Local cancer patients will benefit from a new Transport to Treatment service thanks to the fundraising efforts of the local QBE branch and Cancer Council NSW partners.
The new service, being launched in Newcastle today, will be coordinated by Cancer Council volunteers and will provide free, on-call transport to and from treatment centres for patients ensuring they arrive in comfort and at no cost.
Staff from QBE’s Newcastle branch have been working towards making this service a reality for more than two years, raising more than $20,000 through donations, fundraising events as well as a community grant from the QBE Foundation, the insurer’s charitable arm.
QBE Foundation chairperson Sally Kincaid said it was so pleasing to see the team’s efforts deliver such a valuable community service.
"We are incredibly proud to be able to provide a service that will have such a positive impact on people in the community who really need our support," Kincaid said.
"The fact that the majority of these funds have been raised by our own team members based here in Newcastle is such a credit to the team."
Cancer Council Hunter Region Manager Shayne Connell said the new transport service will help reduce stress associated with a cancer diagnosis.
"We know that when someone is diagnosed with cancer, they not only worry about their health but often have concerns about how they are going to get to their specialist medical appointments and treatment and, in some cases, how they will pay for transport.
"This new service will help alleviate that stress and also help patients who need to attend appointments or treatment outside regular hours. We know current transport services are at capacity and there are limited options for patients who need assistance after hours," explained Mr Connell.
Rikki Hickey, a project manager in the QBE Newcastle branch and part of the community committee behind the fundraising said the initiative had been a two-year goal for the team.
"We’ve supported the Cancer Council for several years and it was at our annual cheque handover in 2014 that the Transport to Treatment concept was discussed and as soon as we heard about it, we knew we wanted to make this a reality.
"There’s not many of us lucky enough not to have been touched by cancer in some way, so it’s a cause that’s close to our hearts. The work the Cancer Council does across all aspects of research, support, treatment and prevention is invaluable, so we’re delighted to be able to help them provide this new service for our local community.
"We’ve had bake sales, raffles, participated in events, as well as many of the team chipping in out of their own pockets. It’s such a brilliant team achievement and we’re so proud to finally see the service launched," said Ms Hickey.
The Transport to Treatment service will be available from the end of March and will be coordinated by the Cancer Council regional office in Charlestown which can be contacted on 4923 0700.
For further information please contact:
Senior Communications Specialist
QBE Australia & New Zealand
Mobile: 0435 688 785
About the QBE Foundation
The QBE Foundation supports charities that help people overcome disadvantage, strengthen their abilities and live more independently, successfully and productively. Launched in 2011 to coincide with its 125th anniversary, the Foundation formalises QBE’s long history of supporting communities.
The objectives of the Foundation are:
- To make a difference in key areas that align with QBE’s vision and values.
- To drive employee engagement by developing networking and a strong team-based culture.
- To maximise the return and impact for any collection, distribution and allocation of philanthropic resources.
QBE’s corporate responsibility mirrors our insurance role in the community where we are uniquely placed to assist people when they find themselves in need through accident or misadventure.
For more information visit https://www.qbe.com.au/about/community/foundation