GEOGRAPHE Financial Group has teamed with the Cancer Council to provide free legal, financial and workplace advice to cancer patients and their families in the South West.
The Cancer Council Pro Bono Program connects eligible people with lawyers, financial planners, accountants or recruitment professionals who can help with things like drafting wills, early access to superannuation, mortgage hardship variations, credit and debt issues, budgeting and managing workplace issues before, during and after treatment.
The free service matches professionals like Busselton and Bunbury’s Geographe Financial Group’s Alex Eades with clients who need assistance but cannot afford to pay for advice.
Mr Eades said he wanted to get involved with the program as soon as he found out about it in 2013.
“Nearly every adult I have known has been affected by cancer, whether through losing a family member, friend or work colleague to the disease, or seeing that person in their battle with cancer,” Mr Eades said. “I actually lost my own mother to cancer at a young age so I know the effect it can have on a family but fortunately we had amazing support from family and friends at the time.”
Mr Eades said most of the voluntary work he had done for the Cancer Council program had involved arranging the early release of superannuation benefits to help clients with cash flow or debt issues, as well as insurance claims for terminal illness and income protection.
“Being able to help someone in need, no matter how basic or complicated the situation and as much as it can be emotionally tough at times, is very rewarding work,” he said.
Busselton Cancer Council Cancer Support co-ordinator Susan Kennedy said more than 1855 WA clients had accessed free financial, legal and workplace advice since the program began.
“This program can make a huge difference to people affected by cancer and we are so grateful for the ongoing support of professionals such as Mr Eades who work so hard for our clients on a completely voluntary basis,” she said. “This is one of the important ways we aim to ease the stress of cancer.”
For more information about the program or Cancer Council call 13 11 20 or visit cancerwa.asn.au/patients/support-and-services/.