Hello, my name is Julie Norman and I have been volunteering for The Brain Tumour Charity since October 2013.

This charity is close to my heart because 15 years ago on 2 June, I lost my mom to a brain tumour. My mom was only 62 and she was my best friend! 18 months after this, her close friend who she used to work with phoned me to say that she now had a brain tumour and within two years – she passed away.

Mom was taken into hospital on 10th April in 2000 and after three weeks of being treated for a stroke, a CT scan revealed that she had a brain tumour and that they believed it to be inoperable.A biopsy revealed that she had a grade 3 glioma. The hospital said that there was nothing they could do except to possibly offer radiotherapy to prolong long her life. Quality of life did not seem to be considered.

At that time, there was no information or support available. If you went to research on the internet, the only organisation was London based. We had nowhere to turn. I vowed then, that when I had the opportunity, I would do something towards ensuring that other families who found themselves in the same position as us, did not have to suffer in silence and could get the information they needed to help them cope.

On starting my volunteering with The Brain Tumour Charity I was offered any one of a possible four positions but the one I chose was to be a Collection Tin Co-ordinator as it meant that I could continue making the most of my outgoing skills as well as to continue to work as part of a team.

As a Collection Tin Co-ordinator it provides lots of variety of work as I spend time researching possible organisations who may be willing to help by allowing me to place a collection tin in their shop or business premises. Whether I research using a phone book, use the internet or simply go and visit towns and villages – there are many ways to find organisations willing to have a tin for the charity. Some of the most popular have proved to be tea shops, butchers, fish and chip shops, news agents and post offices.

I keep a note book of each tin number and who has accepted it, a letter is passed on to the organisation as a record for them so that they have a telephone number to contact for when the tin is full and therefore needs collecting and a record is kept for me and maintained on a database.When notified that the tin is full, I simply go and collect it back again and arrange to pass it on to my manager.When the money is banked, the organisation will receive a thank you letter and a certificate.

What I enjoy most about working for the charity is that it provides you with a 'feel good feeling' and the variety of things I get to do. The charity is so appreciative of all that you do, no matter how great or how small, and as a volunteer there is no pressure.

There are other ways to help during the year so although my main job is placing the collection tins, each February I help other volunteers to prepare for the Joseph Foote Ball. This means that I get to work in a team for two weeks and get the variety of doing other jobs.

I cannot say that I have had any particular 'stand out' memories' but there are people you meet who either need our support or are just happy to help you to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause.

These tins help to fund research which is desperately needed to find a cure but in addition the information packs that are now available are excellent and so are the Information Days which, without our help to fund, would not exist! How I wish they had been available 15 years ago!