We provide support to
- People with cancer and or chronic illness and their carers
- Bereaved family members
- People in the Chinese community who would like to have access to resources on cancer and or chronic disease as well as related community services
- People who are interested in gaining experiences in volunteer work
- Mainstream service providers who require consultation
The Society is run primarily by a volunteer workforce from all walks of life. With the support of paid professional staff trained in social work, community service and counselling, the Society provides a raft of services that help cancer and or people affected by chronic illnesses to improve their quality of life. Currently, CCCIS has over 60 volunteers working on a part-time/casual basis with assistance from the staff. CCCIS draws on the personal experiences and skills of its volunteers and provides ongoing training to its volunteer staff. Small grants are also offered to volunteers who require further training externally.
Services we offer
The Society works as a team, offering a range of programs and services including:
1. One-on-One Family Support
The Society’s Family Support Team staff and volunteers reach out to cancer sufferers who are isolated, terminally ill, or those who have special needs. Support includes
- home visits and regular outreach to Box Hill Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Practical assistance such as cooking and loans for wheelchairs/walking frames are offered upon request.
- Case management helping clients navigating the health and welfare systems and culturally appropriate counselling sessions are provided by qualified professionals.
- Bereavement support and counselling are also offered to bereaved families.
- CCCIS also offers internet and phone support to keep service-users stay connected.
- practical support assistance, such as free loan of equipment, meals, transport to shops/medical appointments (with the carer), etc.
The flexibility of CCCIS volunteers working after hours enables greater contact with clients and provide much-needed help to those who are in need. At times, people who approach CCCIS do not wish to disclose their illness or identity due to cultural beliefs and stigmas. We offer visiting service as an option to work with our clients.
2. Group programs
CCCIS support group meetings and recreational activities such as festival celebrations, and outings provide opportunities for sufferers to share experiences in a friendly environment, and discuss matters openly that are considered taboo in the wider community. CCCIS volunteers also ferry frail sufferers who do not have their own transport to attend support group meetings and other functions.
3. Peer Support
Cancer and or chronic illness sufferers and carers who are in similar situations are matched to connect with each other for mutual support. Research has demonstrated that sharing with someone who has gone through a similar experience can help reduce some of the anxieties and fear associated with the illness.
4. Education and information
Diagnosis of cancer and chronic illnesses always comes as a great shock, leading to anxiety and sometimes, a perceived fear of being stigmatised. Information is, therefore, vital in helping sufferers and their family members make informed decisions on treatment issues along with survival plans. Community education seminars and Farewell Wishes workshops are held on a regular basis to make life easier for cancer and or chronic illness sufferers, their family members and carers. A ‘Farewell Wishes Booklet‘ in English and Chinese can be obtained free of charge from the office.
Information displays are put up at cultural festivals and community expos. The Society also has its website and newsletters providing additional means for communication among group members and the wider community. It also has a small library with multimedia resources.
CCCIS newsletters- HOPE features cancer and chronic illness sufferers’ experiences which serve as a bridge between the Society and its members and service users.