anyone who has a genuine interest in and desire to care for those affected by cancer. It is a very special place.
Bea Teuten, Volunteer Yoga Teacher

I qualified as a Practitioner of Reflexology in March 1999 and started volunteering at The Mulberry Centre in September 2015. Alongside adopting my rescue dog, Josie, volunteering at The Mulberry Centre is the best decision I’ve ever made. I really enjoy meeting new people, and find my voluntary role very rewarding! I love chatting to all the Mulberry clients, and staff, and I have a down to earth approach. I enjoy my Friday afternoons at the Centre, as well as enjoying the social aspect of meeting new like-minded therapists, staff, and other volunteers. Walking into The Mulberry Centre every Friday always uplifts me. Seeing my clients leaving the therapy room relaxed and with a smile on their faces makes volunteering so worthwhile and rewarding!

Anna Lightfoot, Volunteer Reflexologist
I wandered into The Mulberry Centre over 10 years ago when my beloved sister was diagnosed with Stage 2 Ovarian Cancer and I was looking for information as to how best to support her and my family through this devastating news.  When I became self-employed, and started working from home I did not want my skills to get rusty and I approached the Centre to offer my services as a volunteer administrator.  10 years down the line, I still volunteer once a week.  Apart from the break I needed from the four walls of home it has been a great way of meeting new very caring people and the there is a great social side for volunteers and staff to enjoy entertaining fund raising activities. About 18 months ago alongside my admin role I offered to distribute/monitor Mulberry Centre Collection Cans in the community of Brentford and Isleworth. In 2019 I was fortunate enough to be honoured with the title of Outstanding Fundraiser and Above and Beyond Award Winner. I am very proud of the little trophy I have been given.
Fast forward to 2020, and the Covid Crisis, when the Centre had to reluctantly close its door to walk-in clients, a new telephoning befriending service was set up to provide information and support for anyone over the age of 65+ affected by cancer aiming to reduce social isolation and loneliness by making regular, friendly telephone calls.  I have been encouraging clients to talk and share their worries, whilst raising awareness of the remote online services and resources we, and other services, are offering in these Covid times.
Sue Torok, Volunteer Admin, cash cans collector/co-ordinator and telephone befriender
I became involved with TMC 13 years ago, due to a friend having lost her husband to cancer and supporting her during her counselling sessions. I came in contact with the head of complementary therapies and offered my services. My role was attending on a weekly basis to give Shiatsu treatments and also as an exercise instructor/trainer to give correct and positive exercises whenever needed, to clients diagnosed with cancer and their carers.
I enjoyed volunteering at the Centre as it is such a calm and peaceful workplace and always felt supported by the staff, either at a 1-1 meeting or by approaching the appropriate member of staff if any problems concerning the client occurred.  Listening to comments/feedback from the clients I became aware of what a difference the treatments and support I was giving made a positive impact both mentally/physically/spiritually.
Ann-Marie Weathers, Volunteer Shiatsu Therapist