Shân joined the York volunteer group – Think Pink at the beginning of 2013. Since then the group have raised almost £12,000 for Breast Cancer Campaign. They hold lots of brilliant events and get involved in local activities including the Tour de France! Shân tells us a bit more about how she got involved.
In 2012, I lost my mum to breast cancer so the work Breast Cancer Campaign does is very important to me on a personal level. I took part in a charity walk around York, which was organised by Think Pink. The goody bag included a flyer about volunteering, so I went along to a meeting a few months later and came out of it with the new position of group chairperson!
When I was invited to the meeting and told about the work the regional groups do, I didn't think twice about getting involved. I love that Breast Cancer Campaign focus on breast cancer research and am really proud to be involved in a charity that run exciting and innovative projects such as the Breast Cancer Tissue Bank.
Being in a volunteer group has been such a great addition to my life. I feel proud to be with a group of people who all have the same aim - to raise awareness and funds for such an important charity. Not only are we a group who meet every month, we are now friends. We usually meet in a local hotel but sometimes take our meetings to a restaurant or cafe, which always goes down well! I am constantly meeting new people - whether that be supporters or new group members and I really enjoy the interaction this brings.
As a group for Campaign, you are offered a lot of support and advice on how to make your group as successful as possible. My highlight of 2014 was most definitely our Regional Group Get-together where we met fellow groups and shared ideas and the visit to the House of Lords in the evening was great. Meeting fellow fundraisers was inspiring, and talking to scientists who have carried out research with money you have helped to raise really was fantastic.
Last year (2014) was our best year yet and we raised over £7,000, which we are very proud of.
Our most enjoyable event involved running a stall at a street party when the Tour de France came through York. The atmosphere was fantastic and we held an extremely successful bottle tombola!
We also held a number of collections at different locations; York station, York city centre and at Morrison’s Supermarket. Our Zumba party was held for the second year running and involved a 2-hour Zumba session with a great raffle and tea and cake for afterwards.
We also have a great relationship with a couple of bars in York and they held a Pink weekend for us in October - they created a special 'pink' cocktail, the staff donated their tips and they used bottles to collect. In addition, our family and friends raised money throughout the year with a summer walk, guess the baby weight and carol singing!
If you are thinking of joining a group near you, my advice would just be: Do it! It is a great way to really make a difference, make new friends and be involved with a fantastic charity. If you join, I can guarantee you won’t regret it!