04 Sep 2023

A gift in a will means that Canteen Aotearoa will receive annual funding to support rangatahi/young people impacted by cancer

A gift in a will means that Canteen Aotearoa will receive annual funding to support rangatahi/young people impacted by cancer

Around 4,200 rangatahi are impacted by cancer each year in Aotearoa, whether it’s their own diagnosis or cancer in their whānau. Canteen’s mission is to ensure they don’t have to face cancer alone.

Canteen provides vital support services tailored to the individual’s specific needs and cancer experience. Their Clinical Team offer a wide range of free services to support rangatahi, including individual support, peer events, therapeutic camps and programmes, and specialised online support through Canteen Connect.

Annual funding from the Roy & Mary McGowan Fund helps Canteen support its members living in the Western Bay of Plenty (WBOP).

Chief Executive of Canteen, Nick Laing, expressed what that funding means to them, “The financial support we receive from the Roy and Mary McGowan Fund helps Canteen Aotearoa continue to provide its vital support services for rangatahi impacted by cancer. This includes individual counselling and opportunities for rangatahi to connect with others who understand what they're going through. One of the most important programmes that this fund directly supports is CanSurf, an annual camp held at Waihi Beach. It's a weekend where rangatahi learn to surf amongst other activities, which gives them a safe space to have some fun, get a break from cancer and connect with other rangatahi, creating bonds that continue long after the weekend ends.”

Over the years, more than 350 local individuals, couples, and families have decided that leaving a gift in their will to support the WBOP community is a great option. Gifts given through the Acorn Foundation are invested in perpetuity, generating investment returns that are distributed annually to community organisations working in areas that are closest to our donors’ hearts.

Roy and Mary were able to support many deserving organisations through their gift in their will to Acorn. Canteen was thrilled to be chosen by Mary to receive annual distributions from their fund.

“Canteen provided amazing support for both my siblings and I, and I cannot describe what it was like to be part of a group that completely understood my experience and were so open and honest with each other. Cancer is such an awkward topic, and it’s so freeing to be able to talk about your experience without feeling like you’re making other people uncomfortable," said Tauranga Canteen sibling member, Lola.

Lola also joined Canteen’s Leadership Programme to support other rangatahi dealing with cancer in their whānau. The programme has given her the opportunity to develop key skills, learn more about her leadership style, and support her peers.

The impact that Mary and Roy have had on our region will live on through the gift they left to the community they loved so much, through their Acorn fund.

Support local charities through a gift in your will this Wills Month. For information about Wills Month click here. 

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