The Canadian Cancer Society Port Alberni office is starting a new chapter after closing its doors. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Canadian Cancer Society Port Alberni office is starting a new chapter after closing its doors. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Canadian Cancer Society in Port Alberni closing doors

Access to support programs will remain unchanged

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) will be closing its doors, but the society is establishing new ways to engage volunteers and supporters in the community.

The Port Alberni office was granted a reprieve last year when the Hospice Society generously offered to share office space.

“The Port Alberni Hospice Society has been so generous and hospitable to support our on-going efforts in the community to help people who face cancer,” said Jan Buehler, Manager for Vancouver Island Canadian Cancer Society.

“But the Hospice Society has grown and can no longer continue sharing their space.”

Having been unable to find an alternative donated space, the difficult decision was made to close the Canadian Cancer Society Port Alberni office. This decision was made after careful consideration of a number of factors, including the need to reduce administrative costs and the reality that many people facing cancer access CCS support services online or over the phone.

“There may not be a physical office space, but this dedicated and caring group of volunteers will continue to support the Alberni Valley. We are a just a phone call away at (250) 720-9204,” said Bev Frolic, volunteer president of the Port Alberni chapter of the CCS. “We have been supporting this community for many years and have seen many changes in the Valley. We are all family – especially in the fight against cancer.”

The money saved by closing the physical office will be redirected to other areas of CCS’s mission, including funding cancer research, prevention initiatives and support programs for those facing cancer.

“We are proud to have been a partner with the Alberni Valley for many years and hope to continue this partnership well into the future,” explained Buehler. “We are tremendously fortunate to have a number of dedicated and passionate volunteers who will continue to help us engage and support residents in a meaningful way for everyone.”

Access to a commonly used support programs like the Travel Treatment Fund and Peer Support Program will remain unchanged. The office closure will not impact the ability of Port Alberni residents to continue using CCS services.

“The people of the Alberni Valley area have always been great supporters of CCS and we are very thankful. We value their continued commitment to the fight against cancer,” added Buehler.

The Hospice Society has offered free use of their boardroom for CCS meetings going forward.