Last week was National Volunteers’ Week, which is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people across the UK make through volunteering.
Volunteer services are especially valuable to the most vulnerable in our communities, and with many of these people strictly self-isolating at the moment, the help these volunteer services have provided have been more vital than ever – an absolute lifeline.
During National Volunteers’ Week, our volunteers at The Paul Popham Fund have been particularly inspirational in their devotion to helping people with kidney failure and inventing original ways to raise funds.
So, we’d like to thank them all and shine a light on some of our amazing volunteers…
Geraint has been a volunteer with PPF for 4 years. He is a kidney transplant recipient, husband, dad and grandad. As a Peer Mentor, Geraint has supported countless patients and regularly takes part in our support events and education days. He was also instrumental in setting up our ‘Walk for Health’ group. Prior to covid19, Geraint would organise and lead the monthly group walks and was working on setting up further groups in other Welsh cities and towns. Recently, Geraint organised a ‘Covid19 Sponsored Walk’ to raise funds for PPF. He walked 50,000 steps in his garden in one day, raising an enormous £1,900. Earlier this year, Geraint was nominated for the ‘Good Volunteer Award’ in the Evening Post Community Awards, an award we believe he certainly deserves. Unfortunately, the awards ceremony was postponed due to the virus, but we wish him luck at the rescheduled date in September. Thank you for your support over the past 4 years, Geraint!
Joe has been a volunteer for PPF for 2 years. He is a kidney transplant recipient and a doting husband and dad. Joe is also an ambulance driver; whose role is to transport kidney patients to and from dialysis. He has supported countless patients throughout his time with the charity, and despite his busy schedule, continues to regularly take part in our support events and education days. Last month Joe took part in a virtual cycle, cycling 120 miles to raise money for the kidney community in Wales, raising an impressive amount. Thank you for your continued support!
Helen has been a volunteer with PPF for 3 years. She is a dialysis patient and performs her own Nocturnal Haemodialysis treatment at home. Despite her own health difficulties, she has supported countless patients throughout her time with us, and regularly supports the charity at our support events and education days. Helen also regularly assists with our volunteer recruitment events and community collections. Helen is a wonderful advocate for home dialysis and uses her experience to support other patients to lead a better quality of life. Thank you for your continued support Helen!
Pat has been a volunteer with PPF for 2 years. Pat cared for her husband Brian, who before he sadly passed away, was a dialysis patient undergoing peritoneal dialysis. Pat is also a doting mum and grandmother. Pat leads a very full and active life, taking part in many community and social projects. However, she still finds the time to support us and regularly takes part in our support and patient education events. Throughout her time with PPF, Pat has supported countless patients through our Peer Mentor Service. She was also instrumental in setting up our ‘Christmas Card Competition’ and dedicates a vast amount of time to organise the project every year. Thank you for your continued support, Pat!
Mike joined the charity last year as volunteer Peer Mentor. Mike is a cousin of Paul Popham so has personal experience of supporting a family member who has kidney disease. Mike is also a retired social worker and provides advice and support to patients & families throughout Wales. Mike has become an invaluable part of our team and is always happy to help us to support patients. Thank you for your continued support, Mike!
Jamie joined the charity last year. He is a kidney transplant recipient and also has experience of haemodialysis. Jamie’s story is quite remarkable – he is an avid walker and built an online friendship with a fellow walker over twitter. His friend, Jeff, then courageously donated his kidney to Jamie. Despite his busy schedule of working full time and completing a PhD, Jamie has supported the charity with countless events over the past year and has provided support to many patients. Last year he also arranged a fundraising campaign with his employer, raising an incredible £3416.00 for our Peer Support service. Thank you for your continued support, Jamie!
David has been a volunteer with the charity for 3 years. He is a kidney transplant recipient, prior to which he was the first patient to receive nocturnal dialysis in Wales. David uses his personal experience to support patients to lead a better quality of life and has provided support to countless patients over the years. He also sits on our board of trustees and assists us with the management and development of our services. Thank you for your continued support, David!
Lynda joined the charity last year. She is a patient on haemodialysis and travels to the hospital three times a week to receive her treatment. Since joining us, Lynda has supported countless patients through our Peer Mentor service and has supported us with many patient support events, recruitment days and education days. Lynda has also set-up a Kidney Café in her local area and through this provides support to kidney patients in her local area. In addition to the support Lynda provides to patients, she also regularly assists the charity with fundraising events, and has organised various raffles and collection events in aid of PPF over the past months. Thank you for your continued support, Lynda!
Amanda has been volunteering for the charity for 2 years. She is a counselling student and provides counselling support to patients & families through our counselling service. Despite her busy timetable, Amanda has also supported us with various events and functions over the past 2 years and is always willing to help. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Amanda has also generously given up her spare time to volunteer on our Careline, taking calls from kidney patients & families affected by the pandemic. Thank you for your continued support, Amanda!