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Cancer Connect Volunteers Offer Peer Support

Cancer Connect Volunteers Offer Peer Support

In recognition of Volunteer Awareness Week ( March 7-13) , The Cancer Society of New Zealand is proud to announce the inaugural training of Cancer Connect volunteers in New Zealand.

Cancer Connect, a programme which started in Canada, and was adapted by Australia, is a telephone peer-support service which matches up people living with cancer, with others who have been through similar cancer journeys. Since mid-2003, New Zealanders have had access to Cancer Connect services provided by the Victoria Cancer Council. March 2004 will mark the beginning of Cancer Connect NZ - a programme modelled after the highly successful Australian programme, but utilizing the voluntary services of cancer survivors from New Zealand. As Cancer Connect NZ is a phone-based programme, it provides qualified candidates with the unique opportunity to volunteer their services without leaving home. This is a significant development both for The Cancer Society, and for a segment of the New Zealander population – the home-bound, those in rural areas – for whom volunteering may not have previously been feasible.

All Cancer Connect NZ Peer Supporters are volunteers who have undergone a rigorous screening process, to ensure client and volunteer safety. The first group of trainees - from the Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Manawatu, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki and East Cape regions - will meet in Wellington On March 10, 11, and 12 to attend an intensive training session. A second three-day training session – for volunteers from Canterbury, The West Coast, and the Otago/Southland region – will be held in Christchurch, on March 15, 16, and 17th.

Cancer Connect NZ training has been made possible, in part, by generous donations from Transpower and The Canterbury Masonic Charitable Trust.

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