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Meet Alan.

Tenovus Cancer Care welcomes volunteers of all ages and walks of life in our shops. Alan, 65, has notched up two decades with us. Read how a chance buy at one of shops led him to sign up.

Long serving volunteer Alan might never have signed up if it hadn’t been for a head-turning 12-piece dinner set displayed in one of our Cardiff shops 20 years ago.

He’d been walking in Clifton Street with wife Pam when the blue and yellow leaf patterned set caught their eye in the shop window. They went inside to take a closer look, and the rest is history.

We bought the dinner set, but by the time we had left, we’d also decided to be volunteers. I don’t have the dinner service anymore, but what I do have are many happy memories volunteering with Pam at Tenovus Cancer Care."

Tragically, Pam passed away last year. Her sudden passing naturally came as a shock to Alan. They had been married for 40 years and went most places together.

I’ve always got a photo of Pam beside me in the shop on my desk. It’s been tough, and I really miss her.

Volunteering at the shop has helped me - it gets me out of bed in the morning and means I’m not in the house alone.

Pam and I have wonderful memories of being at Tenovus Cancer Care together – we loved the fundraising medieval banquets at Cardiff Castle, and the entertainment it provided.”

Alan and Pam moved to Cardiff from Essex in 1989 and soon fell in love with their new home and close-knit community with its “warm and friendly people."

Volunteering for Tenovus Cancer Care has also allowed Alan to indulge his passion for book.

His key role at Clifton Street is mainly behind the till, but he sometimes sorts through the book donations, helping to place them on the shelves.

Alan in shop

An avid reader, he likes most genres but prefers crime and murder mysteries. It was his love of a good story that led him and Pam to volunteer at their son’s school reading club, helping the children to read and to appreciate books.

At the Book Worm Club we used to read with the children before school started, including my son who was a fantastic reader.  Pam and I also spent three years in the classroom helping the teachers, and we loved it. We both enjoyed giving something back to the community, and I still do.”

Alan works at the Clifton Street two afternoons a week, and at Bangor Street some Sundays.

Clifton street

Tenovus Cancer Care is massively grateful to Alan, and his late wife Pam, for their dedicated years’ service.

As we celebrate 80 years helping people affected by cancer, we would like to say thank you to our wonderful volunteers at the heart of the charity and our communities.

If you would like to volunteer for Tenovus Cancer Care, you can click here.

If you or someone you love has been affected by cancer, our free Support Line is there for you. Just call 0808 808 1010