Find out more about our volunteer coordinator Sheila
- Tell us a bit about your job as volunteer coordinator at Prevent Breast Cancer.
As volunteer coordinator, I look after over 50 volunteers! I set up rotas, send out newsletters, sort out training and paperwork and arrange volunteer support for some of the events we put on. I also plan socials, thank you events and day trips. As the coffee bar and welcome desk at the centre are run solely by our volunteers, I’m responsible for overseeing the smooth running of that, too. It’s a diverse role!
- What makes you so passionate about the charity?
I’m hugely passionate about Prevent Breast Cancer’s cause. Many of our volunteers have been through breast cancer themselves and hearing their stories really reminds me how important our work is. I come into contact with patients daily and it’s always heart-warming to hear that our volunteers take time to listen and help.
- What’s your favourite part of your job?
I really can’t think of one favourite part – I enjoy it all!
- Has there been any particular highlight?
Before coming to Prevent Breast Cancer, I ran my own clothing business for over 21 years and when I stopped, after a year’s retirement, I decided I wanted to work for a charity. I was put in touch with the charity through my friend’s daughter and started as a volunteer, before becoming volunteer coordinator on a temporary basis. A few months after starting, I organised an afternoon tea to thank the volunteers at which Nikki, our executive director, announced that I was now a permanent member of the team. I was astounded by the wonderful response from the volunteers and the rousing welcome I received. I was overwhelmed by the good wishes and hugs – that has to be a highlight!
- Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My parents have always been my biggest inspiration. Their strong work ethos has been instilled in me and my siblings, along with their valuable life lessons: always do your best in life, do good to others and help those in need, whether by actions or words of encouragement. Sadly, my dad passed away a year after my 39-year-old brother – both from cancer. At 84, my mum continues to look after others, cooking when she can and taking food to elderly neighbours!
I also have to mention Morag Siller, whom I met for the first and only time at the Funkraiser ball in 2016. Her presence on the stage while telling her life story made me re-evaluate my life.
- If you weren’t in this job, what might you be doing?
I’d probably return to ‘retirement’, although I like to keep busy so I’d probably spend a lot of it travelling!
- What do you like doing outside of work?
This might sound boring, but one of my favourite things to do is go to the gym, followed by a relaxing jacuzzi. I also like going to the cinema and theatre.
Family plays a huge part in my life and when I get together with our daughters to watch TV and chat throughout, it’s just like we’re on Gogglebox – we’ve even thought of applying! I also love spending time with our two teenage grandchildren – when they can slot me into their busy social schedules, that is!
- Who would be your five dream dinner party guests?
- Oprah Winfrey, for her honesty and courage
- Audrey Hepburn, one of the great actresses of her time
- Richard Chamberlain, my idol from the ‘60s!
- Jane Austin, who always made me smile while reading her books. I’d ask her what she makes of all the films and TV programmes that have been based on her books.
- Piers Morgan – his interaction with the other guests would be interesting!
- What’s on the top of your bucket list?
I’d like to travel to so many places, but the top of my list would have to be the Indian coastline.
- What’s your claim to fame?
While at school, I was an extra in an MGM film just before sitting my A-levels. Cornel Wilde directed it and it starred Wendy Richards, Lynn Frederick and Nigel Davenport. Eating meals with them on outdoor locations in the Lake District was surreal!