An army of more than 100 volunteers give their time to help the Mary How Trust for Cancer Prevention to continue its work.
They support the trust’s staff, allowing them to offer health screenings to people from all walks of life. Instead of charging a fee the service is available to everyone for a donation based on ability to pay.
Jan Mead has been helping as a receptionist at the trust’s base in Pulborough for around seven years, and loves her role meeting and greeting the clients. “I’m passionate about it,” she says. “I chat to them and check that they’ve done everything they need to do before the appointments, that they’ve brought the samples and have filled in all the paperwork. I make them comfortable and can explain how it all works and how long it will take.
“I hear the most amazing stories from people, it’s so heartwarming. I hear how people have literally been saved because they’ve come to the Mary How Trust, and if they hadn’t they’d have been completely ignorant that something was wrong.”
Ian Weston became involved with the trust because his wife Gillian is the practice manager, and volunteered to do their PAT testing when he retired.
He tests electrical items donated to the trust’s charity shops in Billingshurst and Pulborough.
“There are many donations given to the Mary How Trust, and I do enjoy my volunteer work. I find it very rewarding.
“The trust’s success stories are well known. It’s a very good charity and it does magnificent work.”
Another valued volunteer is Phyllis Harlock, who has been a familiar face in the trust’s Pulborough charity shop since it opened 20 years ago.
“It’s such a good cause, and we’re very lucky to have so many donations,” she says. “We get lovely comments from people and we raise an amazing amount of money for the trust so it can carry on doing its work.”
Lesley Hutchinson has been volunteering for eight years, first as receptionist, then in the office when the paper files were replaced by an electronic database. She also looks after the collection tins that are placed in the community.
“The boxes bring in quite a lot of money, and I send out letters of appreciation for the money that is raised,” Lesley says. “It’s absolutely amazing that we have the Mary How Trust here in Pulborough and I wish more people knew about it.
“They’re very flexible, so if you have any time to give at all they can find something for you to help with, even if it’s just for an hour or two.”
This year the Mary How Trust is marking its 30th anniversary, and this newspaper is backing its £30 for 30 Years appeal. It’s aiming to raise £30,000 – the amount it costs to run its lab for a year. It has already raised an amazing £30,000 for a new ultrasound machine thanks to your support. To make a donation, find out about volunteering opportunities or request a screening, visit www.maryhowtrust.org.