Media release 13 December 2021 Can Assist Young-Boorowa branch received a timely boost of funding from greenslips.com.au. This will benefit local cancer patients who rely on their cars to travel to and from treatment.
Can Assist Young Boorowa provides practical and financial support to people through CTP greenslips, travel, food and fuel vouchers, medications payments – and more.
“Generally, we categorise them as ‘travel, treatment and accommodation’ – get them there, get them treated, get them somewhere to stay, and get them home,” explains Gail Hanigan, who has been Branch President for 12 years.
Since the Young-Boorowa branch was established in 1988, it has provided more than $1 million worth of support to cancer patients in the region. And what sets it apart from other charities is that all money raised locally stays local. The branches are funded entirely by local donations and fundraising events, and corporate support such as greenslips.com.au.
However, since the pandemic began, fundraising has been stymied and Gail says the branch has been relying on community donations from individuals and organisations including Rotary and a local sewing group.
All money raised in local community
“All of our money is raised in the local community – and we are eternally grateful for the support. Over the past two years, in particular, we would not have been able to assist our clients without it,” Gail says.
“The funds from greenslips.com.au will contribute enormously, particularly for those who don’t use community transport. Not all patients live in town – some live 50kms out of town – so it’s essential to have your own vehicle and be able to go direct to treatment. If people can go in their own vehicle, they have freedom and flexibility. To be able to drive there and back is a big thing, you cannot put a price on that. These funds will have a practical and emotional impact – and it will free up our funds for other things.”
Branch Vice President Chris Wright echoes this view: “Keeping your car on the road is essential – and you can’t have a car without a green slip. Most patients have to travel to treatment, whether in Wagga Wagga, Orange, Canberra or Sydney, and we help them with their travel costs and accommodation. This money will take a weight off people’s shoulders.”
More awareness (and volunteers) needed
On average, the Young-Boorowa branch supports between 40 and 50 people each year, of all ages and at different stages of their cancer journey. And while the numbers have reduced during COVID, the amount per person has increased.
“A cancer journey is not cheap,” says Chris.
And the locals who have had the support from Can Assist know just how crucial the support is. “The local branch helped my family through an extremely tough time last year that we will be forever grateful for. They went above and beyond to ensure my stepfather was taken care of through chemo and a massive surgery. Without their assistance, it would have been a much harder time for us,” says a local family member supported by Can Assist.
“I know several people with breast cancer who have paid $6,000 for the best hope of a cure. People living in the city have all sorts of options for public health, but people in the country don’t. There are no choices of where to go, it’s very limited. The accumulation of every little thing and the costs associated with cancer can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” adds Gail.
Gail says Can Assist Young-Boorowa is very keen to create more awareness of the support that the branch can offer. “Noone likes to ask for help, but they need a hand up, not a handout. It’s a critical time in life and it’s a speed hump that we help people over. We live in a wonderful community who are helping their fellow community members,” she says.
The branch is run entirely by local volunteers, and is keen for more volunteers to join. “These communities would fall apart without all the volunteers,” says Gail. “We are looking for more volunteers as well as donations.”
For information about donating or volunteering with Can Assist Young-Boorowa, call (02) 6382 5441. For further information about how to support Can Assist, visit www.canassist.org.au.
About Can Assist
Can Assist aims to ensure that all people, regardless of where they live in NSW, have access to cancer treatment and care. It provides accommodation, financial assistance and practical support to people from rural and regional areas. This ensures country people are given the same opportunities and treatment choices as those who live in city centres.
Can Assist facts
- Established in 1955, Can Assist provides practical and financial support to people affected by cancer and living in country NSW. It is funded entirely by local donations and corporate sponsorships.
- In 2019, Can Assist responded to over 7,700 requests for assistance from rural and regional cancer patients through 55 branches across NSW.
- Can Assist is a grass roots, community-based volunteer network. It is local volunteers supporting local families affected by cancer.
- All the money raised locally stays local.
- greenslips.com.au, a price comparison and information service for CTP green slip insurance, is a partner of Can Assist. It does not sell CTP green slip insurance.
- Since 2019, greenslips.com.au has supported Can Assist head office and over 30 branches across NSW and commits to providing further support.
For further information:
0419 401 362