Volunteer Voice February 2017

Volunteers play a pivotal role in creating a cancer free future.

Volunteer wins Australia Day Achievement Award

In January, long standing CCQ volunteer Val Russel-Wilson received an Australia Day Achievement Award in recognition of her service to the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.

Honouring the outstanding achievements of Australians in their workplace and community, the award formed part of the Hospital and Health Service’s internal Australia Day award program.

Val was nominated for her dedication and compassion as a hospital based volunteer.

Val started as a community support volunteer 26 years ago, as a breast cancer survivor, and is a shining example of the ongoing relationship between Cancer Council Queensland and Queensland Health on the Fraser Coast.

Providing support to women with breast cancer through home and hospital visits, Val’s impact stretches right across the Fraser Coast. She also spent many years as a Cancer Connect volunteer, reaching countless women across Queensland and interstate.

Currently Val is focused on her hospital based roles in Maryborough and Hervey Bay, providing face-to-face support and helping wherever she can.
Congratulations Val on this amazing achievement and congratulations to the following volunteers on their nominations and awards.

You are all truly outstanding and thank you for your support!

Gladstone RFL Committee – Community Event Award
Gladstone Branch – Community Volunteer Award
Raelene Wells – Citizen of the Year (Mackay Regional Council)
Raelene Wells Pink Ribbon Charity Fair – Community Group Awards (Mackay Regional Council)

Miles & District Relay for Life – Best Community Event
Shirley Shannon (Branch & Community Support Volunteer) – Citizen of the Year (Rockhampton)
Val Russell-Wilson – Australia Day Achievement Award
Cloncurry Relay for Life – Best Community Event
Miles Relay for Life – Best Community Event
St Lawrence Relay for Life – Best Community Event
David Kenny – Citizen of the Year (Logan Council)

Alumni project

We are launching our new alumni project, and we would like you to name it!

The aim is to establish a means of on-going engagement with volunteers after their active volunteering ceases.

By engaging past volunteers, we can ensure their valuable knowledge and experience is utilised by other volunteers, and that they continue to highlight Cancer Council Queensland in their networks.

We are seeking your assistance in naming this project. Think of a name that would mean something to you and gives a sense of belonging to an elite club.

Send your ideas to volunteer@cancerqld.org.au or phone us on 1300 851 957 by Friday, March 10.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Volunteer asks for donations of breast prostheses

Since 2009, Edith Cooper of Cancer Council Queensland’s Redlands Branch has been sending donated breast prostheses to women in Uganda.

For many women, wearing a breast prosthesis (a synthetic breast that gives the appearance of a real breast when worn in a bra or under clothing) is one way to regain confidence after losing part, or all, of a breast following a mastectomy.

The federal government provides financial support for Australian women wishing to purchase breast prostheses, however this kind of support is not available in many parts of the world.

Relying on the donations of Australian women, the prostheses Edith sends to Uganda help to improve the quality of life for many women who otherwise would have to go without.

If you, or someone you know, has breast prostheses which are still in good condition, please send them to our Brisbane office, Cancer Council Queensland, 553 Gregory Terrace, Fortitude Valley, QLD 400

These donations are much appreciated and welcomed in Uganda, and form an important part of the supportive care provided by the Uganda Women’s Cancer Support Organisation (UWOCASO).

Brisbane cancer survivors invited to take part in world-first research study

Cancer Council Queensland is seeking Brisbane cancer survivors to participate in a world-first research project this year.
Assessing men and women who have previously been treated for breast, bowel or prostate cancer, the study will investigate whether peer-support can assist with exercise maintenance and health after a cancer diagnosis.

The study is a joint project between Cancer Council Queensland and the University of Queensland, and will help to improve the long-term health outcomes of cancer survivors.

If you wish to contribute to the study, you can do so either as a peer support volunteer or as a participant. Both roles involve being part of a supportive exercise program over a 12-month period.

You will be required to commit to the duration of the study and will receive assessment sessions after five weeks, three months, six months and 12 months.
While the value of contribution to this study will be high, the time commitment is less than two hours each week. Exercise will mostly be performed on specially designed stationary bikes.

All participants will receive the additional benefits of a free 12-month gym membership at Healthstream Fitness Centre in Kelvin Grove, regular assessment of fitness level, body composition, bone density and cardiovascular health, and exercise guidance from an accredited exercise physiologist.
This project is a great opportunity to not only motivate recent cancer survivors to improve their health, but to also improve your health and wellbeing in the process.

If you’d like to get involved or find out more, please visit peersupportandexercise.com or phone Cancer Council Queensland on 13 11 20.

Volunteer profile

The profile picture of Hien Le

Hien Le

Lodge Support Volunteer
at Ellis Lodge

We asked Hien Le, a recently appointed Lodge Support Volunteer at Ellis Lodge in Brisbane, for his thoughts on the role so far. If you would like to provide a volunteer profile for Volunteer Voice email volunteer@cancerqld.org.au.

