Bill Thomson volunteers as a driver for the Cancer council picking up patients and driving them to treatments. Picture: Simon Bennett, Wollondilly Advertiser.
Every day, volunteers like Bill Thomson are supporting people affected by cancer and driving our vision for a cancer free future.
Bill said he first heard about Cancer Council’s Transport to Treatment service from a neighbour who was undergoing treatment at the Bowral Cancer Centre.
“Being retired and with plenty of time on my hands, it was an ideal role for me to become involved in,” Bill said.
“Also, being a cancer survivor myself, I felt that I had a real appreciation of what some of these people go through and that I would be able to relate to their concerns.”
Sally Lewis, Community Programs Coordinator from Cancer Council’s Southern NSW office, explains that the Transport to Treatment servicereduces the financial and emotional burden of cancer, providing free transport to patients who have no transport alternatives to get to their treatment.
“Volunteers like Bill are a crucial part of our workforce. Patients really appreciate and speak in glowing terms of all the drivers who volunteer to take them to their treatments and are especially appreciative of the work done by the Transport Coordinators whom the patients liaise with regularly,” Sally said.
“As the largest celebration of volunteers in Australia, National Volunteer Week is a chance for us to thank our volunteers for their time and energy helping people affected by cancer and improving the lives of people across the state.
“Without our volunteers, our programs and services would not be possible.”
Last year, our Transport to Treatment drivers volunteered more than 26,000 hours and drove almost 1 million kilometres across NSW to make sure cancer patients could get to treatment.
More than five years after his firstTransport to Treatment trip, ‘Bargo’ Bill is showing no signs of slowing down.
“Being a volunteer driver for the Cancer Council Transport to Treatment program is very rewarding for me and I encourage others to consider taking on this worthwhile role,” Bill said.
National Volunteer Week is being celebrated from 20 to 26 May this year. It’s an opportunity to recognise the 6 million Australians who volunteer their time, including the 2,845 registered volunteers that allow Cancer Council to be here, every minute, every hour, every day for Australians affected by cancer.