Welcome to another edition of Volunteer Voice, and I hope you are enjoying the cooler weather. We have had a busy month here at Cancer Council NSW – I was glad to have the opportunity to meet some of you during National Volunteer Week, and I have also spent some time in the community at our different events.
The Autumn season of Relay For Life has now wrapped up, with another wonderful Hills Relay closing the season with a bang.
Sh*tbox Rally, one of our most unique beneficiary events, has also had another successful run for 2017. Last week, 239 teams drove from Adelaide to Cairns, all in cars worth less than $1,000. Not only did it look like a lot of fun, but they have already raised over $1.5 million!
There have also been many people getting together during May for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. I was lucky to attend a couple of events over the past few weeks, and it was fantastic to see so many people supporting Cancer Council over a cuppa. It’s not too late to get involved – find out more about hosting a morning tea at biggestmorningtea.com.au.
My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has taken part and joined with others in their local community. There’s so much power in people coming together, and we already know what great things we can achieve to help people affected by cancer.
Jeff’s messages earlier this year
The week 8-14 May is National Volunteer Week, the largest celebration of volunteers across Australia. It’s a really big week for us at Cancer Council NSW, because it’s a chance to say thank you to all of our volunteers. Your enthusiasm and energy inspires us all!
I’m glad to have had the opportunity to meet many of you in the past few months, and I look forward to meeting many more of you. Our volunteers are at the heart of what we do, making all of our programs and services possible. In whichever way you get involved, you are making a difference to people affected by cancer.
This week is also a chance for us to celebrate your stories – we’d love to know more about you and why you volunteer. If you would like to share your story, please get in touch with Laura Ferguson.
I’m excited to let you know that last week we launched our new Volunteer Learning Hub. This is a place for all our volunteers, where you can find a range of learning resources on topics like cancer literacy, communication, cultural awareness, and project management. I encourage you all to take a minute to explore the site.
The Volunteer Learning Hub is something that we’ve developed in response to feedback from our Volunteer Engagement Survey in 2015, which highlighted an interest in more training opportunities for volunteers. Feedback from this survey also helped us develop some other initiatives, like our Volunteer Benefits Package and new recruitment and on-boarding processes. Volunteers play a vital role in everything we do at Cancer Council NSW and we want to make sure you get as much as possible out of your time volunteering with us.
Our 2017 Volunteer Engagement Survey will be launching in the next few weeks. The results this time around will help us understand how you feel about volunteering with us and what more can be improved. It’ll help us work on some more great initiatives, to make Cancer Council NSW an even better place to volunteer.
Stay tuned for more information about it – I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
The Autumn Relay For Life season has officially kicked off and it’s set to be a big season. About a week ago I attended my very first Relay, and the first Relay of the season, at Shellharbour on the South Coast.
I was overwhelmed by the commitment of our community at this event, and the stories they all shared. I found out first-hand what fun and unique events they are – not only for raising much needed funds, but also bringing people from all walks of life together, rain or shine! Thank you to our committees, volunteers and supporters who contribute so much to each Relay.
Did you know we recently awarded $6 million in funding to cancer research projects and researchers? Every year we fund external research projects and we celebrated this last week at our annual Research Awards. You can read more about this below.
Cancer Council NSW is proud to be one of the largest non-government funders of cancer research in Australia, and these projects enable us to help so many people affected by cancer. This work wouldn’t be possible without people like you.
Happy 2017 and welcome back to those who have been lucky to have had some holidays over the past several weeks. I hope you all had the chance to spend time with loved ones and that you are all handling the hot weather.
This year will be another big year for us at Cancer Council NSW. We are in great shape and this is so much to do with the support of all our staff and in particular you, our sensational volunteers.
We are working on ways to extend our reach, to help even more people who are dealing with cancer: more transport to treatment, more financial assistance, more pro-bono advice, more affordable accommodation for treatment, and of course more research, prevention and advocacy.
Saturday 4 February was World Cancer Day. Since 2000, countries around the world have united on this day, raising awareness and working together to reduce the burden of cancer. The theme for this year is ‘We Can. I Can’, a great reminder that we can all do something to help people affected by cancer.
I know how passionate you are about our cause and I can assure you that we will all be working hard to realise our vision that together we will beat cancer. I am so proud to be able to work with you and I’m inspired by your dedication – thank you.
Rounding off 2016…
It’s been a big year and as 2016 draws to a close I want to thank you for all your support and ongoing commitment to Cancer Council NSW.
We’re finishing off the year strongly with the recent launch of our new Cancer Council Online Community – an online peer support platform for people affected by cancer to connect, share experiences and find information and support in a safe forum.
Thanks to our CanAct Community, our palliative care campaign is also in full swing with a number of MPs across the state already signing the pledge to ensure that every person with a life-limiting cancer who needs specialist palliative care has access to it, when they need it, wherever they live in NSW.
Our Annual Report 2015/2016, which highlights our achievements and progress over the past financial year, is also now complete and available on our website.
The above are just a few examples of work we would not be able to do without your help. Your input and your ability to help us spread the word is something we truly value.
We know for many, the holidays can be a challenging time. If you or someone you know is in need, I hope you reach out for support.
Thank you again for all your hard work. I wish you and your families a happy and safe festive season and all the very best for the year ahead.