Quality program for families living with cancer

23 February 2015

A $2,000 donation from The Bay Sports Club and Canterbury League Club went a long way to creating a fun and supportive environment at the inaugural Camp Quality Graduation Program held at The Collaroy Centre in Sydney.

178 children aged 13-18 years from around NSW, who have experienced cancer or have a sibling with cancer, were invited to participate in the five day camp which celebrates their years with Camp Quality and how far they have come along in their cancer journey. The camp also provides them with skills and information to ensure a positive transition into further youth support organisations like CanTeen Australia which helps 12-24 year olds who are living with cancer.

“Cancer puts a huge strain on families. The majority of child cancer survivors will have one or more ongoing issues with their health, education or social development as a result of having intense treatment so young. Our camps are devised to give them back their childhood, encourage independence and restore their confidence to face whatever the world throws at them,” said Vanessa Bullman, Regional Manager for Camp Quality.

Throughout the week, camp participants enjoyed a variety of great activities which included a Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, a special cooking class with 2009 MasterChef Justine Schofield, and drama, dance and song workshops. The week culminated in a fancy Farewell Formal Dinner where the kids travelled to Doltone House in 19 Hummers and stretch limos and were welcomed on the red carpet by Camp Quality Ambassadors, Luke Jacobz and Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald.

“The Graduation Program aims to be the spark that ignites the strengths of all participants. By participating in activities, young people get to recognise their own strengths and be equipped to utilise those strengths to create their own positive future,” said Bullman.

“This is also their last kids-only camp with Camp Quality. For some it will be moving onto their next chapter in life and still perhaps dealing with the effects of cancer, for some it will be leaving the cancer journey behind completely. Wherever they are on their journey, our hope is that they leave with such fond memories of their time with CQ and be able to walk forward into the next stage of life with optimism, resilience and confidence.”

“Programs like this provide the opportunity for children to enjoy themselves in a safe and supportive environment, and to be around others who understand what they are going through,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.