Where I am?: Barra corporativa / Volunteers / Volunteers stories
Joan Hunt and Eileen Wiggett, a volunteer since 1994

Volunteers come to work with us for diverse reasons and may end up in a variety of roles. At the last review at the end of 2007, we had more than 600 volunteers working for Cudeca. By far the busiest area is providing staff for the Charity Shops, where we have 450 helpers, who are supported by 12 drivers who transport goods around the shops. Next is Fundraising, which has a pool of over 100 people who help with events such as the Walkathon, Light a Light and Sunflower appeal (and many more). Patient Care currently has 33 helpers in the Day Centre, 7 helpers with the Home Care teams, 6 helping with administration and 19 drivers taking patients to and from the Hospice. In addition, there are 10 volunteers providing assistance with administrative and clerical activities. 

Gracia Talavera Franquelo

Hello! I'm Gracia Talavera Franquelo. The way I started as a Shop volunteer for the Cudeca Foundation was very easy and pleasant. One day, I went into the Shop by the Arroyo de la Miel train station, when to my surprise I met up with Elena, we stood talking for a while and I told her that I had lost my husband to cancer a year ago, apart from being sad at the news, her words to me were: “What you need is to come here, you'll see how it will help you, you won't forget, but you'll keep your mind occupied, come along another day and we'll let you know what day you're working”. So that's how I started on the 21st of September 1997. What have I gained from helping in the shop? It makes me feel good, it gives me another meaning to my life and I help out in a small way for a good cause. For me it's a therapy, it satisfies me, I meet people, I meet up with colleagues and I make friends. I give a few hours of my time for such a good cause. I work 3 days a week and I feel good. This will be the 14th year that I contribute to the Foundation and I feel good being a volunteer.

Mimma Bresciani Saino

My name if Mimma Bresciani Saino and since 1997 I form part of “Cudeca's army of volunteers”.
It happened by chance, a friend spoke to me of the NGO and I thought to myself, “I've got to do something useful”, I started and …... here I am, 14 years later!

Cudeca has helped me enormously to get over the loss of my husband who died in 1993. At the same time I think I've been of use to this wonderful cause and the help that it offers to the patients.
I forgot to say that I am Italian and have just had my 80th birthday!

As long as I have good health and am lucid, I look forward to continue supporting this wonderful cause.

I'd like to encourage those who have time to spare to become a volunteer, it's serious work and useful to both others and oneself.

Justa de Dios

Apart from the Inpatient Unit and Day Centre there are different departments in administration, fund raising, events etc. where volunteers work. The latter is where I decided to give some of my time and work experience, to do something for others. I give a few hours one day a week, but those hours are very special for me, it is my "special day", it helps me spend the rest of the week with my mind occupied, full of projects and activities.

In Cudeca I have found a large family who give me love and care, that’s without counting on the contact and interchange of ideas with younger people, they, (without knowing) awaken in me my self-esteem to improve and perfect my knowledge which, in some cases, had become outdated.

Thank you to all my friends in Cudeca where I hope to continue to have many more happy times.

Pepe Martínez, Joan Hunt and Mecedes Muñoz
Both of us, Mercedes Muñoz and Pepe Martínez (the writer) have formed a part of the volunteer team since the year 2002. When we retired, we came to live to Fuengirola and got in touch with CUDECA. We wanted to help out with a charity whose aim was to help the weaker section of out society: the sick. We wanted to belong to a group where we would feel a part of it. For this and other personal reasons we found our way to what is today the Cudeca Foundation.
We have been very fortunate is supporting an excellent organisation with clear objectives and offering real help to persons suffering from advanced cancer. The charity is let by Joan Hunt, a lady with valuable business and human qualities. The Medical Director is Dr. Marisa Martín and the Financial Director Rafael Olalla.
This is a democratic organisation where money plays an important role as it is used to care for the patient’s needs, as all the care offered is free.
In CUDECA transparency is of prime importance, from the way the income is controlled in the Fundraising Dept., to its administration and the way it is spent. We must be realistic in that the economic aspect is the backbone that maintains any initiative.
We have seen this charity grow over ten years as volunteers. The charity shops form an important part of the moneys raised. Mercedes has been helping out every Thursday in the Artesano Charity Shop in Arroyo de la Miel for these last ten years, together with her workmate Matilde, who happened to introduce us to Cudeca. We have helped out in the first Walkathons, which continues to grow every year. We may even compete “sine Díe” with the New York Marathon! During the Sunflower Campaign, we always shake tins at the Corpus Christi day in Benalmadena Pueblo, as well as supporting many other events during the course of the year.
Over the years, we have seen this Charity grow, overcoming obstacles with determination and consistency.
I think that the mixture of British and Spanish people is in great part the reason for the support and recognition received from the community which we serve.
I would like to emphasise a point which I consider important and that is the time dedicated to training carried out by the Medical Dept., either as Cudeca initiatives, organising courses, or with the support of medical concerns specialising in palliative care. Training in any field is what makes the world progress.
Ten years on, we are still here, perhaps with a little less energy but with the same enthusiasm, because, as we see it, “This is just the beginning”.
Maura T. Kinahan

When I gave up full time work a few years ago, I decided to do some volunteer work. As I knew of the great work that Cudeca was doing, I approached them and was accepted to work in the Hospice Centre in Arroyo de la Miel.

I love the variety of tasks I have to do; every day I have something different and interesting to do. I am never bored and most important of all, there is no stress. Everyone is so bright and cheerful and easy to work with.

Working at the centre gives me a sense of well being I find hard to put into words. Being a Cudeca volunteer makes me feel good and satisfied. I always go home happy after a day's work. Thank you Cudeca.

Pat Palmer

Since 1991, my husband Colin and I hav e have been fundraising for cancer research and after-care in the UK.  In 2002, we we decided to retire and move to Spain, but still support the charity as many of our family and close friends have been affected by the illness.

Having always been involved with craft work, I was delighted when Cudeca accepted the cards that I make as items that could be sold in the charity shops. After gaining confidence through the card making activities, I also took on the role of "tin-soldier" and have twenty tins along the coast. We also enjoy helping with Sunflower Week and and this year took part  in the Walkathon, raising €588 thanks to the support and contributions from many bars and restaurants.

The real satisfaction for us is giving time to others less fortunate than ourselves.

Jean & Kate

I have been with Cudeca for around 8 years, with the last 18 months in the day centre. This entails direct contact with patients and I can only say that this has given me tremendous joy. I work in the hairdressing salon with Kate – and the transformations that take place in there are amazing. To see the pleasure and contentment on a patient´s face as they leave with a new hairstyle and a little make-up (ladies only for the make up!) is so rewarding. We also give manicures and pedicures.

I first worked for Cudeca in the Torremolinos charity shop, and, since May, I have been working there each week as well as working in the Day Centre. This August we decided to try to open the shop every day as we were very aware of Cudeca´s financial situation. Although this has entailed working for three days in some weeks, we have managed it – all but a couple of days. I look forward to the Day Centre re-opening after the August break and meeting up with friends both old and new.

If you have a few hours a week to spare, please consider joining the "Cudeca family". There will be something you would enjoy doing and you will be made very welcome.

Avenida del Cosmos, s/n
29631 - Arroyo de la Miel
Málaga, Spain
Telephone:(0034)952 56 49 10

Registered Charity No. MA/728