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DMU student volunteers honoured at Macmillan celebration

A dozen students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have received awards for helping transform the lives of people affected by cancer.

Video by Just Franklin

The volunteers were honoured at an event hosted by Macmillan Cancer Support at the LCB Depot in Leicester last night.

They included Adult Nursing student Emily Goss, who has been a Macmillan volunteer for nearly two years.

She said: "Volunteering for Macmillan is so rewarding and it is a privilege to be able to do something positive with my spare time and help people out when they are going through a difficult time.

"I am able to use the communication skills I have developed while on my nursing course and be there for people when they need someone to talk to."

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Since the start of this year she has been supporting Mick Baldock, 60, from Loughborough, who recently lost his brother to liver cancer.

Paul Baldock was diagnosed with terminal cancer 18 months ago, just after the brothers' mum had died. As the cancer had already spread through his body he was given just one year to live.

Mick cared for his brother at home despite suffering from a heart condition himself, which made mobility very difficult.

Mick said: "Paul was always very independent and didn't like to ask for help, even if he needed it. He was very quiet and found it hard to talk about things. I used to get really upset and frustrated that I couldn't do more for Paul.

"Then Macmillan got in touch and arranged for a volunteer to visit us once a week.

"Emily is a lovely young lady who would come over for a chat and a cup of tea. She was a student nurse, so could talk to Paul about his treatment and how he was feeling, but also about other things like holidays.

"She got Paul to open up a bit and talk about a few things. He'd look forward to the visits, we both did."

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Emily said: "It was a pleasure getting to know them both. We didn't always talk about Paul's cancer diagnosis. Mick would often recommend the best films and TV series for me to watch and Paul and I would also talk about the football even though he was a Chelsea fan and I'm a Leicester City fan.

"I have a Macmillan phone, so if they needed to chat or let me know if they needed something from the shop I was always available."

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Emily is one of a number of students who volunteer through the scheme run by #DMUlocal, the university's community engagement team, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Now in its fourth year, the partnership involves student and non-student volunteers delivering practical and emotional support in the home to people diagnosed with cancer as well as their carers and loved ones.

More than 150 people have already been supported by scheme, which has recently expanded into the Charnwood area. Last night's evening was held to say thank you to the volunteers, with awards relating to the number of hours accrued.

Platinum awards were presented to Ali Mohammed, Shelby Downes and Marian San Antonio, all Psychology students; Pharmacy student Karishma Chandharas, Medical Science graduate Kavita Desai, Health Studies student Michelle Donawa, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science graduate Anjini Gohil and Biomedical Science student Rupika Gulati.

A gold award went to Criminology student Danielle Watson, with silver awards presented to Nursing students Emily Goss, Laura Hill and Nadia Morawski.

Posted on: Wednesday 16 November 2016

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