Volunteers’ Week 2024: Cherry Lodge Cancer Care thanks all our volunteers

The first week in June 2024 is a very special one for national Volunteers’ Week, which began 40 years ago as Volunteering England. Each year since 1984, charities of all types and sizes have taken this annual opportunity to celebrate the contribution of millions of volunteers across the UK.

As always, the trustees and staff of Cherry Lodge Cancer Care are very pleased to recognise and thank our brilliant volunteers. We are extremely grateful to all of you for giving your time to help us in so many ways: at our centre, in our shop, as fundraisers and in the community. Without your help, Cherry Lodge could not provide our wide range of information and support services, all completely free of charge to people affected by cancer.

Thank you very much indeed for sparing your time to support our wonderful cause!

If you are interested in becoming a new volunteer with Cherry Lodge Cancer Care, please contact Yvonne Shield, our Volunteers Coordinator by emailing  yvonne@cherrylodgecancercare.org.uk or phone her on 020 8441 7000. You can also find more information in the Voluteering section of this website.

Some of CL’s longest serving volunteers

To mark the 40th birthday of national Volunteers’ Week, Cherry Lodge is giving a special mention to some of our longest serving volunteers.

CL vol Meg


I began volunteering at Cherry Lodge as a befriender in 2004 having just retired as an occupational health nurse. During a visit to my local library I saw the advert for volunteers at Cherry Lodge and without hesitation applied and was accepted. Befriending at Cherry Lodge has been an absolute pleasure. I have met some wonderful people during this journey. I have laughed with some friends and cried with some friends. We have gone on walks together, drunk coffee, shopped, gone to the library, played board games and now there is chatting and reassurance on the phone. I try to make this fun, depending on the mood of the friend, so we chat about whatever the befriendee is interested in. I have learnt so much from all the beautiful people I have met during my journey with Cherry Lodge.
CL vol Roger


I first became aware of Cherry Lodge in 2006 after the death of Andy Weekes (in whose memory the annual Summer Soulstice festival is held). Andy’s mum, Pansy, was my P.A. and I offered to donate to a charity of her choice in his name. I was then put on the CL “Newsletter list” and I was hooked. The more I read the more I realised what a wonderful organisation it was. I then volunteered, joined the fundraising committee, became a trustee and, although I later resigned for personal reasons, I continued to be a volunteer. I’ve met lots of lovely people and when diagnosed with prostate cancer, the first person I phoned was Fiona, one of the Macmillan cancer nurses at CL. She’s been a great help and support. I still volunteer when I can.
CL vol Kathy


I started volunteering at Cherry Lodge many years ago, when Lorraine was the shop manager. My daughter was at nursery (she’s now 19 and at Uni!) and I found I could offer my time to a valuable local charity. I started doing a Monday shift at the shop and have continued to do so ever since. Being creative by nature, I found my niche doing the shop window displays, foraging around the shop to find items to fit a theme or colour palette for the week ahead. I work with a lovely team, often finding time for a chat and a giggle with colleagues and customers. It’s always nice to receive comments from the customers who feel the warm and friendly atmosphere within the shop. I’ve since returned to work part time, but I have managed to continue my voluntary role - I think I would really miss it otherwise!
CL vol Freddy


Hot on the heels of Ruth, I joined Cherry Lodge in 1997 having taken early retirement from the Inner London Probation Service working with sex offenders. Margaret suggested I might be useful and I have tried very hard to be just that. During my many years at CL I have been a volunteer, a Reiki therapist, DB (dogsbody) to the chairman and assistant DB to Tina. As a member of the fundraising team (with a foreigner’s good knowledge of English), I have written up fundraising events and taken photographs for the website, edited the CL newsletter, sold raffle tickets at our various fairs, read out the names of people to be remembered at our Lights of Love ceremony, and anything else required. My time with CL has been amazingly informative, enriching, fulfilling and only occasionally frustrating.
CL vol Ruth


I became Cherry Lodge’s very first volunteer, in 1996, providing admin support one day a week to chairman Margaret and nurse Mina in the old CL portacabin. I had recently become a freelancer with time to spare after working full-time in non-fiction publishing for 28 years. I was looking for something different to do when someone I knew told me that CL needed help until they could employ a secretary. After that, I trained to teach English at FE colleges (basic skills and EFL) and had less time for volunteering at CL but did stay in contact. Then, in 2005, I was invited to become a trustee, a role I still hold, helping maintain good governance and involved in future planning. My other CL role, since 2014, is that of website editor, which helps keep me (and others) up to date with CL news.
CL vol Angela


I started volunteering at Cherry Lodge over 20 years ago when both my daughters were at school. Whilst I have very occasionally helped out on reception and with fundraising events, my regular spot was the Tuesday morning drop in. I have always thought it was a privilege to have met so many people over the years and to see CL doing what it does best. More importantly, it was lovely to see how much support the members offered each other. I still miss it and although I have popped in to the new (offsite) drop in, my involvement with CL these days is less regular. I periodically visit the centre to keep the Macmillan leaflets up to date and I like to catch up with whoever is in that day. When I started I had no idea that it would lead to such a rich and rewarding experience for such a long time.
CL vol Claire


I first knew Cherry Lodge in its early days because I used to pop by to collect my mum who helped with Thursday drop-ins. Then, in 2001, I started volunteering myself, by accident. I was in the old Barnet Market on my way to the gym when I was approached by Freddy. CL was holding an International Fair there and Freddy was in ‘urgent’ need of assistance because a helper had failed to show. I was given a pale blue CL t-shirt and a red CL baseball cap (both of which I still have) and stayed for the whole day, which was great fun. I’ve been volunteering ever since, trying to fit in as many CL events as I can around my full time job. Being just a small cog and giving my time to this wonderful charity is very rewarding and I’ve made some good friends and met many inspiring people along the way.
CL vol Andi


I have been with Cherry Lodge since 1998. Sadly my mother passed away from cancer in 1989 and I wanted to give something back for all the kindness and empathy she was shown during her cancer journey. I was introduced to CL by my reflexology tutor, Sarah, a CL volunteer, but had to sit at reception until I qualified. I must admit I was a very shy and clumsy receptionist – but what fun we had with the phone! After graduating I started my amazing journey as a therapist offering Reflexology, Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage Massage and Indian Head Massage. It really is a rewarding and humbling experience to be part of this amazing charity. I am now a full-time carer for my disabled husband but still see two CL members a week, doing the work I love while having some “me” time.
CL vol Linda


I have been volunteering in the evenings at Cherry Lodge now for over 15 years, giving reflexology sessions to our members. I cannot believe it has been that long as the time has flown by! I find this type of voluntary work enjoyable and rewarding, mainly because of the lovely people I have met and spent time with during these sessions. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to help out at Cherry Lodge.
CL vol Sue


I was introduced to Cherry Lodge by a friend who nagged me for ages to join her as a volunteer. Finally, in summer 2010, I gave in, six months after I retired from my role as a school Registrar. At CL, I spent several years on the reception desk every Monday morning, thoroughly enjoying meeting members and getting to know them. I was also persuaded to join the fundraising team, supporting first Theresa, then various other fundraisers, culminating with the wonderful Tina. I help with anything and everything, but my speciality is baking for various events, especially the cafe at CL fairs. I’ve had a difficult time personally for the past few months when I’ve had to step back a little, but am now looking forward to many more years in harness with Cherry Lodge, and fundraising in particular.