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Partnership helping female cancer patients to Look Good, Feel Better

Janie Cameron jcameron@pharmacytoday.co.nzThursday 02 February 2017, 8:54AM
Partnership helping female cancer patients to Look Good, Feel BetterIf you or your staff would like to ­volunteer to help out at LGFB ­workshops, please email info@lgfb.co.nz

The head of a cancer support charity that partnered with Green Cross Health last year says the two organisations have a "beautiful relationship". 

Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) offers free skincare and make-up workshops for woman undergoing cancer treatment. Information about the workshops is available in 346 Green Cross Health pharmacies around New Zealand, and the organisation also supports LGFB by running a fundraising campaign each year during July.  

Clare O'Higgins, general manager of LGFB,  says the partnership with Green Cross Health, which started in June 2015, is helping them to "get out there in the community and be visible". 

"It's really humbling for us to have an organisation like Green Cross Health take us on board. It's an enormous benefit for us to be seen by [cancer patients] being recommended by a trusted health professional in the community." 

Ms O'Higgins says the doors Green Cross Health continues to open for the charity are incredible. 

"It's a beautiful relationship. The generosity in their commitment is quite overwhelming, and I think we are a very lucky ­organisation." 

Ms O'Higgins says the charity's goal of having no woman 30 minutes or more from a workshop has been greatly assisted by the support of Green Cross Health. 

Last year, LGFB hit the road in a 40-foot container, offering travelling workshops to women in more than 20 regions around the country - a feat, Ms O'Higgins says, would not have been possible without a number of generous donations. 

The group manager of marketing and communications at Green Cross Health, Debbie Yardley, says the organisation is "really supportive" of LGFB and the charity will continue to receive strong backing from the group. 

The two organisations are currently discussing plans to make LGFB's workshop information available in 45 Green Cross Health medical centres around the ­country.  

"It's about widespread community reach. The information is directly in front of people when they are talking about their health. 

"We offer a training room at our offices, and we have helped to find and open new locations for workshops around local communities." 

Ms Yardley says the feedback from Life and Unichem pharmacy staff has been excellent.  

"Many of our pharmacy staff volunteer and they go along to the workshops and are actively engaged. 

"It's something they can get on board with and really make a difference to people on a cancer journey in their community. It really does help people's confidence and for them to face the world again." 

Ms O'Higgins says the feedback received from patients who attend the workshops is overwhelming. 

"It helps them to feel confident and feel like they are in control…A lot of patients tell us they no longer feel alone in their cancer journey. 

"A lot of women just want to feel normal at the school gates when they go to pick up their kids."  

She says LGFB's services would not be possible without the products donated by the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association of New Zealand, which supplies each patient attending a workshop with a box of high quality skincare and make-up products to take home with them.  

This year, LGFB packed 3300 individual kits for women undergoing cancer treatment. There are more than 10,000 women diagnosed with some form of cancer in New Zealand every year, and Ms O'Higgins says the charity would like to be able to reach out to all these women.

 
 
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