I volunteer with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust to help run Look Good Feel Better workshops for ladies coping with the visible side effects of cancer treatment.
The workshops take place once a month at Clotworthy House in Antrim. We talk the twelve ladies who come along through a skincare and make up routine and offer advice on any queries which they have relating to skincare and make up application.
I decided to look into volunteering following a personal loss in my family due to cancer. I know what a great job the Macmillan Unit and Laurel House in Antrim do and I really wanted to give something back to help the patients there who are going through cancer and its treatments. As a beauty therapist and self-confessed make up/skin care addict if I was going through the daunting side effects of cancer or its treatment I would greatly appreciate someone showing me how to use my beauty products properly to help me feel that little bit better.
The feedback we get from the ladies at the end of the workshops is fantastic, it really makes you realise that you are helping in some small way, which is extremely rewarding. I love make-up and skin care, and to share my passion at workshops is something I really enjoy. I was told by a lady who had attended a workshop that she was able to go about her day with a smile and felt that she had the confidence to walk up to people and ask them how they were, a small task which many of us would take for granted but one which she was greatly struggling with prior to the workshop. It’s these small differences that inspire me to continue working alongside the other fantastic volunteers and all those involved in Look Good Feel Better.
Every single lady attending the workshops is at a different stage in their journey so their needs vary a lot and unfortunately we don’t have endless amounts of time to guide all through every part of a routine. However being able to send them home with a goody bag which has been donated by cosmetic companies and a list of tips means that I know that they will be able to continue to practise what they have learnt at home.
I would recommend this type of volunteering to any beauty therapist. It is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, and to share my expertise with those who are really in need of a pick-me-up is amazing. Cancer affects so many of us and it’s so gratifying to know that you are making a small change in people’s lives.
I feel that a beauty therapy volunteer should be positive, enthusiastic, passionate and happy. Attending a workshop makes you realise that there actually is an awful lot to smile about!
The next Look Good Feel Better workshops take place on 6 March, 7 April and 1 May. If you are currently undergoing cancer treatment and would be interested in attending a workshop please call the Macmillan Unit on 028 94 424394 to book your place.
Alternatively if you would like to use your time and skills to support people living with cancer please contact:
Macmillan Volunteer Coordinator
Elma McCracken on 028 94 424394
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Volunteer Centre.
Other Volunteer Opportunities with Macmillan