Fundraising News: Why I Give - Carl Palmer

Carl Palmer is a retired schoolteacher and was named Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year in July, in recognition of his 12 years' support for Marie Curie Cancer Care in Wales.

How did you become involved with Marie Curie Cancer Care? After my wife died from cancer at the Marie Curie Hospice in Penarth in 1992, I felt very demoralised and quit my job as a schoolteacher. I started gravitating towards the Holme Tower Marie Curie Centre, which I used to go to when my wife was being cared for. Everything there was familiar to me and I wanted to go back, so I decided to volunteer as a receptionist and later become involved in fundraising.

Have you taken part in any particular charitable activity recently ?

I have visited 30 schools since the beginning of term in September. I talk to children about the risks of cancer. I also have a quiz they can play at home, and ask their parents to give them 10p for Marie Curie for every question answered. I have been to 290 schools in South Wales since I started fundraising 10 years ago. I was the first Marie Curie school officer in the region.

How much money have you raised since you began volunteering for the charity?

£400,000 through schools fundraising, and it grows every year. Also, when I'm invited to do a talk at rotary clubs or a local church, I will sell objects that I make from wood. I raised £5,000 in 10 years through this activity.

What do you bring to people as a volunteer? I listen and talk to them.

I spend a lot of time at the Marie Curie Hospice in Penarth. I am a lay visitor with the hospice's chaplaincy team, and last month a patient asked me if I could give her communion. She looked so peaceful. I treasure these moments. As a volunteer it is a labour of love.

Are there any other charities you support financially, or with time?

I give to Sight Savers, Ethiopia Aid and some children's charities, but mainly to Marie Curie.

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