Humans of Leeds - The Stories behind the Volunteers

"I felt it was important to give back. Candlelighters provided the scaffolding when our world was crumbling around us and continue to do so. Helping there, is something I know my daughter would be proud of."

We recently teamed up with Humans of Leeds to tell the stories of volunteers and recognise their contribution to our communities.

The two stories below show just how important volunteering is for so many people and why they choose to give back to the organisations that helped them in their time of need.

Thank you Humans of Leeds for telling this important story and to these Candlelighters volunteer for helping so many others dealing with cancer.

“She was a normal, seven year old girl. She’d had one or two illnesses but nothing to worry about. I remember we were away in the Lake District for Mother’s day. She had a temperature but it didn’t stop her enjoying the weekend. The following week her breathing deteriorated and we were sent to hospital, where she was quickly admitted to Intensive Care. She was put in an induced coma on a life support machine. We were told her disease was extremely rare and it was apparent the next few weeks were going to be incredibly traumatic. It was like a horrendous roller-coaster of emotions. They started a course of chemotherapy and she gradually showed signs of improvement. Just as her condition seemed to be improving and we dared to dream of her chance for a recovery, she suffered a significant bleed to her brain and we were told to expect the worst. Nurses suggested we went home to rest as they tried to wake her from the coma and a couple of hours later we got a phone call. Apparently she had woken up, called the nurse over and asked, “Who are you? I’ve never met you before, how do I know I can trust you?” That sounded like her, we thought.

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“It didn’t really sink in for a long time. I was eighteen, I’d just left school and was starting an engineering apprenticeship. I had my own car and everything was going great. I felt like an adult, I felt independent. A few weeks in, I collapsed at work and was taken to A&E. Various tests later they said I was suffering from fatigue and told me to go home. I remember sleeping the entire weekend, and still feeling tired. A few days later I went to see my GP and he sent me to hospital. He was obsessed with my eyes for some reason. I was completely out of it, not really knowing what was going on. They sent me for an MRI scan and that’s when I first found out I had a brain tumour. 

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If you're interested in volunteering within the community, visit to find out more.


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