The 2021 Dry July funding has already benefited hundreds of New Zealanders who needed support in their recovery from cancer treatment. The impact of cancer treatment affects every aspect of a person’s life and the COVID pandemic has only made their experience more challenging.
Despite COVID, the restrictions and the risks, we have been proud to see our Certified Cancer Rehab Physios continue to show resilience and determination to offer safe and much needed oncology rehabilitative support to their communities. During this time our Dry July partnership has meant that we’ve been able to adapt and deliver our programs and continue to offer a better every day for anyone with cancer.
With Dry July funding we have:
• Increased the number of Paddle On Programs running in the community. Being outdoors and on the water has meant people with cancer have still been able to access the physical and mental benefits these sessions offer, whilst also aligning with the necessary COVID rules and guidelines. The Paddle On feedback has been excellent. Most participants referring to the uplifting nature of being able to truly connect with others in a safe environment, spending time in nature and being supported by cancer rehab trained Physiotherapists.
• As COVID restrictions varied in different regions we were able to continue to offer safe, PINC&STEEL therapist lead, face to face group Next Steps classes. We also supported our cancer rehab Physios to continue Next Steps Programs online when it has been necessary, or when participants have chosen it to be their preferred option due to increased risks. Again, the feedback has reflected the importance of being able to continue to attend group oncology sessions, to keep moving, and to be in touch with cancer rehab physiotherapists.
Alongside the pivots required for service provision during the pandemic, Dry July funding has played a major part in ensuring that people without insurance, people struggling to work during cancer treatment, those living in low socioeconomic households, and those impacted by healthcare inequity have still been able to access the cancer rehabilitation they need.
Dry July’s funding support has meant that PINC & STEEL has been able to continue to reduce barriers and connect more people with cancer across Aotearoa with a better every day.
“I have never thought of myself as athletic, so I had to be persuaded to try Paddleboarding. In the beginning I was nervous but under kind and professional guidance I found an inner strength that I didn’t know possessed. I feel strong, I feel balanced, and the energy and joy I get from being on the water carries through into the rest of my life. I feel empowered by my newfound ability and that I have finally found a new way of being. I am eternally grateful that I was able to take part.” Sue, Paddle On participant