Weekly update from our CEO

Weekly update from our CEO

On behalf of all of us at Solaris Cancer Care, we want to both thank and congratulate Lotterywest and the State Government for pro-actively establishing the Lotterywest COVID-19 Crisis and Emergency Relief Fund – a mechanism for community organisations and not for profits like Solaris Cancer Care to access financial support during this difficult time.

The Relief Fund was set up for Western Australian not-for-profit community sector organisations and local government authorities to provide crisis and emergency relief services and has a variety of specified requirements.  Lotterywest is currently focused on providing basic essentials such as food and shelter to vulnerable people in need, and we are hopeful they will soon be in a position to offer support towards organisations like Solaris Cancer Care.

So we have submitted an Expression of Interest to the Fund based on meeting the following criteria:

  • We support those that are most at risk of serious infection (immune compromised, older people, diagnosed chronic medical conditions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples).
  • Financial hardship as a result of a cancelled event resulting from COVID 19 (considers cancellation costs, loss of revenue and incurred and/or committed costs related to events)
  • Support for not-for-profit community organisations to continue to provide support services and activities for the benefit of the Western Australian community during the pandemic crisis (e.g. maintain staff, pivot operations, maintain viability and build resilience for future recovery).

Receiving this grant is essential for the continuation of the provision of services and long-term survival of Solaris Cancer Care. Our application to the Fund specifically requests the following:

CRITICAL NEED 1Counsellors to provide cancer patients, their families and the wider West Australian community with mental health and wellbeing support for three-month period (150 sessions per week)

CRITICAL NEED 2Provision of online services for three months to assist wider West Australian community with mental health and wellbeing support for three-month periodInfrastructure to extend online service production from one to six to reach all centres (particularly regional counsellors) now that isolation and regional border access is hampered

CRITICAL NEED 3Event cancellation and loss of revenue relief to maintain our services

Solaris Cancer Care and its volunteers and supporters have committed to matching funds provided by LotteryWest with $136,715 of in-kind support including generous support around video production expertise (anonymous), legal counsel from King & Wood Mallesons and Hall and Wilcox, graphic design, website and communications support from Board member Kirsty Danby and her team at Platform Communications.

We have written to the Premier and requested he support our application. We understand and appreciate that many important not-for-profit organisations which provide vital services to specific sectors and the wider community are also in need and will be applying for these grants.

We are hoping and praying for the best but continue to look for any opportunity which presents itself to raise funds for the continuation of our services and to support our clients.

To this end, we will soon be contacting people to help us raise funds through our May We Survive campaign – a major fundraiser which underpins our ongoing operations.

Look out for this in my next weekly update when I let you know exactly how a little of your time and support will go a long way.

David Edwards,

Solaris Cancer Care CEO