In February 2011 I lost a good friend to cancer and I started doing bits and pieces of fundraising for various cancer charities. This helped me realise that I wanted to be a full time fundraiser so I started volunteering for Teenage Cancer Trust to build up my skills and learn from the professionals.

I joined the Newcastle Fundraising Group and flung myself into bag packs, events and admin work. I was able to look around the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Freeman Hospital and learnt how much the charity means to young people and their families.

I was then voted to become Team Leader, where I led monthly meetings, managed the group and worked closely with the Regional Fundraiser Zoe Hull. With Zoe’s help I started to apply for paid roles and was offered a job by The Cyrenians.

After several months the fundraiser who hired me said the one of the reasons I was hired was because I’d spent a year volunteering and working full time which showed commitment and enthusiasm. I would not have had the experience required for a fundraising position if I had not volunteered.

I would encourage anyone thinking about volunteering for Teenage Cancer Trust to do it. You will have fun, make friends and learn new skills that can be used in any role, not just fundraising. Most importantly you’ll be making a difference to young people diagnosed with cancer in your local area.