THE local branch of Cancer Council NSW is urgently seeking younger volunteers to step up and help out as the COVID-19 crisis wreaks havoc on Australian charities.
Critically ill cancer patients rely on local volunteers for support, especially through the organisation's 'Transport to Treatment' program.
Five new volunteers under the age of 60 are desperately needed in the Tamworth area alone while restrictions around coronavirus are in place.
In a bid to get more hands on deck, the organisation has collaborated with Play for Lives, a new initiative launched by former Socceroo Craig Forster.
Play for Lives is a grassroots concept which aims to recruit volunteers from different sports across Australia and calls for athletes and fans to donate the time they might have spent on supporting sport before COVID-19, to charities in need.
"COVID-19 has presented issues for all Australians, but few have been impacted more than cancer patients," Cancer Council NSW manager of regional and rural communities Brenna Smith said.
"We've had to temporarily stand down 90 per cent of the volunteer drivers in our Transport to Treatment program.
"Unless we urgently recruit more volunteers under the age of 60, cancer patients won't get to their treatment - it's as simple as that."
Mr Forster said Play for Lives is about passionate sporting communities coming together to put that energy into supporting people in need.
"Whether you're a sporting team, club, participant, athlete or fan, Play for Lives is a way for you to get on board and help out those who community support now more than ever," he said.
Local people wanting to lend a hand can get involved at http://www.playforlives.org/ or by contacting the Tamworth Cancer Council centre.