It's Volunteer Week 2023 - Time to celebrate & inspire

Volunteers Week from the 1st - 7th June is a wonderful opportunity to express our gratitude for the tremendous contributions of all our dedicated volunteers. We deeply appreciate their selflessness and the positive impact they make in the lives of those affected by Crohn's and Colitis. Their generous donation of time is invaluable, and we are thankful for each and every one of them, not just during this special week, but throughout the entire year. Their ongoing support is truly cherished.

With that being said, here's just a small selection of stories to reflect all our brilliant volunteers, so we can showcase what they get up to!


Why did you join our Young Adult Advisory Panel?

Since being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 9 years ago, Crohn’s & Colitis UK has made a huge difference to my life. From reading inspiring stories, to seeing multiple campaigns and innovative research studies develop, Crohn’s & Colitis UK gave me hope for my future with Ulcerative Colitis. So, when the opportunity arose to be part of the new Young Adults Advisory Panel, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to volunteer and be part of the change that Crohn’s & Colitis UK are hoping to create.

My role as Vice Chair on the Young Adults Advisory Panel involves attending panel meetings and providing strategic advice to the board of trustees when a young adults voice is required. I provide a sounding board for the Panel Chair and deputise for the Chair when necessary. I am also able to use my lived experience as a young adult with Ulcerative Colitis to feed into decision making and advocate for other young adults with Crohn's and Colitis.


What does volunteering at Crohn's & Colitis UK mean to you? 

Seeing my efforts, however slight, help out others with Crohn's or Colitis is extremely rewarding. Even if it's just a brief chat to share something I've been through, hearing that it benefits someone else really does make my day!

Because I have Crohn's Disease myself! I believe I can tap into the experiences I have living with Crohn's - especially through my teenage years - to help support others with Crohn's or Colitis. At the same time, I'm sure I can learn plenty from other volunteers too.


What's your experience of being a Research Champion volunteer?

I really wanted to give more of my time to helping improve the lives for people living with Crohn's and Colitis and those who may be newly diagnosed to navigate such an unpredictable condition.  Also, I had a keen interest in research and wanted to bridge the gap between the researchers and patients.

The role involves attending quarterly meetings with other Research Champions and the Crohn's & Colitis UK Research & Quality Improvement Officer, we share updates on our individual research studies, give opinions and ideas, participate in focus groups and reviewing documents and guidelines.  The role is always developing and evolving!

I love that I'm helping to make a difference for others and working with amazing other Research Champions.


What's the most rewarding part of being a volunteer?

The most rewarding part of being a volunteer for me is being able to offer support and encouragement to someone else who's living with Crohn's or Colitis. Chatting with them about their experiences and being inspired by some of the amazing things they are achieving. These encounters make the whole volunteering experience so worthwhile.

When you volunteer you get to meet so many fun and like-minded people all determined to give something back and make other peoples lives easier on the sometimes difficult path to managing this condition and getting the best out of life.

Most volunteers I've met reflect on how volunteering gives them a feeling that YOU are in control and not letting this disease get the better of you. If you can manage your condition and use your experience to help others manage their condition, you are having a fantastic positive impact and helping others. 


What inspired you to volunteer?

When I’ve needed advice, facts and to hear others’ experiences I’ve gone to Crohns & Colitis UK. Realising the benefit it’s given me made me want to get involved. Taking an active role allows some sense of control over the situation.

As a Reader Volunteer I get to ‘road test’ information sheets to make sure they serve the Crohn's and Colitis community in an accessible and effective format.


Kieran our fundraising event volunteer

What has been your favourite part about being a Fundraising Event volunteer?

My role was being a part of the cheer stand at the London Marathon. It was was brilliant meeting other people like me and also being a part of your fantastic team.

I really enjoyed cheering our runners on as they did an amazing job (I really do take my hat off to them for running 26 miles). I also enjoyed it that much I now want to be more involved in charity work. I’m very passionate about the charity as I’ve had my ups and downs with this disease and I want to help find a cure for our futures children’s children. If I had to recommend a charity to anyone it would be Crohn's & Colitis UK. Its a great charity and the staff are lovely to talk too .


Interested in becoming one of our volunteers?

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, develop new skills and make a difference to everyone affected by Crohn’s and Colitis. Click the button to find out more.


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Helpline service

Helpline
Service

We know it can be difficult to live with, or support someone living with these conditions. But you’re not alone. We provide up-to-date, evidence-based information and can support you to live well with Crohn’s or Colitis.

Our helpline team can help by:

  • Providing information about Crohn’s and Colitis.

  • Listening and talking through your situation.

  • Helping you to find support from others in the Crohn’s and Colitis community.

  • Signposting you to specialist organisations.

Please be aware we’re not medically or legally trained. We cannot provide detailed financial or benefits advice or specialist emotional support.

Please contact us via telephone, email or LiveChat - 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (except English bank holidays).

If you need specific medical advice about your condition, your GP or IBD team will be best placed to help.

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