Can Assist

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Can Assist

Can Assist provides accommodation, financial assistance and practical support to people in country NSW affected by cancer.

Local volunteers provide help when needed to carry out duties such as paying bills and organising transport and treatment options.

 

Can Assist Branches in the New England Region

Currently Can Assist has volunteer groups in Armidale, Guyra, Glen Innes and Uralla. All branches are autonomous. Each group can provide assistance to people in the Armidale, Guyra, Glen Innes and Uralla postcode areas respectively. Exceptions can be made to assist people outside the immediate post code area if there is no office for which people who may have needs are located.

Accessing Financial Assistance and Other Support Services

People can contact the CanAssist representatives directly but the usual first point of contact is the social worker in your local area.  In order to be eligible for assistance you will need to have certification by a medical practitioner to confirm that you are a cancer patient.  If you are outside these three districts and you are in need of assistance please contact the Head Office in Sydney.

Establishment of Can Assist in Armidale

A Can Assist branch was formed in Armidale in November 2000, initially through fundraising by AMP. There was a need identified from the fact that so many local residents were required to go to Sydney for treatment and stay at The Jean Colvin Hospital. Founding members included Stephen Sewell, Luke Bookallil, Shaen Hansen, Sue Montgomery and Shona Blok, Jane Michie and Caroline and John Mitchell.

Carol Higginbottom, the current President since 2007 was invited to attend a meeting in 2002. She decided to join after observing the financial difficulties many patients were faced with when seeking treatment for their cancer. Not all chemotherapy is covered by the PBS and at times patients have taken out loans and second mortgages to pay for their treatment. There have even been incidents of patients deciding should they buy groceries or pay for treatment.

 

Fund Raising Events Hosted by the Armidale Branch of Can Assist

The Armidale Branch hosts fundraising events each year. In 2019 these included a Melbourne Cup Luncheon, Spring Fling a long lunch held in the gardens of Peterson’s Winery, a Bingo day, Christmas wrapping in the Centro plaza and a Golf Day.

Volunteering to Help Can Assist in Your Local Area

The Armidale branch has over 30 volunteers but more volunteers are always needed. If you would like to help out in your area contact the local area president.

 

Groups and Clubs that would like to support Can Assist:
Any social, sporting business group can make Can Assist a charity of choice. Contact the local area president for assistance.

 

Can Assist Branches and Social Workers in each of the New England Districts

ARMIDALE 2350

President – Fiona Kelly

Mobile:  0402 444 725

 

Treasurer – Kerrie Pearson

Mobile: 0418725957

Fax: (02) 67715166

Email: kerrie.canassist@gmail.com

 

GLEN INNES 2370

Contact – Maryn Burgess

Mobile: 0438 912 619

Email: canassistgleninnes@outlook.com

 

General Social Worker – Marilyn Marks

Phone: (02) 6739 0100

Email: marilyn.marks@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au

 

GUYRA 2365

President – Wendy Jackson

Phone: (02) 6775 0188

Email: canassistguyra@outlook.com

 

URALLA 2358

President – Maryanne Munsie

Phone: (02) 67784651

Email: canassisturalla@outlook.com

 

INVERELL 2360

Contact – Fiona Ord (as no current Can Assist in Inverell).

Phone: (02) 6776 9694

 

Establishment of Can Assist in Armidale

A Can Assist branch was formed in Armidale in November 2000, initially through fundraising by AMP. There was a need identified from the fact that so many local residents were required to go to Sydney for treatment and stay at The Jean Colvin Hospital. Founding members included Stephen Sewell, Luke Bookallil, Shaen Hansen, Sue Montgomery and Shona Blok, Jane Michie and Caroline and John Mitchell.

Fiona Kelly, the current President since 2018 originally started Can Assist Moree in 2009, since moving back to Armidale she was invited to join to take over from long serving President Carol Higginbottom. Fiona became involved with Can Assist after receiving assistance from Armidale and Uralla Can Assist whilst undergoing her own treatment for Breast Cancer. Accessing treatment for those people in Rural areas has become easier but there is still a huge out of pocket cost to travel to access specialist surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Trying to ensure that all treatment options are equally available to all in our community is essential.

Fund raising events hosted by the Armidale Branch of Can Assist

The Armidale Branch hosts four major fundraising events each year. In the past these events have been a Ball, a garden quilt show, a Melbourne Cup luncheon and a ladies night out.

An Exquisite Melbourne Cup luncheon (November 4, 2014)

This is hosted by Carol and her husband Stephen in their garden at Uralla and organised by the Armidale Branch with the support of the Uralla group- the event has been going for around 20 years – firstly organised by the Uralla ladies at Jenny and Bob Fulcher’s home. The Armidale Branch has been organising it since 2008. As the event has become popular, our numbers have increased from 140 to 240 this year. It is always a lovely day out and supported by so many wonderful sponsors and includes a fashion parade by Hannas of Armidale.

A Quilting Blitz followed by an Inspiring Garden Quilt show

Karyn Herbert of the Armidale “Get Stitched” quilt shop opens the studio space of her business for a full week in May to any creative soul that would like to drop in and create quilts for cancer patients. The studio is set up to receive donations of all those orphan fabrics from quilters stashes, fabrics purchased and donated specifically for the cause or any of those UFOs ( Unfinished Objects) that need to be revamped and re-homed. The biggest challenge is the time it takes to organise the donated fabrics into exciting combinations and shapes for the quilts. If you have an eye for colour and design why not join Karyn and the quilting team for a week of collaborative creativity.

This year 60 quilts were completed. An exhibition of the quilts is held in a private garden with a small entrance fee as further fund raising for Can Assist. The quilts are then handed over to Can Assist who distributes the quilts through the Armidale Oncology Unit or directly to patients.

If you suddenly get an urge to sew why not contact Karyn at “Get Stitched” at karyn@getstitched.com.au. or call 02 6771 5122 .

Volunteering to help Can assist in your local area

The Armidale branch has over 30 volunteers but more volunteers are always needed. If you would like to help out in your area contact the local area president.

For groups and Clubs that would like to support Can Assist.

Any social, sporting business group can make Can Assist a charity of choice. Contact the local area president for assistance.