HELPING HANDS: Queensland Cancer Council regional fundraising co-ordinator Pandora Bevan with Josie McConville at Josie's Biggest Morning Tea, which is held in Kumbia every year.
HELPING HANDS: Queensland Cancer Council regional fundraising co-ordinator Pandora Bevan with Josie McConville at Josie's Biggest Morning Tea, which is held in Kumbia every year. Madeline Grace

Where the money goes from local Biggest Morning Tea events

MOST of us would have donated some of our spare change to enjoy a cupcake, cuppa, and scone at one of the many South Burnett Queensland Cancer Council Biggest Morning Tea Fundraisers.

But, have you ever stopped to wonder how exactly your money will be spent?

Luckily the Queensland Cancer Council regional fundraising coordinator Pandora Bevan dropped by Josie's Biggest Morning Tea in Kumbia last week to explain everything money related.

"All of the money raised here today and at any South Burnett Biggest Morning Tea will go towards programs and facilities in Toowoomba,” Ms Bevan said.

"This includes cancer patients accommodation, lodges, women's services, research, clinical trials, and our phone help line.

"In Toowoomba we have the Olive McMahon Lodge, which assists in providing patients undergoing cancer treatment by providing low or no cost lodging. They also provide free transport to and from the hospital and treatment centres.”

Ms Bevan said a lot of the funds raised go towards the Olive McMahon Lodge.

"The lodge offers a lot of services for patients who need extra financial support,” she said.

"This is especially targeted at regional cancer patients who have to travel for their treatment. Because after treatment they may need somewhere to stay if they're not up to driving.”

Ms Bevan said she knows a lot of people from the South Burnett area who have stayed at this lodge.

"I know the lodge and the staff there have helped many cancer patients and families from the South Burnett,” she said.

"I think it's really great to be able to see that everything we donate and fundraise at local events such as Biggest Morning Teas will go towards actually helping people from the South Burnett.

"Many of the residents who stay with us here are from rural areas such as the South Burnett and are retired or no longer working. So often they can't afford all the treatment needed to keep them alive.”

The Queensland Cancer Council specifically created these services with these kinds of patients in mind.

"This is why we help and raise money. It's also really important for those undergoing to cancer treatment to have ongoing support, and to not feel isolated,” Ms Bevan said.

"When my mum went through chemotherapy and radiation we had a huge network of friends, family, and community members who chipped in to help out. Whether this was cooking, cleaning, running us kids to school or sports when mum was too sick, or just being there to chat with mum.

"At the Cancer Council lodges we try to make it into a home away from home. We have morning tea with the patients, we drive them to their appointments, and we're always there to offer support and are available for a chat. We do all of this to try and make sure they feel comfortable and supported. Because it's hard to fight cancer without support.”

The Queensland Cancer Council phone line is 13 11 20, and is also where a lot of the fundraising goes.

"We also have our phone line. Which is a resourced often used by patients, carers, families, health professionals and anyone at all affected by cancer. This is just another way we can provide support for those who need it most,” Ms Bevan said.

"Our team at the lodges and who work on our phone line service are all trained professionals. We have nurses, counsellors, doctors, and support workers.

"All of the money raised through the Biggest Morning Teas go straight back into our lodge at Toowoomba. Which is where we look after and support many South Burnett cancer patients.”