For many women the diagnosis of breast cancer is a major life stress, for themselves as well as their loved ones. While women will rely on physicians and other health care professionals for treatment and medical care, many of their psychosocial needs can be addressed through peer support and visitor programmes. Carefully selected and trained volunteers, who have had breast cancer, can provide support to new breast cancer patients, to help them meet the emotional, practical and informational needs related to the disease and its treatment. Most importantly, Reach For Recovery volunteers offer understanding, support, and hope because they themselves have survived breast cancer and gone on to live normal, productive lives.
The Reach To Recovery International Breast Cancer Support Service (RRIBCSS) visiting programme does not interfere in any way with the patient’s relationship with her physician and other health care professionals. The programme fosters and open and productive relationship between volunteers, patients, family and members of the medical and allied professions.
The Volunteer Support Service Programme focusses on the actual volunteer base of the organisation. All Reach For Recovery volunteers complete an initial training and participate in ongoing continuing education sessions. Volunteers also actively work for breast cancer awareness through talks to encourage breast cancer self-examination and outreach programmes into all communities. Any other person who wants to support the organisation by volunteering their services to do admin work, fundraising or awareness raising, is welcome to join any Reach for Recovery Group.
Volunteer are grouped in Reach For Recovery Groups covering a specific geographic area. They meet on a quarterly basis to report back on statistics regarding number of patients reached, awareness activities and also fundraising achievements.