Wayne Edwards

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The newly refurbished Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool will be reopened this month, and to celebrate, the CanDo Cancer Trust will be hosting a fundraising event. Wayne Edwards tells us more about their plans to swim the length of the English Channel in our pool.

Tell us about CanDo Cancer Trust.

The Coffs Coast & Clarence Can Do Cancer Trust was formed in mid 2009 through joint discussions with Retired Healthcare worker Jane Glover OAM and the North Coast Cancer Institute in Coffs Harbour. Currently, some of the funds raised for cancer sufferers may not stay locally in the Coffs Harbour region. Some assistance schemes will only provide funds to meet certain expenses. Most household bills and even the accommodation while undergoing treatment are not usually covered by the schemes. The CanDo Trust aims to assist at least 2 to 3 patients / families per week in the following ways:

  • provide assistance to a maximum of $500 (once off) per patient /family
  • payments will usually be in the form of direct payment to creditors e.g. household bills, telephone, gas, electricity, insurance
  • provision for supermarket vouchers for food and fuel may be provided
  • may also provide ‘quality of life’ items where deemed necessary.

The Trust provides direct financial assistance to North Coast Cancer Institute (NCCI) patients and families in need. These are local people within our community!

The Committee consists of a mix of local business people, retired business people (some ex health workers) and representatives from the North Coast Cancer Institute. Chairperson of the Trust is Julie Jardine, CEO of Thermal Electric Elements.

Coffs Harbour Freemasons have provided excellent support with raising $100,000 during the past 12 months to allow the Trust to be established. The Trust would like to sincerely thank Norm Standing and the Coffs Harbour Freemasons for a fantastic contribution to the local community.

> What is some of the work you do locally?

The Trust has a number of fundraising events each year, which enables us to support 2 to 3 local families per week.

> What’s your role within the organisation?

I am a committee member and Treasurer. With my financial background, my responsibility is ensuring the Trust meets all legal compliance requirements and applications for assistance are processed within 24 hours of receipt, as patients are generally in some financial distress when seeking our support.

> Tell us about the English Channel Swim you are hosting in November.

We need the Coffs Coast Community support to celebrate the re-opening of the Coffs Harbour Olympic Swimming Pool in November and raise much needed funds for the Coffs Coast & Clarence CanDo Cancer Trust.

The inaugural English Channel Swim will be held at the Coffs Harbour Olympic Swimming Complex in the heart of town on Saturday 20 November 2010. The swim will be a continuous replay of 680 laps of the pool, which will equate to swimming the distance of the English Channel.

The CanDo Trust needs the support of local business, schools, sporting groups and not for profit groups to complete the swim.

> How can people participate in the event?

All you have to do is the following:
n book a 30 minute time slot (you can have more if you like) on the day between 9am and 4pm
n organise as many swimmers as you like for your 30 minutes (it is a continuous relay of 680 laps, which is the equivalent distance of the English Channel)
n your group raises funds to donate to the Trust; a minimum of $500 is required for each 30 minute time slot (if you have 20 swimmers, that is only $25 each – or get sponsors for your group)
n if you are a sporting or not for profit group, every dollar above $500 you raise you can keep 50% and the other 50% goes to the Trust e.g. if you raise $1,000 in total, the first $500 goes to the Trust, the balance of $500 is split 50 / 50
n individuals can come along on the day and swim as little as 1 lap of the pool for a donation of $20

There will be prizes on the day, and every swimmer will receive a certificate to certify they contributed to the English Channel Swim event. All donations are tax deductible.

Bookings are essential, and early birds get their choice of time slots. We had 12 time slots still available as at early October.

Anyone can call me on 0410 446 801 or email Wayne.W.Edwards@nab.com.au to register and be involved in this great local event.

> How can people become involved with the CanDo Cancer Trust?

If you would like to get involved, visit our website at www.candocancertrust.com.au                               email us on info@candocancertrust.com.au or call Chairperson Julie Jardine on 0419 227 498. Private donations or businesses wishing to donate to the Trust are much appreciated.

> Do you have any other events coming up that you’d like to make us aware of?

Following the English Channel Swim, our next major activity will be a Charity Ball with a difference to be held on Saturday 2 April 2011.

Stay tuned for more information about this event in the new year.

> Thank you Wayne. Good luck with the swim!

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