Books on cancer help school

Recommended reading . . . Checking out new books about coping with cancer last week are (from left) South Otago High School principal Michael Wright, South Otago Cancer Society supportive care team member Diana Power, Balclutha Rotary Club member Steve Geard and SOHS guidance counsellor Cath Bloxham. PHOTO: NICK BROOK

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The Cancer Society and Balclutha Rotary Club have been working together to ensure the district’s school libraries have resources to support people dealing with cancer.

Last Wednesday, South Otago Cancer Society supportive care team member Diana Power was accompanied by Rotarian Steve Geard to deliver two new books to South Otago High School.

The titles Still Here with Me and Working with Bereaved Young People were chosen by the society because of their relevance and accessibility to those fighting cancer or related to someone who was, and were bought using funds raised by the Balclutha Rotary Club.

The books had been given to several schools in the area and were ‘‘another tool in the box to help teachers, parents and students cope with the many stresses and changes that occur following a diagnosis of cancer’’, Mrs Power said.

‘‘We hope SOHS can use these books to help any students’ issues with grief and loss, and hopefully to foster coping skills and resilience.’’ Mrs Power said the Cancer Society was very grateful to the Rotary Club for its help supporting vulnerable children through such hard times and wanted to remind everybody that she and the society were positioned in the community to support anyone going through a cancer journey.

‘‘No-one should face cancer alone. This includes family members who are impacted by a loved one’s diagnosis,’’ she said.

‘‘Every day, 71 New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer — one of the most challenging situations they will ever face.’’

The Cancer Society provides support groups and connects people affected by cancer with others to learn ways to cope or talk about their experiences in a supportive, caring environment.

Mrs Power said the groups were always looking for volunteers to assist with driving and other practical services, like collecting groceries and visiting.