The Society works as a team, offering a range of programs and services including:
1. Education and information
A diagnosis of some chronic illnesses such as cancer and Alzeimer’s Disease 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 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. Please obtain further information from the RESOURCES on this website.
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 multi-media resources.
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.
Currently, 5 cancer support groups meet in 3 different locations in Melbourne.
3. One-on-one 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 WEEKLY outreach to Box Hill Hospital and Peter MacCullum Cancer Centre oncology units. Practical assistance such as cooking and transport 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 is also offered to bereaved families.
CCCIS also offers internet and phone support to keep service-users stay connected.
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.
Chronic 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.
5. Modest financial assistance
A modest welfare grant is available for application to meet imminent needs of chronic illness sufferers who run into financial difficulties.
6. Equipment loans
Wheelchairs and walkers etc. are available on loan free of charge to sufferers if they require such resources. Wigs are offered free of charge if the client demonstratives financial hardship.
CCCIS newsletters feature chronic illness sufferers’ experiences which serve as a bridge between the Society and its members and service users.
8. Community Services
Relay for Life