Debbie’s story

Thirty nine-year-old Debbie Ward-Johnstone, of East Malling in Kent, works as a Group Event Director and says volunteering is a wonderful way to spend some free time. Debbie has supported us since she was diagnosed with bowel cancer ten years ago.

Debbie Ward-Johnstone“I find volunteering a therapeutic way of overcoming my own personal journey of bowel cancer,” she says.  “If I can help one person I will feel like my journey was not for nothing. Plus the team always make it fun!”


Debbie fits volunteering around her schedule and loves to cheer on our marathon runners.


“It’s an amazing atmosphere,” she says, “and really good fun – feeling like you are helping people on their way to a successful marathon. I will never run one but do love to cheer with the megaphone!”


Debbie has also arranged fundraising ‘Up Yer Bum’ cabaret nights (with more to come soon), held pub quizzes, street collections and took part in a Boom Banger Rally Challenge.


She says: “It helps me give back to a charity that helped me at a dark time – knowing that by raising money I can help put a nurse behind a phone line, or support web forums, both of which patients and carers may rely on during their own journeys.


“My advice to anyone thinking of supporting Beating Bowel Cancer in this way would be to arrange volunteering activities that fit around your schedule so that it really works for you.


“And not only can you help support causes that rely on donations, but you can also make new friends. Most people tend to volunteer for organisations that have a personal link to them which makes them more passionate.


“However, if you’re thinking of volunteering and you have no preference you could join a charity support team for something that is “taboo” and help the shouts get louder!


“Have a look at the social media pages for ideas that you think sound fun, then get in touch and give it a go.”