A MAYBOLE woman has spoken of her 40 years helping people in Ayrshire living with cancer has spoken about her experiences as the charity received a major award.

Yvonne Morrison is part of the volunteer team at Ayrshire Cancer Support, which was presented with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service this week.

Yvonne, who is now in her sixties, and who previously received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to charity, first volunteered with charity Ayrshire Cancer Support when she was in her early twenties, and in her own words has "made many great friends on this journey and most certainly became part of my life and who I am".

Yvonne told the Advertiser: "I initially volunteered to help with Ayrshire Cancer Support for six weeks at the beginning because the group were under pressure for volunteers.

"My friend asked if I would consider helping.

"I had four young children of my own and worked at Ayr Gaiety Theatre at the time.

"I helped during school times leading to five days and thanks to wonderful grandparents stepping in to help with the wee ones, I was able to become more involved with the group.

Ayr Advertiser:

"I was in my early twenties - I'm now in my sixties, and time has flown past.

"I have enjoyed every minute. It is very rewarding to have the opportunity to help other’s and most certainly aware of the fact even at the younger age to become a volunteer."

Yvonne is a dedicated grandmother to identical twins Freya and Darcey, and grandson Theo.

She is also a keen photographer who has donated her work to Ayrshire Cancer Support for the charity's annual calendars, meaning her pictures have hung on the walls of thousands of homes in the area over the years.

"I would encourage anyone of any age that can volunteer not to hesitate," Yvonne continued. 

"It’s so rewarding. It gives you self-worth and increases confidence. I never was a big mixer, I have to say.

"I've met people in many walks of life and learn so much from their amazing journeys, it put life into perspective, it makes the world a better place.

"I feel the more you do for others, the more you do for yourself, and when I’m talking to my patients many have said I should write a book.

"Maybe one day I will do that."