Media release 28 April 2021: Cancer patients across Mudgee who rely on their cars to travel to and from treatment will benefit from crucial new funding that Can Assist Mudgee has received from greenslips.com.au.
The partnership between greenslips.com.au and Can Assist, a community-based volunteer network providing financial and practical support to people affected by cancer and living in country NSW, was forged in 2019. It provides funding to help pay for cancer patients’ green slip insurance. To date, greenslips.com.au has supported 26 Can Assist branches across NSW and is committed to supporting more.
Can Assist Mudgee provides practical and financial support confidentially to cancer patients to cover travel expenses, CTP green slips, fuel, accommodation, groceries, council rates, phone and utility bills.
“The funding from greenslips.com.au will certainly help recipients. It’s another bill they don’t need; we all know they’re not cheap and that they come in at the same time as car registration and often other bills. It’s a stress that cancer patients don’t need – and we want them to focus on getting better,” says Bec Callaghan, President of Can Assist Mudgee. “Such donations allow the patient, or their partner, to take time off work because they have our financial assistance. It allows them to concentrate on their health and family needs.”
Bec explains that having a car is “hugely important” for local cancer patients.
“There is a bus service, but to get to somewhere like Sydney is tough – and after treatment, you don’t want to be on public transport when your immunity is low. When you feel so lousy, vulnerable and tired after treatment, you want privacy and discretion and don’t want to talk to other people,” says Bec.
Jan Pirie, Can Assist Mudgee Secretary, who is also a cancer survivor, agrees.
“A lot of patients travel to Orange, Dubbo or Sydney for treatment,” she says. “Having a car and the privacy to travel in your own vehicle is so important. The funding from greenslips.com.au is marvelous – it will be a huge relief and help in ensuring they can keep their cars on the road.”
Greater awareness and support needed
Can Assist Mudgee supports the whole district within the Mid-Western Regional Council, and each year helps around 40 patients of different ages and who are at different stages of their cancer journey. Currently they are helping 15 patients.
“We support all the rural areas within the area, which is a big area. And there are a lot of small villages,” says Jan.
All money raised for Can Assist Mudgee stays in the community, providing support for locals – but more awareness about the charity is needed.
“It’s so important that people know 100% of the funds stay in our local district; it’s not going anywhere else,” explains Jan. “We urge local cancer patients to please ask for our support because that’s what the money is there for. It’s for any cancer patient in need and isn’t means tested.”
Each year, Can Assist Mudgee needs to raise around $30,000 to support all the requests. “We do get other donations but we need a fair bit of money, because the bills of those we help really mounts up. For example, it can cost $600 a month just for the chemist bills,” says Jan, who in 2020 received the Citizen of the Year Award for her work with Can Assist.
Unfortunately, fundraising has been impacted by the pandemic and Bec says that while the community is happy to help, “all local businesses have been impacted – so COVID took us backwards”. “COVID doesn’t stop you getting cancer and cancer doesn’t discriminate,” she adds.
In addition to donations, Can Assist Mudgee also needs more volunteers “desperately”, Jan adds. “If people can help, we welcome them. We need young people full of energy who care about their community.”
Can Assist Mudgee is funded entirely by local donations, local fundraising events, and corporate support such as greenslips.com.au. All money raised locally stays local to help local cancer patients across the district. Its next fundraising event will be the Mudgee CAN Morning Tea, being held at 10am on Saturday May 8 at the Oak Tree Retirement Village. To provide donations or volunteer support, contact Can Assist Mudgee on 0439 994 539.
Stephen Treacey, founder and owner of greenslips.com.au, a comparative CTP insurance site, says: “A cancer diagnosis in rural or remote NSW can bring the additional burden of travelling long distances to treatment, and we recognise the benefits of keeping local cancer patients’ cars on the road when they need them most.
“We also know how people living in the country are affected by a health crisis. We’ve seen the upheaval and disruption caused to people when they need to leave town for medical treatment. It’s great to be able to help at a grassroots level through Can Assist branches, like the one in Mudgee. Our contribution goes directly to the branch to assist cancer patients that are supported by that branch.”
For more information on how to support Can Assist, visit www.canassist.org.au.
Can Assist aims
Can Assist aims to ensure that all people, regardless of where they live in NSW, have access to cancer treatment and care. It provides accommodation, financial assistance and practical support to people from rural and regional areas. This ensures country people are given the same opportunities and treatment choices as those who live in city centres.
Can Assist facts
- Established in 1955, Can Assist provides practical and financial support to people affected by cancer and living in country NSW. It is funded entirely by local donations and corporate sponsorships.
- In 2019, Can Assist responded to over 7,700 requests for assistance from rural and regional cancer patients through 55 branches across NSW.
- Can Assist is a grass roots, community-based volunteer network. It is local volunteers supporting local families affected by cancer.
- All the money raised locally stays local.
- greenslips.com.au, a price comparison and information service for CTP green slip insurance, is a partner of Can Assist. It does not sell CTP green slip insurance.
- Since 2019, greenslips.com.au has supported Can Assist head office and 26 branches across NSW and commits to providing further support.
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