7 June 2023

Interview with volunteer Dean Millar

Here at Southampton Hospitals Charity, our volunteers play a vital role in supporting our Charity, and we are so grateful to all of them. One of our amazing volunteers and fundraisers is Dean Millar. He has been volunteering and fundraising for us for several years now and supported us in many ways.

Read his interview to find out more about his experience and the amazing things he has achieved for us.

What does your role as a volunteer and fundraiser involve?

My role as a volunteer and fundraiser involves and has involved a variety of things, but, firstly, you must be passionate and committed to the cause you are fundraising and volunteering for. I have run half and full marathons for the Charity, recently running the Winchester Half Marathon and the ABP Southampton Marathon which happened in April this year.

Last year, I volunteered for the Southampton Legends (ex-football players) v Southampton Heroes (hospital staff) football match. My role was to sell raffle tickets to raise funds for Southampton Children’s Hospital.

I have organized goods donations for the ABP Southampton Marathon in 2018, 2019, 2022 and 2023 (sweets, water, and fruit) for the runners.

What are you currently doing now?

I am a store manager for the Southern Co-op, but also Area 6’s community champion. Southampton Hospitals Charity is my chosen Charity Partner, who I’ve supported since 2018.

After 40 years, I am leaving retail, soon to be a full-time fundraiser for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. My work fundraising and volunteering for Southampton Hospitals Charity has inspired me to work in the charity sector, and due to our good working relationship, I will continue to support the Southampton Hospitals Charity as well.

How long have you been a volunteer and fundraiser?

I have been a volunteer and fundraiser since 2018 when I set up Southampton Hospitals Charity as my charity partner, firstly at Southampton City Gateway Co-Op and Southampton High Street Co-Op from 2019, as well as several other stores in the Southampton area.

Over the years I have arranged raffles, ran marathons on behalf of Southampton Hospitals Charity, and money donations from the area. In the five years supporting the charity, we have raised approximately £20,000, a large part of that helped towards the building of the Children’s Emergency and Trauma Department (CETD).

What do you like about being a volunteer and fundraiser?

I love giving my time to help others and seeing how it brings people together. Every time I have run for Southampton Hospitals Charity, I have met some amazing supporters (fellow runners) who, like me, have a story to tell.

I ran the Winchester Marathon for my dad who passed in 2021 during Covid, who I didn’t get to see due to travel restrictions, as he lived in Spain. I get great satisfaction from seeing the amazing results achieved from the work I do and how it helps Southampton Hospitals Charity.

What has been your favourite moment?

There have been so many great moments, but the best moment was probably when I started to fundraise in 2018 to help raise funds for the new CETD for children. Seeing the end result when it was built was very rewarding.

Why Southampton Hospitals Charity specifically for volunteering and fundraising?

All three of my children were born at Princess Anne Hospital, and my mum was the reception manager at the Royal Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke, where my life was saved after going into a Diabetic coma, so supporting a hospital charity is something close to my heart.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of volunteering and fundraising for Southampton Hospitals Charity?

The work the charity team do is amazing, raising people’s awareness about how they’re trying to improve patient experience.

The communication with the team keeps me in the loop with any ongoing projects which I may be able to support, and if you can volunteer for the charity then do so, as it’s very rewarding.

Thank you!

We would like to thank Dean for taking the time to be interviewed and for sharing his experience as a volunteer.

If you would like to volunteer for us, there are many ways you can get involved. You could distribute money collection tins or volunteer at our events which offer numerous opportunities. Please contact fundraising@uhs.nhs.uk for more information.

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