Club News

KIAMA Lions Club (Inc)

New South Wales, Australia, District 201N2

Projects

Sunday Market Caravan

Every Third Sunday of the Month, Kiama has a Craft Market at Black Beach. We have our Caravan there and sell hot and cold drinks, donuts and other specialities.

Driver Reviver

Periodically we take our Caravan to the Nungarry rest area on the Princes Highway at Dunmore and provide refreshments for travellers breaking their journey. 

Carers Cottage

The Lions Carers Cottage, in Shoalhaven Street opposite Kiama BowlingClub, is an exciting project allowing local Lions clubs to mark the centenary of Lions International. While you may not have observed much change from the outside, recently members of Gerringong, Minnamurra and Kiama Lions clubs did important interior work, removing the remaining wall plaster, cornices and plaster ceilings. The old bath, stove and hot water service were also removed and are ready for disposal. The fitting of windows and external cladding will be the next phase, for which we will require support from Lions and external sources.
While we have been most gratified to date with the indications of support we have received from tradespersons , businesses and others we would nevertheless still be pleased to receive indications of future support from specialists such as electricians and plumbers. The completed cottage will provide a great service to those seeking some respite from the arduous task of caring for seriously ill children, cancer patients and the like. If you could help in this way please contact Lion Tony Grainger by email ( apgrainger66@gmail.com)

The History of our Lions Cancer Care Trust

In 1995, the year of President Rob Danby, the local Lions Club members were reflecting on the loss of several members and wives through cancer, some at a relatively early age. What sort of help could we provide to the cause? Rob appointed a committee under the chair of Past President Jim Hinchliffe to come up with some ideas.

The consensus of that committee was that we should confine ourselves to assisting citizens of our municipality. There were already major fundraising organizations such as the Cancer Council and research centres like the Garvin Institute and Wollongong University and Wollongong Hospital.

The suggestion was that we establish a trust and use interest and dividends from any monies invested to help in situations that fell “between the cracks”, so to speak, and no other assistance was available. It was also decided that as the carers of cancer patients were usually the spouse, and often seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, that arrangements could be made to get them some time off, and include them in our Governing Document, placed with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. So, some twenty-two years ago the trust was established and Lion Jon Phipps, a local General Practitioner, together with Past President Jim Hinchliffe and Past President Gerry McInerney, both practising pharmacists, were appointed as trustees, with Gerry as the chair, a position he still holds. Today Lion David Grant has replaced Lion Jon Phipps, Lion John Larkins has replaced Lion Jim Hinchliffe, and we have added the Lions Treasurer, Graham Bradley, and the 2016 Immediate Past President, Hilton Bloomfield. We decided we needed to raise $50,000 but that wasn’t enough.

Through the courtesy of the NAB Bank, Telstra installed a series of telephones there and a volunteer group of Lions had their first telethon, phoning, as soon as the bank closed for the day, all numbers in the Wollongong White Pages Directory that related to Minnamurra, Kiama, Jamberoo, and Gerringong. Local citizens were extremely generous. Other fundraising events have included Race Days at Kembla Grange and containers in local shops for any spare five cents coins. Today the trust asset is valued at over $160,000. We receive donations from funeral services of cancer patients, grants from the Lions Club, usually annually, and individual donations, some quite substantial.

The first person we helped was a single mum with three young children, and we subsidised a holiday for them. Coming to terms with diagnosis of cancer can be quite difficult, particularly if it is terminal. The trust will pay for attendance and accommodation at seminars or conferences where all issues associated with cancer diagnosis are explained; the need to get your affairs in order, if terminal; the need for a will and financial advice, understanding the disease, finding organisations that provide advice and support. Where a spouse is looking after a cancer sufferer full time, the trust will pay for a sitter, so that the spouse might have some free time, e.g. to go to the movies or perhaps have a game of bowls.

Palliative care nurses used to come out at night if called by a cancer sufferer to effectively manage the patient’s pain. Following several attacks on nurses, as a safety issue the nurses’ union asked the state government to only allow nurses to do home visits at night in pairs. The government said that this would be too expensive, but recognised the danger and stopped nurses going out at night altogether.  The answer to this problem was providing the patient with a morphine syringe driver, a machine that allowed the doctor to determine how often and how much morphine the patient could administer to his or herself with the nurse calibrating the machine in the daytime.  However, Kiama Hospital had only one of these morphine syringe drivers, the Kiama home nursing service run by Council, had none, and Blue Haven and Mayflower, that had relied on night visits by the nurses, had none either. The Cancer Care Trust provided extra syringe drivers to all these establishments at a cost of just on $2,000 per syringe driver.

The palliative care nurses also used to carry with them medications required by terminally ill sufferers in the last few days of life. As a cost cutting measure the state government decided that these medications should be obtained for the patient at his or her cost from a pharmacy, and they were generally not on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The difficulty was that these medications were primarily used in hospitals and pharmacies as a rule did not carry them, which meant that the loved one or neighbour would have to chase around trying to find a pharmacy that kept them. A palliative care specialist Dr Michael Barbato, who worked from Port Kembla Hospital, addressed a Lions meeting one night and expressed his frustration at this situation. The Cancer Care Trust was able to get a Kiama pharmacist to keep all such palliative medications in stock, and have them supplied to the patient at no cost, with the trust picking up the tab. Today all Kiama and Gerringong pharmacies are involved in this program.

Who is eligible to receive assistance from the trust? Any resident of the Municipality of Kiama, diagnosed with cancer, and there is no means test. How are applications made? These are made to the Chair of the Trust by local general practitioners, palliative care doctors or nurses or local pharmacists, indicting what assistance would be appropriate. How are assessments made? For amounts less than $200 the Chair makes the decision. On receiving a request for amounts greater than $200, the Chair calls a meeting of the trustees and a decision is made within 24 hours of receipt of the request. The other trustees are not given the name of the applicant, for privacy reasons, and make their judgment on the information before them. What support is provided will depend on firstly, the funds available for that year, and secondly, the extent of the need. In any year up to one hundred or so patients might receive assistance.

Any donation over $2 is completely tax deductible, as the trust is classified as a Beneficial Financial Institution by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and has Deductible Gift Recipient status with the Australian Taxation Office.

Upcoming Projects

 

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