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UCLan student wins national volunteering award

25 November 2015

Amy-Louise Thompson

UCLan master’s student is recognised for outstanding contribution to hospice  

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student has chatted, cared and entertained his way to being an award-winning volunteer for national hospice and neurological care charity, Sue Ryder.

Cameron Struthers, who is currently studying for his pre-registration master's in nursing, won the Young Volunteer of the Year Award for his work with Sue Ryder – Cuerden Hall; a specialist neurological care centre in Preston.

The 24 year-old said: “It was a pleasure to be nominated for the award, I didn’t even know my name had been put forward, the volunteering co-ordinator nominated me for the positive relationships I’ve made since I started there.”

 

“Sue Ryder – Cuerden Hall has a charity shop and a bookshop on site, so there is plenty to get involved in. I helped to run activities and days out for the residents and those visiting for respite."

Cameron, who has volunteered for the charity for eight months, said: “Sue Ryder – Cuerden Hall has a charity shop and a bookshop on site, so there is plenty to get involved in. I helped to run activities and days out for the residents and those visiting for respite. We had great fun painting, drawing, and listening to singers who came in to visit us. I wish I’d have known about Cuerden Hall sooner; the staff and residents were so lovely, right from the very beginning.”

When living in Monmouth, in South Wales, Cameron was heavily involved in the local community, including being a qualified rowing coach and being voted on to a committee which addresses the effects of governmental changes on children and young people. So he wasted no time in getting stuck in at the neurological care centre.

He said: “Although as a volunteer I had no nursing training, I made sure that I was as involved as possible with the day to day care of the residents, just helping them through their routine made for a very positive relationship between the volunteers, staff and the residents.”

Working with the charity affirmed Cameron’s lifelong interest in society, people and the human body. With a mum who has been diagnosed with MS, Cameron has great empathy for the caring profession. He said: “There wasn’t one eureka moment, it was lots of little elements that came together to drive me towards this career path.”

 

“If I can leave you with any message it’s that you have more to offer than you think, if you can chat and make a cup of tea then volunteering is right for you.”

Now undertaking a three-year course in nursing, Cameron will be equipped with all the clinical training he needs, along with a master’s degree, to continue what promises to be a very bright, and caring future. He added: “If I can leave you with any message it’s that you have more to offer than you think, if you can chat and make a cup of tea then volunteering is right for you.”

Laura Brewer, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at Sue Ryder’s Cuerden Hall, said: “In the short time he’s been with us Cameron has already become a friend to many of our residents. He has a natural ease with everybody; he jokes, laughs and knows how to listen. The conversations and relationships that our volunteers build with our residents are really important to their wellbeing, and Cameron is a shining example of how to do this well!”