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Caring students to collect awards for selfless volunteering

Students who are helping transform the lives of people living with cancer will collect awards for their work this week.

The DMU Square Mile Student Awards recognise those students who have volunteered their time and talents to projects helping communities across the city, county and beyond.

Amy Mcmilan

One of those projects is the DMU Macmillan Volunteer Scheme. Now in its fifth year, the partnership between DMU and Macmillan Cancer Support delivers a volunteer-led support scheme to people living with cancer, their loved ones and carers in the local community.

The scheme received national recognition when it was praised in Parliament by Leicester West MP Liz Kendall. So far it has received more than 250 referrals and more than 140 trained student volunteers have been on hand to offer vital support to anyone that needs it.

The student volunteers offer emotional and practical support; they help with things like shopping, household tasks, gardening, or simply offering a friendly chat over a cup of tea.

Reema Sandhu, Macmillan Volunteer Coordinator at DMU said: “when someone is diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment they can often feel isolated, our volunteers are there to lend a listening ear to improve self-esteem and confidence.”

Amy Atkiss is one of several students receiving an award. Amy volunteers through the scheme run by #DMUlocal, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.

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Amy, a nursing student, who has been visiting David once a week, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to brighten a person’s day, just by having a chat with them and assisting with a few tasks.

“Cancer can be very lonely and isolating, being able to provide a little bit of light to an individual’s life is a privilege. I had a family member who received very little support from services when she had her cancer diagnosis, so it’s great to be part of a project that ensures individuals do have support.”

David, 75, from Barwell, is living with inoperable bowel cancer. David said: “I don’t like being on my own all day, since Macmillan informed me of the scheme and had Amy come and visit, it’s been a big help.”

David added: “I look forward to people visiting, especially Amy. Every week she helps me tackle a little task like tidying or making my room more comfortable. Amy has a very caring nature.”

Posted on Wednesday 18th April 2018

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