Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough
Volunteers essential to Cancer Society
Volunteers play a key role in delivering additional support and services to people with cancer and their wha¯nau.
They come from all walks of life, and all are committed to reducing the impact and incidence of cancer.
Without them, the Cancer Society wouldn’t be able to support, inform and empower those affected by cancer to the level they do.
People volunteer for different reasons, but they all bring skills, passion and energy to their roles, becoming part of an important team, sharing their experiences, learning new skills and developing life-long friendships.
Blenheim siblings Anthony, Bernadette and Josephine are all proud to be a part of that team, each playing an integral role in helping the Cancer Society to achieve its goal of ensuring no one should face cancer alone.
Devoting their spare time to a cause they feel passionate about, they have each spent a number of years volunteering for their local branch of the New Zealand Cancer Society.
They all reside in Blenheim and their cancer care/volunteer services are coordinated by
Cancer Society Marlborough, headed by Centre Manager Felicity Spencer who describes Anthony, Bernadette and Josephine as amazing.
‘‘They are always willing to provide service to our community.
‘‘I believe their close familial bond is what has led them to give so generously to others.
‘‘The benefit of such close siblings is that they often coordinate a replacement/ substitute volunteer between themselves if they aren’t available to support an appointment, which makes our job easy.’’
Anthony, Bernadette and Josephine were born in Nelson to Italian parents.
Anthony is the eldest and was soon joined by his identical twin sisters who were the first set of twins to be flown to Wellington and cared for at Karitane hospital.
The siblings grew up on a property with a market garden where their parents grew tomatoes, however they all went their separate ways in the early 70’s, Anthony to Wellington, Bernadette to Whangarei with her husband and Josephine moved to Blenheim for work with her husband and two children.
Anthony and Bernadette moved back to Blenheim four years ago to be closer to Josephine and their late sister who resided in Nelson.
Bernadette says it is the best move she could have made.
‘‘Through Josephine I got into volunteering, helping with raffles and Daffodil Day, then driving. I wouldn’t have been doing this volunteer work if I didn’t live in such a small place. Wellington was just too large.
‘‘Volunteering gives me great satisfaction and is very humbling,’’ she says.
Anthony also got the volunteering bug when he saw how much enjoyment Josephine got out of helping people.
He filled in for Bernadette one day driving a client and was hooked.
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