Tamworth Can Assist lives-on after tripling its volunteer base

REASON TO SMILE: Can Assist volunteers Peter Kachel, Terrill Yates and Robyn Fitzgerald have welcomed 14 new helpers to the fold. Photo: Gareth Gardner 100518GGB001
REASON TO SMILE: Can Assist volunteers Peter Kachel, Terrill Yates and Robyn Fitzgerald have welcomed 14 new helpers to the fold. Photo: Gareth Gardner 100518GGB001

A GROUP of Tamworth volunteers have been overwhelmed by the support shown to bring a local charity back from the brink.

Last month, Tamworth Can Assist was in dire straits as members worried the branch, which proffers financial support to local cancer patients, could fold within months if it didn’t rouse more volunteers from the community.

This week, it signed-up 14 new members which almost tripled its previous base of helpers.

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“We only had, at the most, seven come to our meetings,” long-time member Robyn Fitzgerald said.

“We had to rely on donations and it was getting to the stage where, if we hadn’t of got younger-ones in, we just couldn’t manage.”

The branch first called for help last year when it tried to rally to get more younger troops involved and claimed its ageing volunteer-base needed assistance of its own.

While the future still isn’t certain for Can Assist, Ms Fitzgerald was buoyed by the positive response.

“I don’t think we can make sure because we just have to rely on public to come and help,” she said.

“There’s no surety that this won’t happen again.

“But I’m sure with the response we got the other night, I very much doubt it will happen again, everybody seemed really keen.”

She said the influx of members meant the group could start planning fundraising events and functions for the future.

“We’re working on a bowls day,” she said.

“Nothing is in concrete yet.

“We’ll just see what happens at the 5.30pm meeting [on Monday at The Tamworth Hotel] with a whole heap of new ideas and we’ll go from there.”

Tamworth Can Assist has helped more than 70 cancer patients in the last four years with close to $60,000 worth of assistance.

It recently received a helpful donation with this year’s Pedal the Peel fundraising ride pledging $10,000 towards keeping the local branch afloat.

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