Submission: Future Drought Fund
Excerpt from Submission below:
Our charity is called Can Assist. Our purpose is to assist people from country Australia who find themselves in financial distress as a consequence of a cancer diagnosis. We know the statistics; country people are 17 times more likely to experience “geographical or financial barriers”, compared to their city counterparts when faced with a cancer diagnosis. A cancer diagnosis in the country is not only more expensive, but it is also more deadly. Indeed, for some cancers, patients are up to three times more likely to die within 5 years of diagnosis. With one in every two being diagnosed with cancer by their 85th birthday this effects almost every country family at some point.
Add to that the effects of the drought; being lower country income (across the farming and town communities) people are not only more likely to experience financial difficulty but our ability to assist them declines since our fund raising efforts are almost exclusively country sourced.
Specifically, from 2018FY to 2019FY, our fundraising revenues declined by more than 7%, yet our client assistance increased by 5.4%. It is in these times of drought that our model needs to grow faster, not slower.
We do not address a single issue – drought adds to a pre-existing economic disadvantage for country people in the health system and our charity aims to level the playing field.
Our current 55 strong branch network runs throughout country NSW. We have thousands of volunteers; some 2700 of which are registered members, the remainder helping out as volunteers when required.