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How to help people with cancer during COVID-19 when you don't have much to give

April 24, 2020


Cancer Council Australia

How to help people with cancer during COVID-19 when you don't have much to give

Cancer Council exists to reduce the burden of cancer on the lives of all Australians and now, more than ever, our community’s most vulnerable need our support. For those affected by cancer, the risk of contracting COVID-19 may be heightened due to compromised immunity, while social distancing measures and a burdened health system are making an already challenging situation, even harder.

Fortunately, the Australian community are a generous bunch, and we are currently seeing an influx of requests from people across the country who want to help people with cancer right now - but don’t know how. Research suggests that this crisis is redefining our sense of community. A rise in more community-centric values is manifesting on a more localised level and the needs of our most vulnerable are coming to the fore.

For the many out there who may have less money to give, or are left wondering how they can support people while practising social distancing measures, we’re here to help. There are plenty of ways to continue supporting people with cancer in these unprecedented circumstances that require less money, and more creativity and compassion.

Give your neighbour a hand

If you know someone in your neighbourhood who is self-isolating, put a community help note in their mailbox to let them know that you are happy to help. It could be as simple as picking up their grocery shopping, posting their mail, mowing their lawn or gardening, or grabbing some urgent supplies. 

Small errands like these make all the difference!

Drivers for Transport to Treatment

Play for Lives has just been established and aims to fill essential volunteer positions left vacant in the wake of the coronavirus. Volunteer yourself or make it a team effort by checking if your local sporting team would like to get involved with you. There are many locations where drivers are needed to transport patients to and from treatment. Call our 13 11 20 information line for more information or have a look at the opportunities available here to see how you can help in your local area.

See how Cancer Council’s Transport to Treatment service is helping people get from A to B when they need it most.

Offer your emotional support

In these uncertain times, it is understandable to feel anxious and isolated, even more so if you are affected by cancer – personally, or through a loved one. Sometimes it is nice to just have a listening ear and to see a nice friendly face. A phone or video call is a great way to check in with others – it could be a family member, friend, or just someone you know who is struggling. The Cancer Council Online Community is also a great source of emotional support to talk and share your own experiences, and as a patient, family member or friend you may be able to relate to or help another.

See how Cancer Council’s Online Community is offering a safe place for people to ask questions and share experiences.

Get creative with fundraising

Decide on your own fundraising idea, such as a fitness challenge or quitting a bad habit such as smoking or drinking, and use the Cancer Council ‘Do It For Cancer’ website to fundraise and help makes strides towards a cancer free future. This will make a big difference to cancer research, prevention and support. It can also keep you active or keep you on track for goals you are working towards. Don’t forget to promote it on your social media channels and tag us @cancercouncil so we can share your efforts on our pages.

Shop consciously

While we’re heading into the cooler months here in Australia, the sun is still shining on many parts of the country, and with all of the outdoor, socially distant exercise happening at the moment, you can never have enough sun protection. Purchasing Cancer Council’s sun protection product – including sunscreen, hats, swimwear and umbrellas - is buying a product that will help protect your skin from harmful UV radiation, with all proceeds going towards cancer research, prevention programs and support services for people affected by cancer in Australia. Take a look at our range of sunscreens online.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but when it comes to fundraising or supporting our cause, your imagination is the limit. Expanding our idea of giving is key to getting through these times together. As always, we couldn’t continue our work without your help, and now, more than ever, the smallest act can make the biggest difference.