What is the Someone Like Me service?
The Someone Like Me service matches people affected by breast cancer to a trained volunteer who has experienced similar situations and concerns and is there to help. The service is only open to people who have had a primary diagnosis, a genetic diagnosis, and to partners and family members of those affected. The volunteer will understand the issues they’re facing – whether it is concerns relating directly to the cancer, its treatment or to the physical or emotional impact on any area of life.
This service provides the opportunity for people to talk openly without worrying about the feelings of the person listening and ask any questions they like. Most of the support is offered by telephone, but some volunteers additionally provide support by email.
What skills and qualities do I need?
- To have had a diagnosis of primary breast cancer only in the last three years and be at least 6 months past the finish of active (hospital based) treatment; or had a genetic diagnosis that has increased your risk of developing breast cancer in the last three years and be at least 6 months past the finish of preventative treatment; or had a partner or close family member who has had a diagnosis of primary breast cancer
- In some situations we may accept applications from people that received their diagnosis longer than three years ago, especially if they have experiences differing to those of our current volunteers
- To be a good listener, both non-judgmental and non-directive, and able to show empathy and compassion when supporting someone
- To be willing and able to refer to your own experiences, being happy to answer questions about what things were like for you
What training and support will I receive?
- You will need to attend an initial 1 day face to face training followed by a series of teleconferences over three weeks with a small group of fellow volunteers and staff members
- You will be assigned an experienced volunteer as a mentor to help guide you through the early days of takings referrals then after 6 months a follow up training teleconference session
- Throughout the remainder of your time in the role, you will be expected to attend a minimum of one skills training session each year (usually by phone or on-line) to support you in delivering a quality service
- Support will be provided by the Someone Like Me staff team, as well as your regional Volunteer Co-ordinator
- Breast Cancer Care will reimburse all reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred for you to fulfil your role as a volunteer, subject to provision of appropriate receipts. This includes travel to training and reimbursement of phone calls to clients.
What commitment is required?
- As treatments are continuously advancing in the field of breast cancer it is natural that the number of clients a volunteer is asked to support will decrease over a time, particularly after three years. With this in mind we will review your role with you on a regular basis.
- The frequency of referrals depends on the requirements of clients so this will vary.
- You will be contacted when you are identified as being a suitable match to provide support. Calls are made from your own home, at a mutually convenient time for both you and the client.
- Working within Breast Cancer Care’s policies and guidelines, including respecting client confidentiality, equal opportunities and data protection
What will I gain from volunteering for the Someone Like Me service?
- The satisfaction of supporting individuals through their diagnosis of breast cancer and knowing that you have helped them through a difficult time.
Speaking to someone who had such a similar diagnosis and treatment, and who had felt all the things I was feeling, was absolutely invaluable. Unless you’ve been there, with the best will in the world, you can’t understand how breast cancer can affect you in so many different ways
The location is North of England, Scotland and London. Closing date for applications is Sunday August 11th but we reserve the right to bring this forward. Face to face training will take place in Glasgow Saturday 31 August, London Tuesday 3 September and Manchester Saturday 21 September.
To find out more please contact the Volunteer Hub on Volunteer.email@example.com or call 0114 263 648