“I heard the State Program Manager for WA speaking at a dinner for the Australian Institute of Office Professionals and was instantly inspired to get involved. At the time my mum had also had a brush with breast cancer, which heightened my awareness of cancer. I approached the Program Manager and inquired if there was a team I could join in Bunbury and from that point I joined as a meet-and-greet volunteer.

You will always find time for what is important to you, and Look Good Feel Better is very important to me. I am a solo parent of a five-year-old girl and very fortunate to have my parents living close by. A lot of what I do with Look Good Feel Better is possible because of their immense support. My employer, also supports and encourages its employees to volunteer in their local communities.

There have been many memorable moments since joining the team, including winning the state and national volunteer awards! I do remember this one particular lady who came along to a workshop with a great deal of apprehension. I could sense she was not comfortable being there. She immediately resisted the colour of her eye-shadow palette and was not willing to go for something new.

I discreetly asked another participant if she wouldn’t mind swapping her palette, and she agreed. From that point on the woman who was once apprehensive, seemed transformed, knowing that we were there to truly help her. She relaxed and started to engage with the other participants and volunteers. Before the end of the workshop she announced to the group that she had decided to go for the big shave that afternoon. She had a lovely blonde bob and was so overwhelmed that she ended up in tears.

She is one patient among so many I have met in a similar situation, but her anxiety at the impending loss of her beautiful hair was all consuming and such an affirmation of the importance and value of our program.

To spend this personal time with ladies going through the biggest hurdles of their lives and to be able to give them tools to help them during this tumultuous time is such a privilege. It really is wonderful to be recognised and appreciated for doing something that I love.

For anyone interested in joining the volunteer team, know that passion and commitment are vital. You have to believe in what you’re doing to be able to help someone else believe it’s importance. Commitment is everything, particularly to your team. If I had to list one thing I value most about my team it would be reliability – knowing the volunteers will turn up to a workshop makes my job a pleasure.

I also love the philosophy of ‘paying it forward’. Volunteer not with the thought of what you’ll get back, but because of what you want and are able to give, and maybe someday you or someone you love will be the recipient of some help.

Make that call, get in touch with the program and ask how you can help! Being a Look Good Feel Better volunteer is so rewarding – the interaction with the workshop participants is such a privilege, and the wider networks you become part of is so enriching. We always need new volunteers, new blood and new ideas.”

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