Can Assist Manning Valley (CAMV) provides invaluable support to those in our community who have been affected by cancer. President Paul Allan fills us in on the organisation’s plans for the next few months…
What’s your current role on the Can Assist Manning Valley committee, and how long have you held this position?
I am the current President of Can Assist Manning Valley (CAMV), a position I took on in July 2015. CAMV formed in November 2012. We have a strong, passionate and hardworking committee consisting of Sue Allport, Dyana Brown, Michelle Cole, Leanne Eakin, Bonita Lindfield, Leanne Newman (Treasurer), Melinda Oirbans (Secretary), Sue Pitman, Tracey Rushworth, Sharon Smyth and Lee Walters.
It’s been a little while since we caught up with Can Assist at FOCUS. Could you refresh our memories and explain the aims of the organisation?
CAMV is a grass roots organisation, offering practical support and financial assistance to local cancer patients and their families. CAMV is a completely voluntary organisation, and our key component is that funds raised locally are distributed locally. CAMV is one of 50 Can Assist branches state-wide, supported by a head office in Sydney covering administration costs such as auditing, insurance and marketing ensuring that funds raised locally stay local.
CAMV supports residents in the Manning Valley, through to Moorland in the north, Gloucester in the west and Buladelah in the south and also includes the Great Lakes.
CAMV receives no government funding, and is completely funded through the generosity of the community. We are constantly humbled by any offers of support from the community; some community members host their own events to raise funds for CAMV, others run raffles, collect donations, instil bequests, make one off contributions or attend one (and in some cases all) of our many fundraising events.
Give us some examples of how the local branch of Can Assist has been able to help members of our community in recent times …
CAMV assists local cancer patients and their families through financial support, such as the payment of utility bills and council rates, the provision of food and fuel vouchers, assistance with pharmaceutical costs and medical expenses.
We have a strict criteria for the distribution of our funds, and each request is filtered through this criteria. CAMV is proud to date to have not had to say no to any request which has met our criteria, and to date we have distributed $153,293.24 to local cancer patients and their families.
There are some exciting new fundraising activities in the pipeline for 2016. Please fill us in on some of these …
We are currently in the planning phases of some of our larger fundraisers for 2016, being a $2,500 food and fuel voucher raffle, our annual major fundraiser, this year in September, which will be a Dinner and Show at Club Taree (tickets will be available from July 1st). We are also looking forward to the release of Dyana Brown’s cooking journal on the 12th November 2016, with a special High Tea function, again at Club Taree.
What else does the Manning Valley branch of Can Assist have planned for this year?
Keep an eye out for CAMV fundraisers in the Great Lakes area. This region falls within our boundaries; however, we haven’t until now had the opportunity or the person power to fundraise in the region. We have had some initial conversations with some enthusiastic and committed volunteers from the region who are keen to help support our community funding. We appreciate any support individuals or groups can offer.
What’s been the highlight of your involvement with the organisation … and why would you encourage others to join?
Our entire committee would be quick to acknowledge that being involved with CAMV is a humbling experience. We are truly appreciative of the support that our community provides; they show through their donations their appreciation of us providing this support on behalf of the community to local cancer patients and their families. So to answer the question, I believe the ongoing support of the entire community, and having them place value on what we do through this support is the highlight. It proves that as a community we care about supporting those in need.
We are also quick to acknowledge that CAMV has grown more than we ever thought, and as a result we are looking for additional community members to join both our committee, and our volunteer register.
In a committee member we are looking for community members who are passionate about supporting local cancer patients and their families with administration skills and/or great personal skills who have some reasonable availability to support us in our continued work. It is important to understand that like all our roles, these are completely voluntary positions.
Committee members are also encouraged to attend a monthly meeting (2nd Monday of the month) and represent CAMV at various events, functions and fundraisers throughout the year. Volunteers are called on for support on an as required basis.
CAMV also has donation collection “tins” in several businesses around the region. These collection tins are a valuable source of ongoing funds for CAMV and if there are any businesses, offices or retail outlets who would be willing to display and collect donations on our behalf, we would be delighted to provide you with a collection tin.
Where can readers find out more info on becoming a committee member or a volunteer?
Perhaps the best way is to email us on CanAssistManningValley@outlook.com, contact our assistance officer, Bonita on 0428 593 973 or myself, Paul Allan, on 0429 126 223.
Alternatively, should you know one of our existing committee members, please feel free to have a chat with one of them.
Anyone who would like to keep up to date on CAMV should ensure that they “like” our Facebook page – Can Assist Manning Valley.
Anyone who may be in need of support can download an application form from our website www.canasssit.com.au or contact our assistance officer on 0428 593 973.