Sarah Corkill is one of the hundreds of volunteers who supported our runners at this year’s London Marathon. As part of a series of blogs to celebrate this year’s Volunteers’ Week, we had a chat with Sarah about her experience on the day and why she wanted to get involved.
Tell me a bit about why you wanted to volunteer for Anthony Nolan.
My boyfriend, Eugene, lost his daughter to leukaemia, and has supported Anthony Nolan for over 10 years now.
I have run a couple of marathons myself but decided to take a break this year, so thought I would offer my support at the sidelines instead.
What does the role involve?
On the day, I was volunteering at the finish line. We met runners at the end of their race, congratulated them and took them back to the post-race reception.
There were a variety of reactions from the runners – some were glad it was over, some were chatty, some were quiet and some just wanted to sit down! It was a real mixture.
As I have run a couple of marathons before, I know what it’s like, so I could relate to what they were feeling. It was such an emotional day and it was lovely to hear all of the runners’ stories and why they were taking part.
How much of your time do you devote to volunteering?
I travelled down from the Isle of Man to volunteer on Marathon Day. There aren’t a lot events on the Isle of Man, so volunteering usually involves some travelling.
How do you benefit from volunteering?
It is wonderful to be able to give something back. When I was running, the support from the fundraising team was amazing and Eugene has been a supporter for so long that Anthony Nolan feels like family.
When I ran the marathon, the best thing on the day was the Anthony Nolan cheer points. Their support lifts you ups and helps you carry on – I wanted to be that support for another person.
I felt so proud standing on the finish line, and very fortunate to be involved in such a great day.
What do your friends and family think about your volunteering role?
They love it! We have fundraising events on the Isle of the Man, and they all get involved and are very supportive. My mum runs the raffle and my work holds dress-down days to raise money. It’s lovely when people ask me about Anthony Nolan and what we do – it’s great to have that conversation and raise awareness of joining the register.
Do you think volunteering is worthwhile?
Absolutely, definitely! Volunteering opens your eyes to how difficult it is for people who are in need of a transplant and how important Anthony Nolan’s work is.
I am on the donor register and it would be amazing to donate, but the chances are I am unlikely to be chosen. It’s great for me to be able to give back to Anthony Nolan in another way.
What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering for Anthony Nolan?
Definitely go for it! It’s only a day, or even a few hours, out of your life, but you gain so much. If everyone gave a little bit of their time, then the benefits would be huge.
For example, I was on the tube in an Anthony Nolan T-shirt and somebody asked me about it. I felt so proud talking about the charity and sharing the story behind it.
How you can help
Has Sarah inspired you to volunteer with Anthony Nolan? You can read more about our full range of volunteering roles here and find out about our current opportunities.