Volunteers in Dorset have received regional recognition for their dedication to people diagnosed with cancer.

The Dorset Macmillan Advocacy team has won three awards in the South West region at the Macmillan Volunteer Awards.

the whole team received the 'Service Team of the Year Award', and founder volunteers Bob and Maddy Smith were awarded individually with the ‘The Sir Hugh Dundas Volunteer of the Year Award’ and 'The Deborah Hutton Award' respectively.

Furthermore, two of the projects’ long-standing volunteer members of the steering group, Graham Willets and Paul Hickman, were recognised by receiving 'Long Service Awards', for their dedication to Macmillan.

The Dorset Macmillan Advocacy team and Macmillan representatives came together to celebrate their success and take the opportunity to recognise the fantastic work of the project and the difference it makes for those older people in Dorset who are affected by cancer.

Dorset Macmillan Advocacy was founded in 2012 to support older people in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset affected by cancer and their carers and relatives. Since then, the team has supported more than 400 people. The service is delivered in partnership by the local charities Help and Care and Dorset Advocacy and is commissioned by Macmillan Cancer Support.

Formed by a group of four part-time staff and 25 strong volunteer team, Dorset Macmillan Advocacy offers support in urban and rural areas across the county. The peer volunteer advocates of Dorset Macmillan Advocacy come from all walks of life and many had cancer themselves or cared for others with cancer. The volunteers’ role is to provide one-to-one emotional and practical support to make the cancer journey of those they support the best it can be.

Mark Sharman, chief executive of Help and Care said: “We are delighted that our volunteers have been recognised. They are a truly remarkable team of people who step willingly into sometimes difficult situations to help others on their journey. The way they give their time, energy and knowledge, as well as their compassion to helping older people affected by cancer in Dorset is nothing short of extraordinary.”

Representatives from Dorset Advocacy, Help and Care and Macmillan spoke on the day to congratulate the volunteer team, and were also joined by a beneficiary of the service, who said that with without his advocate he would have felt quite alone in dealing with all of the issues that a diagnosis of cancer presents.

For more information visit dorsetmacmillanadvocacy.org