Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough
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Anthony and Bernadette, along with a number of other drivers take Gerald and Sue to all Gerald’s appointments, including doctors and blood tests no matter what time of the day they are scheduled for, plus trips to the supermarket when they need to go.
Often when they’re at an appointment and it’s time to leave, they will ask if there is anywhere else they need to go before heading home.
‘‘The service is incredible, they really go the extra mile for us,’’ Sue says.
‘‘Bernadette and Anthony have been just amazing. Everytime they come home here to pick us up, if Gerald isn’t with me they ask if he is okay. They always make us feel so special, which is great as we have no family here.’’
Before her husband was diagnosed, Sue had only ever heard of the Cancer Society, but had no real idea of the services they actually provided. She has been blown away by the services they offer people.
‘‘Prior to covid when I was at the hospital waiting for Gerald to have his treatment, the Cancer Society supplied food and volunteers at the oncology ward would ask if I needed something to eat or whether I was thirsty.
‘‘The volunteers are just incredible.
‘‘I can’t thank these wonderful people enough for all they do to make things easier on us both.’’
And Cancer Society Marlborough Centre Manager Felicity couldn’t agree more.
‘‘From my brief time at the Cancer Society, I’ve seen Anthony, Bernadette and Josephine in a number of roles including volunteer driving and home support, oncology host (providing hospitality services to patients at Wairau Hospital) and event preparation for our major fundraisers like Daffodil Day and Relay for Life which involves a variety of things from delivery donation boxes, visiting retirement villages or preparing invitations and bucket shaking!
‘‘They make themselves readily available for volunteer drives and always conduct themselves in a friendly manner, which puts people at ease especially when attending clinical appointments.
‘‘Our service would not have the ability to reach into the community and provide such tangible support without people like them.’’
If you are considering volunteering, Anthony, Bernadette and Josephine are passionate in their reply, ‘just do it’.
❚ For more information about any of the volunteer roles available visit the Cancer Society website to register your interest https:/ /www.cancer.org.nz/volunteer or phone the local Centre on (03) 5794379.
What sort of things can you do as a volunteer?
Volunteer roles include:
❏ helping in the Cancer Society’s accommodation facilities
❏ supporting people at their hospital appointments
❏ driving people with cancer to their appointments
❏ helping out in Cancer Society offices
❏ helping at Cancer Society events
❏ making turbans, hats or cushions for people to use during treatment
❏ baking food for patients or accommodation guests
The Cancer Society has volunteer opportunities that fit in with the rest of your life.
You can spend as much or as little time as you want volunteering with them.
Some volunteer roles require an ongoing, regular commitment, whilst others are more flexible. There are many one-off opportunities with events such as Daffodil Day and Relay For Life.
All volunteers are introduced to the Cancer Society.
You will attend workshops on a range of topics for some roles, including active listening and maintaining boundaries and confidentiality.
The Cancer Society also hold regular update sessions and provide a contact person who will support you in your role.