We’re currently around half way through Breast Cancer Awareness month here in Australia, and we here at S+C are thrilled to be in a position to help spread the word of this amazing cause, which assists those touched by cancer in more ways than one, and each day brings us closer to a brighter future.
It’s heart-warming to see how many brands and professionals throughout our industry come together during these few weeks in a bright pink show of support and unity. And while fundraising and financial support is of course a priority focus , we also mustn’t forget the opportunity we have as therapists and practitioners to bring positive mental and emotional change to patients, doing our little bit to help those affected by cancer to feel more confident, nurtured, relaxed and taken care of during their difficult times.
An organisation built on this idea is Look Good Feel Better (LGFB); a free service founded by the Cancer Patients Foundation, dedicated to teaching cancer patients how to manage aesthetic side-effects of their treatment. Workshops are led by volunteer industry professionals, and cover skincare techniques to address side effects like dryness and sun sensitivity, makeup tips to correct redness, sallowness, pigmentation and dark circles, techniques for brows, and advice on headwear including scarf styling and wig selection. Each participant also receives a complimentary Confidence Kit full of skincare and make-up products donated by the cosmetic industry.
Although LGFB is a year-round service open to anyone undergoing treatment for any sort of cancer, we had a chat to Carol Kavurma, General Manager of the Cancer Patients Foundation and Look Good Feel Better, on what Breast Cancer Awareness Month means to LGFB.
Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month an important time for LGFB?
Absolutely. Any campaign that helps to raise awareness of cancer and its broader impact gives us the opportunity to connect with those who we are able to help. It’s not just the diagnosis and the treatment that are hard to come to terms with, it’s also the effect they then have on the patient, their family and their friends in the sense of their overall wellbeing. Our workshops are all about boosting confidence and empowerment, allowing Australians to face their diagnosis and treatment with confidence, so having the ability to openly talk about these topics in a concentrated effort means we have the potential to help more people get through a difficult time in their lives.
Which brands offer additional support during this time?
We are very grateful to have a number of brands supporting us through October:
NuSkin – donating $1.00 from every “LumiSpa Pink Limited Edition” sale to Look Good Feel Better
Sand and Sky – have brought out a limited edition kit this month comprised of their Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment and a silky robe, with 30% of profits supporting Look Good Feel Better
Toni & Guy – encouraging clients to donate $2 or more on top of their service bill throughout October and 100% of the donation will go to Look Good Feel Better or the National Breast Cancer Foundation
Cheveux in Toowoomba – donating 10% of all retail sales to Look Good Feel Better
Do you tend to have more participants that are undergoing breast cancer treatment attend workshops in October?
Not specifically in October, but we do tend to see more breast cancer patients at our workshops generally, and from what we understand this is because breast care nurses do such an incredible job of referring their patients, and because support service information and education is more freely available.
Generally speaking, who are your volunteers? What are their backgrounds?
Our volunteers are predominantly trained beauty and hairdressing professionals who are generous enough to volunteer their time and expertise for the benefit of those attending our workshops. Our volunteers do go through a training process with us before they are able to attend workshops, to ensure the information being delivered to our participants is relevant to the side-effects they are experiencing as a result of their cancer treatment.
How can business owners and practitioners get involved?
There are three main ways:
- Donations – Look Good Feel Better receives no government funding so we rely solely on the generosity of the community to provide our service free-of-charge to cancer patients. Financial donations and stock donations are always welcomed; we do have requirements for stock donations to ensure they’re suitable for our participants to use, but in terms of financial donations, every single dollar makes a difference!
- Volunteering – we deliver our workshops in 180 venues across the country and we regularly assess our volunteer teams to ensure we have sufficient numbers to run the program. Those interested in volunteering can submit an application online and if their availability and skills suit our vacancies, we get in touch to commence the training process. We do ask that volunteers commit to a minimum of 4 workshops each calendar year.
- Helping us spread the word – we very much rely on word of mouth to get participants registered for our program, so we’re always happy to provide brochures or posters to any business owners or practitioners who are happy to help us promote the program. The more people know about us, the more people we can benefit!