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Cancer support care services to increase

Cancer Society Gisborne East Coast (CSGEC) will use the grant they received from The Sunrise Foundation to increase supportive care services in the Tairawhiti region.

Their grant came from the Gavin McFarlane Endowment Fund at Sunrise. When Gavin’s health deteriorated at the start of 2015 he thought hard about how he could give back to the community he loved. He chose to leave his estate to Sunrise and nominated CSGEC and Hospice Tairawhiti as beneficiaries. The income from his fund will be granted to them in his name each year forever.

Philippa Meachen, CSGEC Centre Manager, says Gavin’s generous bequest will have a very positive impact on client outcomes, as they intend to use it to increase the role of the Supportive Care Co-ordinator.

“Having this reliable source of income from Gavin’s bequest means we know we can rely on these extra funds every year and be confident in increasing our levels of care. This will make a significant difference to patients and whanau coping with cancer.”

CSGEC, which receives no government funding, is solely funded by way of grants and donations from our community. In addition, they have an over 140 volunteers who help with fundraising events such as Daffodil Day, Relay for Life, health promotions and the delivery of cancer support services.

Pamela Murphy, CSGEC Chair, says funding limitations are difficult and make it hard to deliver the services they need to with cancer referral demand increasing.

“I don’t think people realise the volume of people who use our service, we had 138 families referred to our centre in the first ten months of this financial year. Our cause is one which touches many, with most people having a close relative or friend that has been affected by cancer.”

Lisa Spence, CSGEC Trust Secretary, became a volunteer as she has had several family members affected by cancer and has experienced first hand the wonderful work the society does.

Lisa says “our local Cancer Society helps in real and practical ways offering counselling, transport and patient support groups. Hospital support ends after the treatment pathway, but the challenge of a cancer diagnosis and treatment remains. CSGEC support continues into survivorship and well after treatment has finished.”

David Hall, CSGEC Vice Chair, says they are very grateful for the bequest from Gavin and hope others in our community will support them further with donations or bequests to the Cancer Society Gisborne East Coast Endowment Fund at Sunrise.

“Our small organisation is in a challenging position, constantly applying for grants and looking for new funding avenues. We believe our fund at Sunrise will give people an easy way to connect and support the work we do with donations and bequests.”

Philippa is confident their fund will become a significant legacy for cancer patients, whanau and the wider community in Tairawhiti.

“The brilliant thing about Sunrise is that as well as making bequests and donations, people can also make small regular donations by automatic payment or workplace giving. We know most people don’t have a lot of spare money and a little bit every week or month is a realistic way they can give support.”

Glenda Stokes, Sunrise CEO, says it is really important that people know where they are putting their money and that it is staying local.

“As with Gavin, many people want their donation or legacy to go to our local Cancer Society, they want to thank the people that helped them and ensure better outcomes for patients and survivors in our region.”

All donations to the Cancer Society Gisborne East Coast Endowment Fund will be invested, protected and grown to keep up with inflation. The surplus investment income will be returned to Cancer Society Gisborne East Coast each year.


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