Costs ham­per­ing group

Lo­cal can­cer group hurt by ex­tra fee

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS - Matthew Pur­cell Matthew.Pur­[email protected]­der­post.com.au

FOR nearly a decade the Stan­thorpe Can­cer Sup­port Group has been work­ing wonders for lo­cal suf­fer­ers.

It has do­nated tens of thou­sands of dol­lars to ac­quire equip­ment and give fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to can­cer pa­tients.

“I was mo­ti­vated to start a sup­port group for breast can­cer pa­tients and sur­vivors in 2010, af­ter hav­ing a pos­i­tive di­ag­no­sis my­self, and had no one to talk to out­side fam­ily who you wish to shield from your worry,” group chair Ann Barry said.

“Grad­u­ally we were aware that we needed to change fo­cus from breast can­cer and in­volve all can­cer pa­tients and car­ers and any­one ef­fected by can­cer.

“Thanks to the sup­port of our vol­un­teers and gen­er­ous lo­cal busi­nesses, winer­ies and other groups, we have con­tin­u­ally been able to raise funds to sup­port lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers through their jour­ney.”

All funds raised by the group re­main solely within the area. But there’s grow­ing con­cern within the group that fees and charges im­posed by South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil are cur­tail­ing their fundrais­ing en­deav­ours.

Ann said the tight­en­ing of in­sur­ance costs, she ar­gues had never been “en­forced” pre­vi­ously by coun­cil, were lim­it­ing their ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“Un­til re­cently we have been able to con­tin­u­ally get a ‘street per­mit’ from coun­cil to hold a fundrais­ing stall in Mary­land St, out­side Gra­cious Giv­ing, but now coun­cil in­sist we hold Pub­lic Li­a­bil­ity In­sur­ance, which costs over $1500 a year.

“We do not do any ac­tiv­i­ties where any­one is li­able to get hurt and we feel this money could be best served help­ing the com­mu­nity.”

Coun­cil con­firmed that their in­sur­ance cov­ered the or­gan­i­sa­tion for hold­ing a stall 12 days of the year at no cost, but no more.

Ann ar­gued they typ­i­cally have held sig­nif­i­cantly more stalls than that a year.

“Un­less we can find an al­ter­na­tive we will need to find a busi­ness or club who could spon­sor our group for cost of the PLI, or al­low us to op­er­ate un­der the cover of their PLI.

“We need to be able to con­tinue rais­ing funds so that we can con­tinue to as­sist our lo­cal com­mu­nity fac­ing fi­nan­cial stress whilst go­ing through can­cer treat­ments. We do not want to see any­one elect to not have re­quired treat­ments due to costs in­volved.

“Our motto is ‘when you need a help­ing hand’ – and that’s what we want to be able to do,” Ann said.

If you need some sup­port you can con­tact Ann on

0427 792 277, Dell Wells on 4681 1151 or Deb­bie Wil­mot on 0409 700 717.

To help or­gan­ise trans­port con­tact Alan Jones at the Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre on 4681 3777.

❝ We need to be able to con­tinue rais­ing funds. — Ann Barry, Stan­thorpe Can­cer Sup­port Group chair

PHOTO: MATTHEW PUR­CELL

BE­MUSED: Chair of the Stan­thorpe Can­cer Sup­port Group Ann Barry says coun­cil im­posed fees are ham­per­ing fundrais­ing ef­forts.

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