CANSA Volunteers Driving Hope
December 2021 – International Volunteers’ Day (5 December 2021) is an opportunity for CANSA to recognise the selfless men and women who have dedicated their energy, time, and skills to helping those affected by cancer for the 90 years of the organisation’s existence. CANSA will be celebrating with volunteers on a regional level, at a special functions during the course of December.
#InternationalVolunteersDay #FightCancerTogether #CANSACares
Lisa Strydom, CANSA Service Manager: Volunteers, believes that CANSA volunteers have brought hope to those affected by cancer, despite limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic:
“We thought that 2021 would be easier than 2020, but in fact it has been just as challenging. Most of our programmes were not able to return to normal and many of our volunteers really missed the face-to-face visits with patients, the laughter and tears shared in support groups and the sense of meaning and solidarity brought through our fundraising events. However, we are so grateful for the way that our volunteers have been able to adapt, even though it was difficult, and to find ways to keep the work of CANSA alive. Our volunteers are true heroes and without them we would absolutely not be able to continue supporting those affected by cancer.”
Elize Joubert, CANSA CEO, recognises the importance of CANSA volunteers and shares a special video message of thanks:
A Variety of Volunteers Needed
CANSA offers volunteers many different opportunities to be involved. These include care and support volunteers trained to help patients, caregivers and loved ones cope with physical side effects of cancer treatment, offering practical solutions and providing emotional support (counselling / support groups); fundraising volunteers who work on national fundraising projects like CANSA Shavathon and CANSA Relay For Life events; admin volunteers who assist with office work at our CANSA Care Centres; virtual volunteers who help with design, editing and translation of materials, while health promotion volunteers carry out our health awareness campaigns, and information talks in local communities. Advocacy volunteers work with legislators, and professionals volunteer their professional skills and training free of charge to cancer patients, staff, or volunteers.
Volunteers Benefit from Training
CANSA is reliant on volunteers to reach those affected by cancer in local communities, and volunteers benefit through training provided by CANSA. Online training is given to all new volunteers to help them carry out their duties. This training is also available to existing volunteers to broaden their set of skills which can be of value in the workplace. Skills developed include leadership, meeting management, counselling, event organising, negotiation and communication skills.
CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public. Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support. We offer a Tele Counselling service in seven languages free of charge. We also supply patient care and support in the form of 8 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.
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