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Volunteer Development Scotland Ltd. (also known as Volunteer Scotland).
Charity registered in Scotland SC013740 and a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland, No. SC106743. Our registered Office is Jubilee House, Forthside Way, Stirling. FK8 1QZ

A fine example of volunteering through 3 generations

Isle of Lewis Cancer Research

Gran: My name is Marie Murray and I am 84 years old and I am a member of the Isle of Lewis Cancer Research Committee and have been for 44 years. I joined the Cancer Research Committee because my husband passed away from Cancer on the 4th February 1980. I was left with three children ages sixteen, eight and the youngest being just two and a half. Annice Scott, who was Door to Door collecting at the time came to my door asking me to donate to Cancer Research and I became very overwhelmed as it was just shortly after my husband had passed away. I then decided to join the committee and was determined to do all I could to collect money for Cancer Research. At the beginning, when I was a lot younger, I took part in all the volunteering opportunities that was going on. This would be Door to Door collecting, Sales of Work which also involved asking businesses to contribute, Coffee Mornings/Evenings, street collections, selling Christmas cards, selling raffles, Soup and Puddings and Thrift shops. We met monthly in the Lewis Hospital in the Education Unit and then we moved to the Western Isles Hospital and after Covid we now meet in the Failte Centre. In all of these fundraisers, I would take my daughter Anne along. Even at Primary school age, Anne had jobs such as working at the Book Stall at Sales of Work, and would help with Door to Door collections around the Cearns and the Napier Hill area. The friendships I have made over the years with those on the committee has been very valuable. We are a close hard-working committee with one aim – to raise as much money as we can for Cancer Research. We value one another and everyone has their own strengths and this is what makes the committee work well together under the guidance of our Chair, Amy Macaulay. Being part of a committee is hard work but there is so much fun and happy memories along the way. The generosity of those in our islands is overwhelming and this makes us determined to keep trying to fundraise. My role in Cancer Research has slowed down, due to my age. I have also had Cancer twice, so I know how vital it is to raise money for research into finding cures. I attend meetings when I am not looking after my grandson Harry and am involved more in counting of the cans from the shops and pubs. I have stepped back in order for Anne to be involved more. For anyone thinking about volunteering I would say don’t let age be a barrier. We can all play a part in doing our bit to volunteer in whatever charity that is close to our hearts. Being on the Isle of Lewis CRUK Committee has been a privilege and has played a very big part in my life over the years with fun times too.

Mum: My name is Anne Macphail and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved with Cancer Research. My mother joined the Isle of Lewis Committee when I was very young, and since childcare was an issue, she would take me along to every meeting and event. Many times, I found myself sitting through meetings, munching on sweets, absorbing everything that was discussed and secretly glad to stay up late on a school night. I was given little jobs to do at events – and I loved this responsibility. I felt as if I was part of the team. As I got older, more responsibility was given and I helped at events and although I didn’t attend meetings with my Mam I was still very much involved. Door to Door collecting was what I did with my best friend Lynn when we were old enough to do so. Our patch was the Cearns and Napier Hill area. We would have fun doing this and at times be a bit competitive as who could raise the most amount in their tin. The generosity of our island community never ceased to overwhelm us, especially when people contributed despite facing financial constraints themselves. In 1994 I went off to Aberdeen to Northern College to study to become a Primary Teacher. My involvement in CRUK was limited to supporting and helping when home on holidays. When I graduated in 1999 I officially joined the committee. I guess I was following in my Mam’s footsteps and I also wanted to make her proud and continue with the volunteering values she instilled in me. At that time, I was the youngest member of the committee but it soon started to grow as we encouraged others to join. We tried to think of new fundraising ideas that would encourage community involvement with an element of fun but with the main focus of raising money for CRUK. Being part of the Isle of Lewis committee has been very rewarding. The close friendships established over the years has been precious and in sad times when we have lost friends we have come together and supported one another. In the committee there are all ages and it is amazing to see everyone willing to play their part to fundraise for a charity that is close to their hearts.We have had so much fun when planning our events and on the day of our events. The Ladies Lunch being one of my main highlights, where we get to glam up, have a fabulous day and know that everyone in the room is having a brilliant time while raising an amazing amount for CRUK. Another highlight for me was when we decided to do the Call the Midwife float. What fun and laughter we had that day! This was all about community spirit and it was just us highlighting CRUK and enjoying being with one another. We won best float and then after Tweeting our event, the Call the Midwife team shared on their Twitter and Facebook page our photographs.

It’s not all glam though!!! There is hard work and commitment and our calendar can be full with upcoming events. There are many times we can be found washing dishes, making soups and puddings and collecting in the pouring rain and snow!! I love it though and can’t imagine what life would be like not being involved with this wonderful group of people.I have recently taken over the role of Secretary and have big shoes to fill, as Catherine Gomez is taking a break from the role. I am also an admin for our FB page which shares events and gives updates on how much we have raised. We meet monthly, under the guidance of our Chair Amy Macaulay in the Failte Centre to discuss and plan upcoming events. I would encourage volunteering and would suggest to anyone to find a group that holds a personal significance to them and integrate it into their life.

Daughter/grand daughter: My name is Lily Macphail and I am 18 years old currently studying Hospitality and Tourism at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. I was always attending Cancer Research events when I was younger. My Dad would bring me along to Sales of Work, Soup and Puddings so I could see what my Mam and Granny were doing. I enjoyed going to these events and loved meeting all of the committee members. Prior to the Ladies Lunch event there were always meetings held in my house while the Social Committee planned the day. It was great to try and be a part of this – but what was even better was finally being able to be old enough to attend the Ladies Lunch!! I have been involved in my own fundraising challenges for Cancer Research. My Dad, my best friend Kate and I had to cycle 300 miles in a month and although this was challenging with the Hebridean weather we managed it and raised £810 for CRUK.I also like being involved in the Women’s Cancer Challenge and enjoy the ethos being part of this event. When fundraising took a back step during COVID, the Women’s Cancer Challenge went ahead, where people could do it in their own area following the rules and regulations. I ran the 5k around Newmarket, where I live and raised £935 on my Just Giving Page for CRUK. A highlight for me in volunteering has to be selling raffles and collecting for CRUK with my Granny, it is special to do this together. I find it worthwhile and rewarding and although I have moved away to Aberdeen am always willing to help and support the Isle of Lewis Committee when am at home. When I do return home to live, I will follow in my Mam and Granny’s footsteps and become a member of the committee and work with the team to raise money for Cancer Research.