Every week, it’s a full diary for the Chinese Cancer and Chronic Illness Society (CCCIS). And they’re only just warming up!
Celebrating 24 years support to Chinese-speaking Victorians
Founded in 1996 by Dorothy Yiu, CCCIS began its work in Melbourne metropolitan areas providing practical, cultural, social and psychological support to Chinese-speaking Victorians with a chronic or terminal illness. This includes material support such as wigs, wheelchairs and walking aids. CCCIS supports individuals and families, and facilitates support groups and interest groups to encourage and restore confidence in life.
Today, the organisation is able to extend its valuable work to other regions with the help of the DHHS funded End-of-Life Ancillary Support Program. In July 2019, CCCIS opened its branch office in Hoppers Crossing. Here, a dedicated group of volunteers supervised by Frieda Si, Coordinator and Social Worker, meet practical needs for social connection, information, arrange transport to appointments, referrals to services and home visits.
Dorothy and Frieda will set up a similar program to support members of the community in the northern suburbs in July 2020.
Motivated and multi-skilled volunteers
The CCCIS has an impressive workforce of staff and volunteers. It is not unusual for volunteers to contribute other professional skills in graphic or theatre arts, video-making, dance, nursing, counselling, catering, etc. Says Dorothy, “We have an amazing team of volunteers who are willing to contribute their time and heart to support those who are in adversity. Their compassion and selflessness are remarkable.”
Meeting Mercy Palliative Care staff
Volunteers gain from understanding the wider context in which they work. In November 2019, Frieda accompanied a group of volunteers from the Hoppers Crossing office to meet staff of Mercy Palliative Care, Cathy Dow, Social Worker and Rosalind Vincent, Community Development Worker.
“It was an enriching experience for our volunteers to visit Mercy and learn first-hand what they do for members of the community,” Frieda sums up. “Thank you, Ros and Cathy for your time in answering all the queries. We look forward to collaboration with Mercy.”
Farewell Wishes: talking about advance care planning
Patients and carers receive a quality service, frequently beginning with advance care planning. This is valued by the client as well as families.
As one carer remarked: “…thank you (Dorothy and Frieda) for assisting my mother to do the ‘Farewell Wishes’. You have no idea how much your help has meant. I wish you a healthy and happy future and bless you for your kindness.”
Health literacy/community support ongoing
In the next few months, education sessions are planned for the wider Chinese-speaking community:
- Saturday 8 February (postponed, new date to be announced), a community educator from Dementia Australia will speak about How to Communicate with Dementia Sufferers
- Saturday 28th March, Chronic Illness Awareness Day at Maribyrnong Community Centre (Western suburbs).
- Saturday 11th April, annual CCCIS Memorial Day Outing to remember members and friends who have died.
Dorothy and Frieda welcome referrals from hospitals and community organisation, and new volunteers as well. For further information, please contact CCCIS through its website www.cccis.org.au, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 03 8373 4828. Event registration can be made via 03 9898 9575 or email@example.com