Lismore St Vincent’s Hospital oncology nurse unit manager Garth Brown (left), Cancer Council supportive care co-ordinator Fiona Murray and Cancer Council volunteer Shirley Fogarty looking for support staff for the new information centre.
Lismore St Vincent’s Hospital oncology nurse unit manager Garth Brown (left), Cancer Council supportive care co-ordinator Fiona Murray and Cancer Council volunteer Shirley Fogarty looking for support staff for the new information centre. Cathy Adams

Cancer Council volunteers needed

THE Cancer Council of NSW needs more people like Shirley Fogarty, who will volunteer at the Cancer Council’s information centre at St Vincent’s Hospital in Lismore when it opens in July.

The new centre will offer cancer patients and their carers a relaxed space to learn more about their diagnoses, treatment and local support services. It will be also available for them to take a break to wait for an appointment or transport.

The Alstonville mum, who has been touched by a family member’s cancer journey, will lend a sympathetic ear to cancer patients around the region, as well as connecting patients to local services.

But more volunteers are needed to staff the centre, provide informal support to patients and help visitors find cancer resources, such as DVDs, booklets and internet access to useful websites.

“I wish I could give patients a magic wand. The best I can do is give emotional support and say ‘no one is alone’,” Mrs Fogarty said.

The information centre will be the first for our region and one of only six in the State.

Fiona Murray, regional program co-ordinator, supportive care, at the Cancer Council’s Far North Coast office said: “We are looking for outgoing and flexible adults to staff the Cancer Council Information Centre for a minimum of four hours per week.”

“No experience is necessary, as comprehensive training will be provided over three days. What is more important is a friendly personality and good listening and communication skills.

“As well supporting their local community, volunteers will have the opportunity to learn new skills and meet a broad range of people.”

Ms Murray said the Cancer Council was working with St Vincent’s Private Hospital to create the centre so patients could access information and support more easily. Similar centres had been extremely successful overseas and in other parts of Australia.

If you are aged 18 to 80 and would like to volunteer at the Cancer Council Information Centre in Lismore, please call Fiona Murray or Sandra Rowan on 6627 0300; or email fionam@nswcc.org.au by June 4.



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