Time to help the helpers

Life’s work . . . Longtime Cancer Society helper Ann Davies looks forward to welcoming new volunteers.

Daffodil Day symbolises hope for all New Zealanders affected by cancer.

Seventy›one New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer every 24 hours and an average of 750 families are dealing with the disease in Otago›Southland at any one time.

Since 1991, New Zealanders have supported the work of the Cancer Society on Daffodil Day

— this year on Friday, August 26 — and as countless people have sought the Cancer Society’s assistance, the society in turn is seeking support with its annual appeal.

Whether it is driving someone to treatment, providing advice to someone who has called the 0800 number, or sitting with people during their treatment — the Cancer Society will be there, but it cannot do it without help.

Every dollar raised from Daffodil Day will go towards cancer care for patients and their whanau, and education, awareness and life›saving research.

All of the Cancer Society’s professional staff are registered practitioners including nurses, nutritionists and social workers, but a massive amount of the frontline work is through the donated time and effort of dedicated volunteers.

It is natural to think first of the physical harm, but cancer affects every other aspect of a person’s life, including their family and mental health.

With the cost of living already high, a cancer diagnosis can be catastrophic financially. It can cause upheaval for a sufferer unable to make a living, or for their closest contact who perhaps has to give up work to provide care.

Longtime Balclutha Cancer Society volunteer Ann Davies said after having to deal with cancer in her family, it seemed common sense to try to help fight something that touched so many.

‘‘All of us in some way have benefited from unknown help, and there are always people who need it. When you volunteer you feel yourself giving back, and more people — especially young people — should give it a try and feel for themselves how rewarding it is to be around other well›meaning people and experience the gratitude of those you’re helping out.’’

Cancer Society stalls will spring up around Balclutha at the i›Site, Clyde St arcade, New World, The Warehouse, 4 Square, Countdown, Night ’n Day and Balclutha Bookshop on James St.

‘‘Daffodil Day is when we particularly appreciate volunteers to help us out. The week before, we’ll take delivery of 4300 daffodils to distribute to organisations, schools and business as well as eight stalls around Balclutha.

‘‘We hope a few more people might join us for an hour or two in setting up and managing stalls where people can donate for real or paper flowers, pens, teddies and enter raffles for gift vouchers.’’

Options . .. Daffodil Day offers plenty of keepsakes and prize opportunities for generous donors. PHOTOS: NICK BROOK