Volunteers’ Week | Maggie’s Swansea Volunteer, Ruth

8th June

Ruth Parkin has a full-time job at HSBC but gives up her time to help provide a friendly face and warm welcome at Maggie’s Swansea centre.

And Ruth was among those on hand to help oversee and play a part in Swansea City's dedicated Maggie's Matchday back in February. 

This Volunteers’ Week, the Swans are shining a spotlight on Ruth, and the many incredible people like her, who give up their time for Maggie’s Swansea in order to help the cancer support charity help those impacted by a diagnosis.

Over the course of the 2023-24 season, the Swans joined with Maggie’s to share stories from people who have experienced every aspect of a cancer journey, with the club's striking pink third shirt dedicated to the message that no-one fights cancer alone.

The campaign also shone a light on the wide range of services provided by Maggie's and showcased the work of their experts who are based at the centre situated in a secluded corner of the Singleton Hospital grounds.

But, this week, the focus turns to all those who give up their time and considerable skills for free in order to ensure the charity can keep providing its invaluable services for free.

“I’m from Swansea so I’ve known about Maggie’s for a number of years and I really enjoy volunteering here,” said Ruth.

“I volunteer in the capacity of working for HSBC along with a number of my staff. Maggie’s does such an amazing job of supporting people with cancer in such a variety of ways.

“It does so much for people, it’s somewhere everybody can come and relax and get support. Without volunteers, that wouldn’t be possible so it’s really important for us that we give something back to the community and give back our time to help others.

“A typical day can be varied. Sometimes we’re just in the reception welcoming people in, making cups of tea and coffee, sometimes we’re gardening in the allotment, and we also volunteer at their events.”

Ruth Maggie's Swansea

One of the events Ruth was front and centre for was the Swans’ Championship home match against Plymouth Argyle on February 3. The match was dedicated to Maggie’s Swansea with the bright orange colour of the charity on display right across the Swansea.com Stadium.

Ruth was among the volunteers who helped to run the information desk in the club shop, oversee the bucket collection, and fly the Maggie’s flag as part of the guard of honour.

“Myself and about eight of my team members came down for that day,” Ruth recalls.

“It was a really exciting day. We weren’t quite sure what to expect but the Swansea City fans were amazing, they were really generous. It was good teamwork from HSBC, Maggie’s and the Swans, and there was a really nice feel to it, and it was a really good and successful day.

Players warm up in Maggie's Warm up shirts with names of loved ones on the back

“I think the shirts with the names on the back, the stories from the team and the players and backroom staff just brought it all to life, and it was really nice to be part of.

“The more awareness that we can bring to Maggie’s through the club and through volunteering – that’s what it’s all about really.”

But it’s not just Maggie’s who benefit from Ruth – and those like her – who give up their time. Ruth feels she gets plenty from the experience as well.

“It’s so rewarding,” she added.

“It puts a smile on your face when you see what difference it can make to a charity, especially Maggie’s, where they do so much for people with cancer.

“When we volunteer, there is a great engagement with what we do and give back to the charity and you can see it makes a difference to people’s lives. 

“I think anyone who is thinking about volunteering, I’d really recommend it. It’s crucial really to enable charities like Maggie's to carry on.”