Cancer support group needs volunteers

An example of the softies.

The Cape Peninsula branch of Reach for Recovery, which helps breast cancer patients and their families, needs extra hands to sew softies – a temporary breast form given to patients.

Reach for Recovery chairwoman Carla Lind says the pandemic hit the organisation hard: they were unable to visit patients in hospital, do outreaches and hold open meetings, and the sewing group ceased to exist.

“As volunteers who visited patients after their operations to give them a care pack and emotional support, we were not allowed into hospitals under strict lockdown. It was very difficult to get to know patients in hospital, and only emergency cases were operated on. Most volunteers were too scared to go to hospitals in person during the lockdown. We also suspended any prosthesis fittings during this time.”

Under the more relaxed restrictions, they are assisting state patients with prosthesis fittings on pre-arranged days and times. They have also resumed making the softies but need volunteers to help with this.

The softies are made from cotton with batting inside and a small bag with plastic pellets to keep it in place. It is a soft temporary breast form that breast cancer patients can wear after their surgery.

Reach for Recovery will provide all the material, batting and pellets. The sewers must have their own sewing machine.

“Classes will be provided to teach sewers how to make the softies correctly,” Ms Lind said.

Reach for Recovery moved to the Jaggers Bowls Club in Mowbray after the CANSA building was sold in 2020. Ms Lind said they had not had any monthly meetings since lockdown.

The public can also donate wool for knitted beanies and knitted blankets for Groote Schuur Hospital patients.

Ms Lind said the Tokai library knitting club also helped Reach for Recovery, and the organisation was available to do outreach work and talks, at no charge.

For more information or to get involved, call Ms Lind at 083 280 3456.