Dungannon beauty therapist Kelly Armstrong, who lost her mum to cancer, started volunteering with Cancer Focus Northern Ireland earlier this year because she wants to help bring a smile to people’s faces during a difficult time.
Cancer Focus NI, which is celebrating its 50th year, says a big thank you to all their wonderful volunteers for all the invaluable work that they do as part of Volunteer Week, June 1-7.
Kelly volunteers every week at the Cancer Focus NI nail bar in the Mandeville Unit in Craigavon Hospital where she provides patients with complimentary
manicures, hand and arm massages.
“I just love volunteering in the clinic - to put a smile on someone's face who is feeling vulnerable and scared is priceless and it’s a privilege to be able to do that. Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves in life, no matter where they are on their journey,” Kelly said.
“I’ve always wanted to work with cancer patients. Cancer unfortunately affects so many, the journey is long and it’s filled with a rollercoaster of emotions along the way. When I was taking care of my mummy, giving her facials and painting her toes, I loved to see the delight on her face, words don't cover it. She had lung cancer which spread to her brain and sadly I had to say goodbye to her in August 2016.
“My dad has battled cancer twice, once in his throat, then in his lung.
“He has just completed London Marathon in 5 hours 24 with a quarter of his lung removed. I have empathy and an understanding of how cancer can affect patients and their families.
“Sometimes a smile can speak a thousand words when words are sometimes not welcome nor needed. My volunteer role at Cancer Focus NI allows me to give people that smile.”
Jade Knowles, volunteer coordinator for Cancer Focus NI, said: “Cancer Focus NI thank all their amazing volunteers who, like Kelly, support their work and help them to bring their vital services to cancer patients and their families across Northern Ireland.
“Our charity has been helping people for the last 50 years and there is no doubt that we couldn’t do our important work without the support of our volunteers. We have lots of different roles including administration, driving, fundraising, street collections and much more.
“If you have a few hours a week or month spare, please think of joining our dedicated team and help people at one of the toughest time of their lives.”
As well as caring for cancer patients and their families, Cancer Focus NI also provides a wide range of cancer prevention services, funds locally-based research and advocates for better health policy.
For more information about our nail bar or volunteering please contact Jade on 9066 3281 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cancerfocusni.org/volunteer
If you have concerns about cancer, speak to a specialist nurse on the Cancer Focus NI free NurseLine, 0800 783 3339.