Macmillan Cancer Support

De Montfort University’s unique partnership with Macmillan delivers an innovative volunteer-led cancer support service in Leicester.The scheme brings together several of the University’s strategies; working together with our local community, improving the lives of people in Leicester and increasing the employability of our students.

DMU Macmillan volunteers undertake home visits to offer befriending and provide emotional and practical support to people affected by cancer. Offering a friendly chat or a listening ear can improve someone’s self-esteem and confidence as it helps to reduce some of the isolation associated with cancer.  Volunteers may also help with practical tasks such as shopping, housework or gardening for people who are currently unable to do these tasks themselves either because they have cancer or are caring for somebody with cancer.

Every day 10 people in Leicestershire hear the devastating news that they have cancer, and 5 people die from the illness. This will see Leicestershire’s population of people living with cancer increase to an estimated 48,000 in 2030.  Our fantastic initiative is making a real difference in Leicester and the partnership achieved national recognition when it was highlighted in the houses of parliament by Leicester West MP Liz Kendall.


  • The number of referrals more than doubled in 2017 since its first year in 2014
  • Last year we recorded a total of 228 referrals to the service
  • 211 referrals were to support cancer patients and 17 referrals to specifically support carers
  • 139 referrals came from health care professionals such as nurses, 34 were self-referrals, 9 referrals from social care professionals and 50 referrals made by other local charitable organisations such as CAB, Coping with Cancer, Age UK
  • 141 volunteers received training for Emotional and Practical Support role.  The actual number students who volunteered through the partnership is much higher as the figure does not include students that carried out other roles such as helping out at cancer awareness raising events or fundraising.
  • 968 interactions with people affected by cancer last year alone
  • £2,530 raised from DMU Macmillan Coffee Mornings

To find out more about this unique partnership, please contact Reema Sandhu

News Stories

16th January 2017 – DMU students offer care and compassion to cancer patients

12th January 2017 – DMU partnership with Macmillan leads to research into under-represented areas of cancer care

16th November 2016 – DMU student volunteers honoured at Macmillan celebration

23rd August 2016 – Student volunteers give precious time back to cancer patient

15th October 2013 – Liz backs Macmillan and DMU project to help cancer patients