Cambridge volunteer group wins award

The Cambridge Cancer Society Volunteer Support Group. From left: Ros Macky, Bev Buchly, Richard Johnstone, Anita ...

The Cambridge Cancer Society Volunteer Support Group. From left: Ros Macky, Bev Buchly, Richard Johnstone, Anita Lafferty, Janet McComb, Ann Blewden, Jan Hawkins, Sister Mary David, Chris Davies, Marilyn Cooper, Clare O'Kane and Fred Hansen.

The Cambridge Cancer Society Volunteer Support Group received a Commendation Award at the Waikato Volunteer Excellence Awards held recently. 

The group, which currently has 17 members and has been around since 1986, was nominated by the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society.

"In the past year these dedicated volunteers have given over 1500 hours in support to those with cancer in their community," Volunteer Development Manager Nicola Bowe said.

"They make themselves available to their clients, which gives comfort to the person and reassurance to their families and loved ones, particularly if they do not live close by."

The group provides many services such as transport, companionship, practical home help and referrals to support.

They even provide regularly checkups after a client has had an operation.

"Without them, we simply couldn't do the work we do," said Bowe.

Some of the volunteers are retired, and others manage to fit it around their paid employment.

Cambridge woman Bev Buchly​ is the co-ordinator for the support group, and became involved in in 2009 when she retired from farming.

She took over as co-ordinator in 2011.

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She hopes the award will spread awareness about their group. She said sometimes people forget what support is available to them within their community.

"We have 22 drivers in Cambridge, and we need that many because quite often people will go away for a month or so, and if someone has a cold or the flu they can't be a driver," she said.

They often take people to Hamilton for their appointments.

"Sometimes we get really busy. I think one of our busiest days was when we had six drives on a Daffodil Day," she laughed.

Along with their certificate they won a $200 hamper, but they will raffle it off as a fundrasier for this year's Daffodil Day, which is on Friday August 26.

They will have collection stalls along the main streets of Cambridge.

The daffodil was chosen because it is a symbol of hope, and is the first flower of spring which represents new life and new possibilities. 

* A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the Cambridge Cancer Society Volunteer Support Group was the winner for the Team Excellence Award. This in fact was awarded to the Red Cross Waikato Disaster Relief Team based in Hamilton.

 - Stuff

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