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Can Assist Lithgow: small branch doing big things

Media release 10 May 2022 Cancer support network Can Assist Lithgow has received a much-needed boost with a donation from greenslips.com.au, which will be crucial to help keep local cancer patients’ cars on the road.

Small branch, big achiever

Although a small branch, Can Assist Lithgow regularly achieves big things. The team of volunteers provides practical and financial support to cancer patients in Lithgow and surrounding areas, from Capertee to the west and Mount Victoria to the east. This includes medical treatment not covered by Medicare, pharmaceuticals, accommodation, utilities, household bills, rent, food vouchers and now CTP green slips insurance. The branch is currently assisting around 100 clients from the 199 active cases on their books, across different ages and stages of their cancer journey. It is a large number for a small area.

Marilyn Tulley, Can Assist Lithgow’s Vice President and Community Liaison Officer, says the donation from greenslips.com.au, a CTP green slip insurance price comparison and information website, will make a huge difference.

“To be able to pay for a patient’s green slip is wonderful. When we pay for the greenslip, there is money saved that can go back into the family. Any easing of a financial burden provides an emotional lift; having to worry about paying the bills is a terrible burden when you’re worrying about your cancer recovery,” Marilyn says. “So, to have one less financial burden is so important.”

Having a car to travel to and from treatment is crucial for Lithgow cancer patients, because there are no cancer facilities in the area. Patients have to drive long distances to Daffodil Cottage in Bathurst (a 50-minute drive), Hope Cottage at Nepean Hospital (1.5 hours’ drive), or Orange Base Hospital (over 1.5 hours’ drive) to receive treatment. Many prefer to stay away for the full round of treatment, which can be 6 weeks, because of the huge distances.

“Having your car rego, insurance and green slip up to date is very, very important,” Marilyn says.

It’s a view echoed by Lesley Townsend, Can Assist Lithgow’s Secretary.

“No cancer patient can have treatment in Lithgow, which means there’s a lot of travel to and from treatment. That’s why being mobile is extremely important. It gives patients freedom, flexibility and independence. Treatments make you very tired, so patients need that choice. However, some take the bus because of the high costs of running their car, and we have had requests to pay for rego and green slips because some patients just can’t afford it. This donation is a godsend,” Lesley adds.

Staying local

What sets Can Assist apart from other charities is that all money raised local stays local to help local cancer patients across the district.

“A lot of other charities take money out but with Can Assist, all the money raised locally stays here and helps people in our community,” says Lesley.

The branch is funded entirely by community donations from individuals, companies and organisations, local fundraising events, and corporate support such as greenslips.com.au.

“We get support from the coal mining and electricity companies; Saturday Bingo afternoons by the Vale Ladies Club of Lithgow… we have wonderful support in the area,” Lesley says.

However, despite the great work of Can Assist Lithgow, Marilyn says it’s vital more people in the area know about Can Assist and the support that’s available.

“There are always people who need help and have not heard about us,” she says. “We need more patients to know help is here – and to please access the assistance we have available to them. We urge people to ask Can Assist for help. We’re an organisation that can help people financially and alleviate some of their day-to-day worries.”

New volunteers are also “welcome with open arms”, adds Marilyn. “With fundraising functions coming back since COVID, we now need more volunteers.”

For information about donating or volunteering with Can Assist Lithgow, contact 0497 112 675.  For further information about how to support Can Assist, visit www.canassist.org.au.

About Can Assist

Since 1955, Can Assist has been helping people living in rural and regional NSW access cancer treatment and care. The community-based grassroots organisation is funded entirely by community fundraising events, donations and corporate sponsorships. With 55 branches and around 3000 volunteers, it is the largest cancer support network in rural, regional and remote NSW.

Can Assist provides financial assistance for accommodation, travel-related costs, pharmaceuticals and other expenses to individuals and families across NSW, who are affected by cancer. Can Assist provides up to $2.5 million in financial aid, and approximately 50% of this aid is for travel and accommodation.

In addition to fundraising activities, member volunteers raise awareness of the organisation. They also collaborate with health professionals to understand how they can ease the burden of cancer. With Can Assist, 100% of funds raised local is spent in that community.

www.canassist.org.au

About greenslips.com.au

Established in 2001, greenslips.com.au is a price comparison and information service for CTP green slip insurance. It does not sell CTP green slip insurance but rather is the authority helping people compare green slips.

greenslips.com.au is a partner of Can Assist and since 2019 has supported Can Assist head office and 39 branches across NSW. greenslips.com.au has committed to providing further support.

www.greenslips.com.au

For further information:

Lisa Llewellyn: 0419 401 362 or lisa@llewcom.com.au
 

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