Humans of Wicklow: Eileen Earls – The love of volunteering for Wicklow Cancer Support

Wicklow Cancer Support strives to provide emotional and practical support to anyone affected by cancer in any way at all.

The group, which provides services such as counselling, meetings and hospital runs, is powered solely on the kindness and goodwill of its volunteers that steer the ship.

The many hours these volunteers put into driving, listening, chatting, fundraising or offering any support they can, is testament that extraordinary things happen when people join together.

While the support group prides itself on its volunteering culture, being grateful for everyone’s contributions big or small, there aren’t many names more synonymous with Wicklow Cancer Support than Eileen Earls.

Eileen has been the chair of the cancer support for many years and has always had a love for volunteering and helping people out in any way she can.

It was Eileen’s exposure to cancer through her relatives, most notably her husband, that encouraged her to try and make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families.

“I have always been interested in volunteering and previous to Wicklow Cancer Support I volunteered in Tallaght Chidrens Hospital supporting children in hospital and really enjoyed my time there.

“I got involved in Wicklow Cancer Support around the time my husband was diagnosed with Cancer and as there had been a history of cancer in his family I felt I might be of some help having gone through a lot of the worries and concerns while having treatment.

“I love volunteering and helping people it is so rewarding although in my situation sometimes very sad when at the end very bad news is given,” explained Earls.

Eileen continued to express her gratitude to a number of recent generous donations to the Cancer Support and mentioned while no further events are scheduled for October, a number of events are taking place in November where Wicklow Cancer Support would appreciate as much support as possible.

Earls also explained why Wicklow Cancer Support donated part of the sum received to Breast Cancer Research, highlighting it as an important research area due to the vast number of cases in Ireland.

“We did plan to have a Coffee Morning to raise awareness about Breast Cancer Month but due to the volume of work at the moment and also the fact that we already have a major fundraising event coming up in November, it is not planned. 

“However, at our last Committee Meeting it was discussed and as we were recently given a generous donation which we weren’t expecting, it was decided to donate part of that money to Breast Cancer Research which I feel is very important and they are also doing trojan work in their research,” explained Earls.

With it being Cancer Awareness Month, Eileen encouraged people to get involved by volunteering, emphasising that any contribution, large or small, makes a difference and is greatly appreciated by Wicklow Cancer Support and the families who use the support.

“I would always encourage people to volunteer.  We have had a lot of fundraising events in the local schools and while giving a talk there I always encourage the students when they have time to volunteer in whatever organisation they are interested in,” concluded Earls.

Wicklow Cancer Support offer emotional support and practical help to those whose lives have been affected by cancer, whether it is for the patients themselves or their family and friends.

Their services are free-of-charge to those who wish to avail of them, and your confidentiality is one of the top priorities. Whether you need transport to hospital or just a cup of tea and a chat in their open and welcoming hub, Wicklow Cancer Support are there to help as best they can.

Wicklow Cancer Support can be contacted at 0404 32696 or by email at wicklowcancersupport@gmail.com. More information on specific services is available at wicklowcancersupport.ie

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