The theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week 2023 (15 – 21 May) is Change Makers. Cancer Council’s National Pro Bono Program is incredibly proud to drive change in the lives of people affected by cancer, offer volunteering opportunities for young professionals, and contribute to the vision of being at the heart of Australian communities.
Supported by a panel of external volunteer professionals, Cancer Council’s National Pro Bono program provides cancer patients and their carers with free legal, financial and workplace advice alongside Volunteer Intake Officers supporting with the day-to-day delivery of the service.
This Volunteer Week, we interviewed two of our student volunteers, Annabelle “Annie” Mosse and Alana Barton, who are law undergraduate students, about their time volunteering with Cancer Council.
Annie and Alana are Volunteer Intake Officers who work closely with the Pro Bono staff team to assist with the day-to-day service delivery of the program. They are largely responsible for contacting clients to assess their eligibility for pro bono assistance and help unpack legal, financial and workplace needs.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Cancer Council’s Pro Bono Program?
Annie decided to volunteer in the Pro Bono team because she wanted to be part of a program that provides real and immediate assistance to people who are affected by cancer and are experiencing financial hardship. “It is hard to overstate the benefit of this program. Additionally, I chose to volunteer in the program because, as an undergraduate Law student, I knew that the practical skills that I would learn through this program would be immensely beneficial to the legal career I intend to pursue in the community legal sector”, says Annie.
What benefit or impact have you found working in the Pro Bono Team?
Alana has learned so much during her time volunteering in the Cancer Council Pro Bono team and appreciates every conversation with clients, social workers, carers, and other fellow team members. “It’s an amazing feeling being just a small part in assisting someone in what is usually the most challenging time of their life. Volunteering in the program has allowed me to approach situations in a new way, appreciate small moments in life and has reminded me to never take anything for granted. During my time volunteering, the feedback from clients has always been so positive. It is clear Cancer Council are assisting the community in more ways than I had initially imagined”, Alana added.
What would you say to someone considering volunteering with Cancer Council?
Annie says that volunteering in this program is one of the biggest highlights of her week, “The Pro Bono team is incredibly supportive and, from what I have seen, the same goes for all the teams at Cancer Council. Volunteering at Cancer Council gives you the opportunity to directly help people who are affected by cancer and the community”.
Alana highly recommends volunteering with Cancer Council and said if you have the means you should “Give it a go!”. With Cancer Council’s remarkable impact in helping people enjoy what matters most in their final stages, Alana found that the conversations she had with clients have been very influential, “I have come to appreciate helping people in vulnerable circumstances”, Alana added.
We can’t thank Annie, Alana and all our wonderful volunteers enough for the work they do. Without the support and dedication of our volunteers, the Pro Bono Program wouldn’t be able to ensure people affected by cancer have access to legal and financial services when they need it the most.