As Volunteers' Week begins, Marjory Kenny tells us about her experiences as a Breast Cancer Now representative and explains why volunteering is important to her.
Volunteers' Week, which takes place from the 1-12 June, celebrates the fantastic contributions made by millions of volunteers across the UK. To join in with this national celebration of volunteers, we hear from Breast Cancer Now representative Marjory Kenny.
Marjory has been involved in the charity since 2013 and became a Breast Cancer Now representative in 2015. The support she offers is invaluable, from helping out at events in the Edinburgh area to fundraising with a local bowling club and spreading the Touch, Look, Check message. Read on to find out more about her experiences as a Breast Cancer Now representative.
Keep cheering on
Standing at the seven mile mark on the Edinburgh Marathon route through Musselburgh on Sunday was a surprisingly emotional experience as well as quite exhausting. Our Breast Cancer Now posse with distinctive pink and grey branding, sails, stick balloons and T-shirts clapped, cheered, whistled, handed out jelly babies, energy bars and as much encouragement as we could.
But what surprised me was the reciprocal recognition and respect directed our way by so many of the runners. We were there particularly to recognise, support and cheer for our own fundraising runners, but so many others turned our way and clapped us, or shouted thank you … and one gallant chap even saluted us.
They were clearly delighted to get some well-deserved support – and at such decibel level – along that long stretch of seaside road. But there was definitely more to it. People were applauding our fantastic charity, the work that we do and the positive results from the research we fund.
Touch, Look, Check
Breast Cancer Now is clearly recognised as an important and amazing charity and I am proud to be an ambassador. My background is in media and communications so I consider the most vital way I can help is to spread the word about the charity and the Touch, Look, Check message.
I packed in my big corporate job in 2012 and that is when I joined Breakthrough 100 (a Scottish fundraising project which aimed to get 100 Scottish businesswomen to raise £1000 each) which was a wonderful opportunity to link my freelance businesses with fundraising. Since then I’ve run two campaigns, the most recent being ‘Check You’ with artist Wendy Helliwell.
Together we collected old makeup from businesses, organisations and individuals which were turned into an amazing piece of art work and auctioned on eBay for Charity. It was covered widely in the media at various stages of the campaign so we certainly spread the word successfully. People loved the idea because we were not asking for cash, just old make-up that was lying unused.
The Check You campaign finished just as Breakthrough merged to become Breast Cancer Now and we have kept the campaign Facebook pages live to spread the word about Breast Cancer Now and update our many followers on new developments and other issues. My business and charity life are now completely intertwined.
Spreading the message
I media trained some of the Commonwealth Games athletes and the young boxers volunteered support for Check You and helped spread the messages.
I also like to give something back which is of real benefit to people suffering from breast cancer. I’m an Arbonne health and wellness consultant and the pure and safe skincare and nutritional products are popular with people concerned about their health. After a successful trial at the Western General Hospital, I now give away six pure skin oils to breast cancer referrals every month for use on scars after surgery or radiotherapy burns.
I’ve met so many wonderful people through my role as representative, including the fantastic ladies of Corstorphine Bowling Club. They chose Breast Cancer Now as their charity this year and invited me to spend a full Match Day with them. It was fantastic to see the trouble they had gone to, there were pink jacks, special cupcakes, handmade cards and crafts. They raised well over £1000 which is fantastic, but just as important was the chance to spread the message among the club members. That’s what being a representative means to me!