EPIC recently awarded over $8000 worth of grants to not-for-profit community groups, and over the coming weeks and months we’ll be bringing stories from some recipients to you.
The Cancer Patients Foundation was one of 27 successful recipients in this round of our Community Grants program, and we were heartened to hear about the positive impact they are having on the lives of people living with cancer. Through their Look Good Feel Better program, which sees approximately 1000 workshops held every year in 180 venues nationwide, the Cancer Patients Foundation helps Australians manage the appearance-related side effects caused by treatment for any type of cancer.
Fundraising Coordinator Marie Tsigaropoulos told us a little about the program and what they are doing to improve lives.
“Look Good Feel Better sees women, men and teens participating in practical workshops covering skin care, cosmetics and head wear, leaving them empowered and ready to face their cancer diagnosis with confidence,” says Marie.
“We are unique in that no other charity or organisation offers such practical support to cancer patients in order to help them specifically with the appearance related side effects caused by treatment.”
But useful tips and tricks aren’t the only benefit the workshops provide. Strong connections are also forged through social interactions with others who have a very real understanding of the array of challenges a cancer diagnosis can bring.
“Through our workshops, participants are able to build new support networks in a safe, non-medical environment with other people in their local community that are going through a similar experience,” explains Marie.
“Our focus is helping participants feel empowered confident and in-control at a time when it can feel like there is little else they have control over,” she says.
More than 130,000 Australians have benefited from the program to date and with no government funding, the Cancer Patients Foundation relies heavily on the generosity of corporate and community supporters to continue their work.
“We rely on our 1300 trained cosmetic, beauty and hairdressing professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to help deliver the workshops across Australia,” says Marie.
“Receiving financial support from organisations like EPIC Assist is also crucial, as it keeps these workshops free of charge to all people undergoing treatment for cancer.