We are proud that we have been able to continue many of our Cancer Council information and support services through changes to ways of working and innovation, despite decreased fundraising revenue and restrictions inhibiting our ability to deliver key face to face support services.
As you may have seen, many of Cancer Council’s essential fundraising activities were transitioned into virtual or at home events, where traditional events were not possible due to restrictions and social distancing.
Morning teas were hosted virtually across the country, with many people sharing a cuppa over Zoom, or in small groups of colleagues, family and friends where possible, to raise funds for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.
We recently celebrated Daffodil Day, which also felt a little different, as in most parts of the country it was social media, rather than the streets, that were turned yellow this year. Across Australia, daffodils were donated virtually to loved ones and people raised funds online to fund life-saving cancer research.
Where Relay for Life events were unable to be held, the Hope Ceremony transitioned into ‘Hope at Home’ and candles were lit in people’s homes in a united display of support for Cancer Council and cancer patients during these unprecedented times.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWkrjnLSCIU
Our health professionals operating Cancer Council’s Information and Support line, 13 11 20, have provided much needed support and information to people about COVID-19 and cancer and we have adapted our practical support programs to deliver remote assistance where possible. We released a new podcast, Cancer and COVID-19 to provide crucial information to people affected by cancer about what the COVID-19 pandemic means for them.
In the Pro Bono Program, we have seen our professionals transition to providing assistance over skype and zoom when restrictions prohibited face to face appointments. The introduction of new legislation in a number of states which allowed for witnessing documents via video technology allowed lawyers to continue to provide assistance to clients where this previously would not have been possible under COVID-19 restrictions.
The continued delivery of the program during this challenging time would not have been possible without the exceptional support of our volunteer professionals across the country who have continued to provide advice and assistance to cancer patients and carers on a remote basis. In fact, in the last financial year, our generous professionals supported 1,398 people with 1,729 legal, financial, workplace or small business issues and provided over $5,000,000 of commercial advice. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our volunteer professionals. In the last year, we welcomed an incredible 55 new legal, financial planning, workplace and small business accounting organisations to the program across the country.
From our volunteer service providers to referring health professionals to Cancer Council staff and volunteers across the country, we cannot thank you enough for your tireless efforts and dedication which have ensured we have been able to continue to assist people affected by cancer at such a difficult time.