The Canadian Cancer Society is closing its Williams Lake office located in the Seniors Activity Centre on Fourth Avenue North as of Dec. 22. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Canadian Cancer Society closing Williams Lake office

The Canadian Cancer Society says it needs to find other ways to engage with communities other that with bricks and mortar.

  • Nov. 28, 2017 10:00 a.m.

The Canadian Cancer Society office is closing its Williams Lake office as of Friday, Dec. 22 in an effort to save money to fund cancer research, prevention initiatives and support programs such as the Kordyban Lodge in Prince George.

“We have observed the number of people who use our community offices for information or donating has fallen significantly,” said Nancy Shelford, volunteer engagement co-ordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society. “Ultimately we recognized that we need to find other ways to engage with communities without relying on bricks and mortar.”

Canada’s growing and aging population, along with a change in the way the public interacts with the society, has led the organization to rethink the way it spends donor dollars, said Shelford, noting by 2030, the number of cancer cases in Canada is expected to be 40 per cent higher than it was in 2015.

The society needs to ensure it is a sustainable organization that can meet the rising demand for its services as well as the need to invest in research. With this knowledge the society began a thorough review of how the organization engages with the community.

The closure of the office will not affect the society’s work to support cancer patients, their caregivers and families in and around Williams Lake.

“The community needs to know that we’re still here,” said local volunteer Sharon Mallard. “We will continue to support local events like the Daffodil Campaign. The Cops for Cancer Tour de North will still be making their bi-annual pit stop in Williams Lake and we’ll be there along with the community to cheer them on. Money raised in Williams Lake will continue to make the greatest impact against all cancers.”

READ MORE: Cops for Cancer Tour de North departs from Williams Lake

Lodge services will continue; trusted information and support is available through the society’s Cancer Information Service at 1-888 939-3333 or 24 hours a day at cancer.ca and a great amount of information is available through the community office in Prince George.

The Canadian Cancer Society is seeking a host partner for the wig bank service so this important service can remain easily accessible in Williams Lake.

“All services provided by the society will remain in place for residents of Williams Lake,” added Shelford. “As one example, in the first six months of this year, over 50 people from Williams Lake stayed at the Kordyban Lodge in Prince George. We will continue to support people as they cope with cancer.”

Shelford thanked the team of 10 volunteers that have operated the Williams Lake office.

“We are so grateful to the committed and passionate volunteers we have in Williams Lake who have made great strides in helping us prevent cancer, fund critical cancer research and deliver compassionate support programs for people facing cancer,” Shelford said. “We want to continue to work with each and every one of them in order to bring our mission to Williams Lake and to continue to make a difference to the lives of those affected by cancer.”

Annual operating costs for the office are approximately $5,400 or around 27 per cent of the Williams Lake donations forecast for 2017. The funds saved from the closure will be directed to supporting the society’s mission.

“The people of the Williams Lake have always been great supporters of the society and we’re very thankful and value their continued commitment to the fight against cancer,” said Shelford.

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