News & blogs Blogs Haven heroes Somewhere she could be at ease and understood I became a Breast Cancer Haven volunteer because I wanted to support my friend Victoria, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at thirty- two. It can be hard to feel as though you are doing something, anything that is truly helpful, when someone is undergoing treatment for breast cancer (or any cancer). Myself and the rest of Victoria’s family and friends wanted to do everything we could do be there for her and help her through diagnosis, treatment and onwards. There are many different ways of doing this and different people will be good at different things. In the initial stages, I think we all felt lost (though we may not have showed it). This was particularly due to Victoria being so young and our - fortunate - lack of first-hand experience of someone in our circle being diagnosed. Victoria had an amazing approach from the outset and she was extremely focused on getting through each part of the treatment process; I was very humbled by her positive attitude. There is no doubt though that at times she felt like she was floating in a sea and had never learnt how to swim - on her blog she described herself as feeling in 'Wonderland'. I noticed a real change in Victoria when she first went to Breast Cancer Haven, it was like she had finally found the people who could help her with everything she needed beyond her treatment plan. It also gave her somewhere she could be completely at ease and understood - to breathe out - and, I think, to have a rest from being strong for her loved ones. To that end, when Victoria asked if I would help her with her volunteering at Breast Cancer Haven I said yes, of course I would. I could tell it was extremely important to her to be part of the Haven not only as a visitor, but as someone who helped raise funds and increased awareness of Breast Cancer Haven's work. It aided more people like her in finding somewhere to go and to find help and friendship. My first volunteering experience was at the Summer party held at the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden. I can honestly say, not only did I have enormous fun, but I felt extremely grateful to have been welcomed so warmly and to have been able to help. When you start meeting other volunteers, particularly those who have undergone treatment or whose loved ones have, and hearing their stories about how BCH was their lifeboat in times of trouble, you really feel as though you want to help and do more. I have since been to fashion shows, Christmas events and quizzes to name a few and have always had a really wonderful time- with the added satisfaction that I am helping a charity. I know from experience it makes a huge difference to people when they need support most. I love being a Haven volunteer and am looking forward to my next adventure!