” I want to give something back “

This must be the most overwhelming feeling that people get, when something life changing, happens to them. For me, it was the only thing I could think of, during weeks in my isolation room. How can I help these people that are keeping me alive? What on earth could I do, that could help them in some way? A very big question! It was almost impossible for me to do anything for myself,can you imagine how humble that can make you feel? Not only did they do it, they did it gladly!!

All that I could think of doing, was attempting to raise some money, for that ward, to hopefully purchase some extra equipment and enable them to help more people like me. I felt that it was a good scenario. Firstly, the ward would gain something, secondly, it would enable more patients to be helped, and thirdly, I would feel a lot better about myself!

Since working with the hospital, I have met so many other patients, family and friends, who are all doing the same thing, for the same reasons.It seems that this is a natural human reaction. If someone does something good for us, we want to reciprocate.It gives us a form of satisfaction. For some people, it can bring closure. It can be the end of a very long health journey, with whatever outcome. They do their fundraising, and that is the end of that chapter. For others, it can be just the start of another journey.

Fundraising can become addictive. It is very difficult initially, as you have a vision, and normally it is very personal, it is difficult for others to see the same. But generally people are carried along on your wave of passion. Once the money starts coming in, and your target becomes more achievable, many people, increase their target and become more ambitious. For a lot of people, giving and raising money is their preferred option of giving something back.

There are however otherways of giving something back, and the next most popular way, is by volunteering.There is a massive contrast between this method, and fundraising. In most instances, this involves giving up a slice of your personal time, and going to a place and doing some form of work, with other people. This can involve anything from basic office tasks, to helping patients in some way. This is a direct way of giving something back.

For many people this might be the more difficult option, as there is very little time left after doing your paid job. However, for people like me who struggle with their health, they may be able to volunteer, with a flexible programme to work around their own issues.Charities, are much more aware now, that volunteering is becoming more popular, and are looking into new ways of working, to provide opportunities for people to volunteer, out of normal office hours.

In my role as Volunteer Coordinator, I speak to so many people every week, who want to offer their skills, unpaid, just to give something back. Maybe for care that they or their relatives have received, or maybe they have just reached a stage in their life, when they feel that they feel that they would like to do some good, and help others, for no financial reward.

There are many other reasons that people volunteer, but in my experience, the vast majority, want to repay something in some way.Volunteering is a great way to further a cause, support an organisation and make a difference in your community. It can also be an opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills. If you’d like to give something besides money, consider lending your time and talents to organizations that are important to you.

According to statistics, more than 10million people in the UK, volunteer regularly at least once a month. It has been said that if everyone stopped volunteering, that the country would quickly grind to a halt. Think of all the good causes around the country, that help millions of people, that all rely on the goodwill of people with that, wanting to give something back feeling!

Personally, that feeling has never left me, and the more I give, the more I want to give!! What about you?


  1. Chris.I have felt this too, that when I am through this I want to give something back, haven’t yet decided what I want to do but I want to make a difference, change even.

  2. Hi Shirley
    As I said above, it is a very common feeling. I felt extremely humbled by the care and attention that I received, and it is a natural reaction in most people, to want to help.

    I wanted to change the world quickly, but soon learned, that I had to be fixed myself, before I could help anyone else. All sorts of emotions will be running through your head at the moment, but from my experiences I learned, that the time will be obvious to you, when you are ready, both physically and mentally.

    There is nothing to stop you writing ideas, and doing some research, but your main focus has to be you. It sounds slightly selfish, but it isn’t. I treated recovery as a job of work, and was fully focused on what I had to do. Then everything else will fall into line.

    Many thanks for taking the time to write about what you feel. That is what makes this blog truly effective, is the mix of experiences that we can all learn from. Keep them coming please!

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