Phil's story - Volunteers' week
I was diagnosed with a macro pituitary adenoma in October 1996. I had surgery to remove this, and gamma knife radiosurgery in 2002 when the tumour started to return - touch wood, that has been successful. I managed to maintain a full life of work and bringing up a family over the ensuing years; fortunately my steroids continued to function until 2014, when I finally went on to Hydrocortisone to accompany my long term testosterone, thyroxine and growth hormone replacement, and at that point I decided to step away from my 30 year career.
Joining The Foundation
The Pituitary Foundation was a young charity back in 1997, after I emerged from the operations. I happened to be living near Bristol, where it was first founded, and attended some helpful support group meetings at that time. It has always been good to know that the Foundation was there as a helping hand through the years. Once I stopped working full time and suddenly had lots of time to myself, I quickly determined that I would volunteer for the Foundation, if they would have me. I contacted the team and offered my time, and when a slot came up in the head office in Bristol for a volunteer I was delighted to take it up. I live in Bath, so it is only 45 minutes for me to be at the desk – which works fine if I avoid the worst of the rush hour!
My volunteer role
I have various largely administrative roles in the office, usually coming in once a week. I started with doing the thank you letters, which we send out to all the generous donors and fundraisers when we have received money, and I still do that. I have a background in accounting, so I also do several accounts related jobs - and we all muck in when there is a big mailing or preparation to do for major events.
I have worked in the office now for about four years and love my time there. The charity is fortunate to have a wonderful team of people running it, and it has been great to feel like a part of that team. It gives me great pleasure to do a bit for the excellent work that The Foundation does, as I know myself how important the helping hand and knowledge can be at challenging times.
Becoming a Trustee
I was delighted last year when I was approached to become a Trustee for the Foundation and was so pleased to join the Board in the New Year. This charity has become an important part of my life, and I am looking forward to trying to make a meaningful contribution for years to come. The charity depends on a huge team of volunteers across all of its many parts and services, and I am proud to be a small part of that team.