Tim Hughes - award-winning volunteer

In September 2006, I heard Wendi Stevens from Hope Against Cancer being interviewed on Radio Leicester, and as part of this she told listeners about their recent cycle challenge -Leicester to Paris. At the end of the interview she said: “If anyone is able to give a few hours a week of their time, the charity is in need of more volunteers.”

Having had a change of career – and in doing so freeing up my days as I was now working nights – I thought I could help out by stuffing envelopes, or answering the telephone, so I offered myself as a volunteer and nine years later,  I’m still here!

During my time with Hope, I’ve helped look after many of the office administrative jobs including the database, website and social media, been involved in two office moves. I have seen many volunteers come and go, helped out at and ran my own events, seen Wendi stand down and Nigel takeover as the Chief Executive and Leicester become a Cancer Research centre of Excellence, which Hope helped to achieve.

For me, the pleasure I can take from being a Hope volunteer, is seeing how much the charity has changed in the last nine years. It has moved from being a very small east Leicester charity, which hoped to make a difference – to now being a charity which is truly Leicestershire-based and is actually making a difference. It is a real credit to all who have been involved with Hope and also shows the direction and drive Nigel has given the charity.

Through my time as a volunteer, I have had the privilege to meet people who I normally wouldn’t have had the pleasure, honour or opportunity of meeting. I have also met those who have been less fortunate and I guess this is the main reason why I, and many others, support charities like Hope – in hope that one day a cure for cancer will be found.

I’ve been nominated of several awards through my employer, the Royal Mail, for my charity work and in June this year was awarded Royal Mail Logistic Community Champion for my charity work with Hope and also for Anthony Nolan.

To bring this full circle – after hearing about Hope’s 2006 cycle challenge, I took part in their 2008 and 2010 cycle challenges. In 2013 I organised the Clogs & Cleats cycle challenge and this year was responsible for Hope’s Italian Job cycle challenge, which involved over 70 riders cycling from Geneva to Milan. I am proud that the two cycle races I have organised have raised a lot of money for cancer research and introduced new friends and supporters to Hope Against Cancer.

The last nine years have being amazing and I feel privileged to have been part of Hope’s journey and that I have been able to help in a small way.

Thank you to all who have supported, showed faith in me and your friendship, it has been very much appreciated.