The King’s Award for Voluntary Service
My Cancer My Choices honoured to receive The King’s Award for Voluntary Service
We are thrilled to announce My Cancer My Choices has been awarded the highly prestigious King’s Award for Voluntary Service today. The King’s Award for Voluntary Service is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary organisations, awarded for life, and a huge honour.
Congratulations to every one of our volunteers – past and present – on achieving this award!
Receiving this award is a huge testament to the unwavering dedication and selflessness of our fabulous volunteer team over the years. Their time, effort and generosity of spirit have been the driving force behind our success, and we are eternally grateful for the positive impact they have made and continue to make on people living with cancer in Berkshire.
The charity’s CEO, Claire Rhodes, says, “This award belongs to all our volunteers, and is a recognition of the collective passion that defines our volunteer community – a passion shared across our admin and marketing volunteers, our fundraisers, our trustees, our meeter greeters and our therapists. We currently have over 65 volunteers delivering our mission; empowering local people with cancer and giving them choices to improve their mental and physical wellbeing. Without them we would not be able to achieve the impact that we do. A huge congratulations and thank you to all our volunteers – I am delighted their efforts have been recognised in the highest way.”
Our founder, Mandy Barter, responds to this incredible news here.
The MCMC volunteers make a significant impact on the service user’s experience, as acknowledged by Claire Grove, who benefitted from our therapies; “I can’t stress enough how much of a difference the My Cancer My Choices volunteers make. From the greetings I got when I attended sessions, to the therapies I received, I felt embraced by everyone I met. The gratitude I feel to those volunteers, as well as the ones who work behind the scenes to ensure therapy sessions are well organised and booked, and to the volunteers who fundraise for such a valuable service, is immense. They all help make a very stressful and difficult time with cancer, more manageable. They helped me feel more human and less like a patient.”
And the MCMC team also feel the benefits of donating their skills and time. “When patients tell me how relaxed they feel after a massage or reflexology session, I know it is making a real difference to their well-being. I can’t think of any better way to use my skills and experience in oncology massage than to volunteer with My Cancer My Choices. It’s always a privilege to see the changes in patients even after one session. It is truly rewarding. As a volunteer with My Cancer My Choices, I feel recognised and supported as a valued member of the team,” remarked Anne Thomas, MCMC volunteer therapist.
MCMC was registered as a charity in 2015, and since then has supported over 2000 people with cancer, delivering over 7,500 treatments and 65 courses across Berkshire. Volunteers currently donate around 700 hours a month to help deliver therapies at the MCMC office in Charvil (Wokingham), in Deanwood Park (West Berks), at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine (Reading) and at Bracknell Healthspace, as well as virtually, with a view to making the service accessible to as many people as possible.
We are receiving one of only two being awarded in Berkshire this year. Representatives of My Cancer My Choices will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mr Andrew Try, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire in early spring 2024. In addition, two volunteers from the charity will be invited to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace next summer.