What is your volunteer role? What do you have to do? 
I am currently a Lodge Support Volunteer at Ellis Lodge in Brisbane – one of the six accommodation lodges located in Queensland. My weekly visits to Ellis Lodge are never the same and this is mainly because my role involves any number of tasks and are of various nature.

I essentially provide any support necessary to all Lodge residents and visitors, as well as assisting my Community Support Coordinator and Lodge Supervisor in ensuring that we are providing the necessary programs, activities and services as requested and as required. A fun fact is that I actually grew up in the area around Ellis Lodge so I am very fortunate now to be able to return and give back to the community, and whilst I’m at it do some awesome and highly rewarding work!

How long have you been volunteering with Cancer Council Queensland? 
I have just started my CCQ volunteer journey, commencing in November 2016, and have already been regularly and very involved at the Lodge

Why did you decide to get involved with Cancer Council Queensland? What was your motivation for volunteering? 
Losing a family member, a friend, someone you love and care for to cancer is one of the toughest life experiences anyone can go through. To have my own personal experience with losing a much loved family member and a dear friend to cancer has made me realise that the best way to celebrate their life is to celebrate and enjoy life with others who are going through cancer themselves. This drives me, this motivates me, and this makes me passionate about being part of the CCQ family and doing the work we do!

What do you love most about your volunteer role?  
I seriously had the biggest smile when I became involved with CCQ and was more than happy to help wherever I could. To then be offered the Lodge Support Volunteer role which is so varied in nature and having much responsibility to not only myself but to everyone connected to the Lodge was an incredible and amazing opportunity for me. I love the varied nature of my tasks and I love how I am able to connect with so many Lodge residents and visitors on a regular basis, being witness to so many unique and special stories.

I am still thanking CCQ for allowing me to experience this unbelievable opportunity! I have to also mention as well the support, care and guidance that CCQ regularly provides me is simply incredible and so very much appreciated.

What has surprised you in your role? 
There is always something new to learn and that is indeed true with CCQ. You can learn so much by simply being around others and even after more than 20 years of volunteering for numerous organisations, I am, through my work for CCQ, still learning and discovering new features, skills and abilities which I can use in every part of my daily life!

What has been the most inspiring or memorable moment you’ve had since commencing your role? 
Have you heard the saying ‘It’s the little things that count?’ We may not possess everything that we wish for and want but to see how much a loved and treasured family belonging meant to someone during one of my Lodge visits reminded me of the very saying above. To be there with them when they shared that unforgettable moment, myself getting a bit emotional as well really put everything in my life in perspective

What is your hope for the future? What do you hope your volunteering will achieve for cancer and CCQ? 
I wholeheartedly am with CCQ in working towards a cancer free future. It would be so great to see us all work together and do whatever possible and necessary in achieving this goal. Every little bit of help counts and I do hope that my volunteering assists in continuing to improve cancer control and also does inspire others to join us in this extremely worthwhile journey!

What would you say to someone who was thinking about volunteering with CCQ? 
I would simply say do It!. The whole time you will be looked after, you will be supported, and you will have so many opportunities to give back to the wider community and to help us in achieving the goal of a cancer free future! The CCQ family will be there for you and with you, all staff and your fellow volunteers. Contact us as soon as you can so we can help you start volunteering for CCQ!

What do you feel you’ve gained through volunteering for CCQ? 
I wanted to give back after my personal cancer experiences and I couldn’t have asked for any other way to do this than by volunteering for CCQ. It has given me a renewed sense of purpose, and has taught me so much more about cancer and cancer control. How fortunate I am that my commitment and passion to help others is my work.

Dates for your diary 2017

May – National Volunteer Week
From May 8-14 celebrate your contribution to CCQ! Held each year in May, National Volunteer Week provides an opportunity to highlight the role of volunteers in the community, and to say thank you to the over six million Australians who volunteer.  Stay tuned for our plans to honour your amazing work and generous contribution to CCQ.

August – Daffodil Day
The daffodil is the international symbol of hope and our logo. As one of Australia’s most popular fundraising events, Daffodil Day will paint Queensland yellow on August 25 to grow hope for a cancer free future.   Every daffodil and every donation goes towards helping those affected by cancer. Join us as a volunteer on Daffodil Day to help raise funds for cancer research, prevention and support services.

October – Girls’ Night In
One in six women will be diagnosed with breast or gynaecological cancer in their lifetime. By providing women with an opportunity to get together, talk about their health and encourage each other to participate in regular check-ups and cancer screenings, Girls’ Night In is a powerful way to make a difference.  Get the girls together anytime this October to provide support and raise awareness of women’s cancers.

November – Thank You Celebrations
Throughout November we will be hosting celebrations all over Queensland to thank you for your generous contribution during 2017. This is a great opportunity to come together with other volunteers to reflect on the year and recognise your incredible achievements.  Be sure to join us at one of our Thank You Celebrations this month to celebrate another year of making a difference in the lives of Queenslanders affected by cancer.