Voluntary Work Experience – Relay for Life

Cancer Research UK are advertising a range of volunteer positions available in Manchester giving you the chance of developing some real hard edged work skills, and some excellent experience for your CV, as part of their Relay for Life programme of events.

The idea for the 24 hour relay event was inspired by the scientists who are working round the clock to find new treatments and cures for cancer (including some of you postgrads out there). It’s not an athletic event, but a programme of community events in which anyone can take part to raise money and awareness of the work which needs to be done to support those who are and will be affected by cancer.

The University of Manchester / Cancer Research UK event has run successfully for the last few years at the Armitage Centre, organised primarily by a student volunteer committee – and they’re about to start recruiting for a new group to head up next year’s event.

It will run in April 09 (date to be finalised) with the final committee recruited in October this year. There are a range of general and specialist roles to fill :

  • Chair – managing committee meetings and liaising with the full time Volunteer Manager
  • Logistics – sorting out venue issues, contracts, risk assessments etc, a real events management role
  • Team recruitment – making sure people sign up to take part in the relay so lots of community engagement
  • Cancer awareness – finding creative ways to promote appropriate messages around the event
  • Accounting and Registration – anyone with finance skills, or who wants to go into finance might find this the ideal role
  • Survivorship – a challenging role, recruiting “guests of honour” for the day who have survived cancer, lots of people skills needed
  • Candle of Hope – planning and coordinating the ceremony which takes place on the day of the Relay, can be emotionally challenging
  • Press & PR – helping to raise awareness of the event and liaise with the press

Details of most of the committee roles are on the Relay for Life web page about committee roles.

If you are interested in finding out more or applying, get in contact with Laura Watts, the Area Volunteer Manager at laura.watts@cancer.org.uk, or on 07887 502 605.

Selection is by informal interview and training will take place in August this year (and also later if required) with commitment to monthly meetings from about October to Christmas. Then things hot up with fortnightly meetings – and it will get a bit manic the week or two before the event in April. However, if you’re organised, it is possible to fit it into a busy schedule – just ask Laura, who was Chair of her local Relay whilst doing her finals at Lancaster University. Her success in achieving this can’t have hurt when it came to applying for the full-time paid role she now holds with Cancer Research UK.

As well as preparing you for a potential career in the voluntary sector, any of these roles would add considerably to your CV whilst making a real difference to the local community and those dealing with cancer everywhere.