Volunteers are needed to join The Cancer Council Victoria's support program, Cancer Connect.
Cancer Connect links people affected by cancer with trained volunteers who have been through a similar experience over the telephone.
In partnership with Sunraysia Cancer Resources, the Cancer Council is looking to expand this service in Mildura by piloting a face-to-face support service for people newly diagnosed with cancer and their carers.
Volunteers listen and offer emotional and practical support to people affected by cancer. The Cancer Council is looking for two types of Volunteers that can lend their support through Cancer Connect; cancer survivors who have completed treatment at least 18 months ago and carers of someone who has had a cancer diagnosis.
Dr Amanda Hordern, Deputy Director of Cancer Information and Support Services at The Cancer Council Victoria said demand for face-to-face support has prompted the need for the pilot project.
"Each year, more than 24,000 Victorians are diagnosed with cancer and more than 240 of these people are from the Mildura region.
"We know from research that emotional support is one of the biggest needs for people after a cancer diagnosis. By offering telephone and face-to-face support, we hope to strengthen the invaluable emotional and practical support provided to local residents affected by cancer," said Dr Hordern.
Local Cancer Connect volunteer and spokesperson for the Sunraysia Cancer Resources, Michael Jobe says the service will provide more personal support to people affected by cancer.
"Many people find it reassuring and encouraging to talk to someone who has been through a similar experience. Often people are happy link in to the support service over the telephone but there are many others who are more comfortable talking about their concerns face-to-face. Sunraysia people will soon be able to choose how they access this support," said Mr Jobe.
Dr Hordern and Mr Jobe encourage local residents who are affected by cancer and interested in providing telephone and face-to-face support to express their interest. Important attributes are warmth, sensitivity and exceptional listening skills.
To register interest in becoming a Cancer Connect volunteer, please contact Michael Jobe on 5023 8257 or Debi Glasson on 03 5025 8866 (Monday - Wednesday). Full training will be provided to successful applicants in Mildura on October 26 & 27 and November 24, 2007. Applications close Friday October 5, 2007.
Please note: a minimum 18-month period since completion of treatment is required to become a Cancer Connect volunteer.
Sophy Chirnside, Communications and Resource Officer
9635 5131 / 0408 518 613