This International Volunteer Day we celebrate our amazing Cancer Council SA volunteers who make our life-saving work possible. In the past year, 749 individual volunteers supported Cancer Council SA and dedicated 6,688 hours to various roles across the organisation to ensure we can continue to support South Australians impacted by cancer!
The support of our amazing volunteers makes a vital difference, ensuring no one has to go through a cancer experience alone. We’d love to introduce you to just a few of the incredible volunteers who are passionate about the work they do here at Cancer Council SA:
Meet Alan, Transport to Treatment Driver
Alan is one of our Transport to Treatment bus drivers who has been generously volunteering his time for 15 years and helps transport around 60 people per day from Cancer Council SA’s accommodation services to four main medical centres and hospitals around Adelaide.
“The people I drive around have to be incredibly resilient and strong—on top of dealing with a cancer diagnosis that can turn anyone’s world upside down, they’re also navigating treatment in completely unfamiliar surroundings,” Alan says.
“I’ve come to realise that so many people can be so positive, even when faced with such a challenging situation—something I too have had to face after losing my wife to multiple myeloma in 2005 and seeing my son diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2004.”
Meet Malcolm, Cancer Connect Volunteer
For over 11 years, Malcolm has been volunteering with Cancer Council’s Cancer Connect Program providing telephone peer support to men going through a prostate cancer diagnosis – something he understands all too well after receiving his own diagnosis in 2006.
“There’s a lot of mental health stuff that gets picked up in this because a cancer diagnosis can bring on a lot of anxiety. One of the biggest things we do is give people reassurance and help them to feel comfortable with themselves and comfortable with their journey,” Malcolm said.
Meet Michele, Breast Prosthesis Sewing Volunteer
Michele has been generously volunteering her time at Cancer Council SA for over 20 years and spent a lot of that time sewing breast prostheses for women impacted by breast cancer.
“As time went on volunteering for Cancer Council SA, I did all sorts of things. I’ve produced resource booklets, assisted with mailouts, answered phone calls from the community and processed donations. It was probably about 10 years down the track that I got involved with the Breast Prosthesis Program,” Michele says.
“It probably takes about five minutes to make one prosthesis. I have little sessions every now and again in between my other sewing projects. It’s just one little thing that I can do to help. I think it’s important to volunteer and help out somewhere. We should all do it.”
Meet Paula, Relay For Life Committee Volunteer
Paula has been participating in the Bordertown Relay For Life since 2017, when she entered a team with her mum who is a breast cancer survivor. Three years ago, she joined the event’s volunteer organising committee helping to plan and coordinate the event each year.
“I love the community support, the bonding, the vulnerability and incredible bravery and strength that is demonstrated as people share their personal stories and support each other,” Paula says.
“We have a brilliant group of people on our committee varying in age and demographic. To the outside we might look like an odd group but we’re a brilliant team and are enjoying raising funds for Cancer Council SA.”
Cancer Council SA’s work simply wouldn’t be possible without the support of volunteers like Alan, Malcolm, Michele and Paula. By donating their time, knowledge and energy to help Cancer Council SA support vital cancer support, prevention and fundraising activities, our volunteers are helping us fund groundbreaking research and provide vital services to those who need them most.
To learn more about how you can volunteer with Cancer Council SA, visit www.cancersa.org.au/get-involved/volunteer