Volunteers’ Week Day 2 — Judith PearsonPosted on 2nd June 2016 by Impetus
Volunteer’s Name: Judith Pearson
Which Impetus service they volunteer for: Macmillan-Impetus Cancer Advocacy service
What do they do?
Macmillan-Impetus Cancer Advocacy is a new service providing independent advocacy to adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems, autism, and older people who are affected by cancer in association with Macmillan.
Judith was the first Impetus volunteer to be matched with a client using the advocacy service when the project launched in July 2015. Her work sees her supporting clients who are affected by cancer in a variety of vital ways including health-related issues, cancer-related issues and significantly, any number of life issues a client may face.
With one particular client, Judith was assisting with a number of key aspects of their recovery and realised that the client had no central heating. Alongside her usual support work with the client, Judith liaised with the Housing Association and was able to secure all the relevant funding and paperwork to install vital heating in this person’s home in time for winter.
Another client who Judith worked with suffers from mental health issues and needed to apply for and complete paperwork to move to sheltered housing. However, the client’s health complications and their anxiety have prevented them from completing this necessary work and so Judith has worked tirelessly with them to ensure it is completed without it becoming too stressful and impacting the rest of their recovery. Judith has done this by allowing the client the space they need from difficult processes like this while also encouraging them and providing constant support. The client will be attending a meeting to complete the move soon and Judith will be going with them to ensure that everything is handed in and the important meeting does not become too stressful for the client.
Judith’s work with Macmillan-Impetus Cancer Advocacy clients is special because Judith herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and so has been through all of the things the clients are struggling with. Her ability to empathise with the clients and provide personal support has been essential for some of the clients she has worked with.
Who do they volunteer with?
A large number of people affected by cancer suffer from anxiety and depression but are not prepared for how to deal with it in their conventional treatment, so having someone like Judith volunteering has been key for our clients. Judith is fantastic at explaining that anyone can feel these emotions while going through this life-changing disease. She has been vitally important for all of the clients she works with, especially those suffering from mental health conditions, as Judith is so great at reassuring people about their circumstances as a result of having been through a lot of the same changes they are going through. Judith has helped a number of people who initially felt they were coping badly and shown them that, with support and the right practical help, anyone can overcome the negative impact cancer has on how we all feel.