29 September 2023

Homegrown fundraising sprint hopes to hit the ground running this October

| Morgan Kenyon
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Louiza Blomfield and ENTER with CHF mascot Hearty.

‘Hearty’ the vibrant mascot for the Canberra Hospital’s charitable foundation, established in 2008, joins Louiza Blomfield and Andrew Giles. Photo: Canberra Hospital Foundation.

CAN GIVE DAY is back again with its biggest goal yet, encouraging Canberrans across the region to show their support for local healthcare services and the hundreds of patients accessing them every day.

Flagship fundraiser for the Canberra Hospital Foundation (CHF), the fourth CAN GIVE DAY will run on Friday 13 October. The 24-hour event calls for donations to support exceptional patient care across Canberran public health institutions.

Having raised more than $960,000 over the last four years, CAN GIVE DAY 2023 looks to raise the bar even higher. The foundation aims to reach $400,000 in donations by the end of its annual fundraising sprint.

But it’s not all about the money – the event gives staff across Canberra Health Services departments a chance to celebrate and acknowledge the dedicated efforts of their peers.

READ ALSO Canberra Hospital Foundation launches The Care Unit, a new vehicle for gratitude and connection

Julie Solway, a registered nurse and quality and promotions manager at BreastScreen ACT which offers free screening mammograms to people aged 40 years and over, says the event provides everyone a chance to give.

“CAN GIVE DAY is a wonderful opportunity to support our community by improving outcomes for client health and wellbeing, by developing their experience on a more personal level,” she says.

“Along with other programs run by the foundation, CAN GIVE DAY is a chance for us all to give, acknowledging that we care and want the client experience to be the best it can be.

“The CHF Beautiful Shawls Project at BreastScreen ACT is a wonderful example of this. This project supports First Nations women in a culturally sensitive way aimed at creating a positive and safe BreastScreening experience.”

Three women standing with a colourful heart mascot, wearing embellished bras on the outside of their shirts as part of the 'Bra Walk' fundraiser for Can Give Day.

Kathy Hayes, Hearty, Karla Maganto-Parisotto and Julie Solway at Canberra Hospital’s 2022 CAN GIVE DAY ‘Bra-Walk’. Photo: Canberra Hospital Foundation.

Funds raised through CAN GIVE DAY since 2019 have delivered new artwork for the Foetal Medicine Unit to help reduce stress, offer distraction from pain and improve relationships between patients and their staff.

Donations also allowed the Mental Health Music Therapy Program to buy new and diverse instruments, leading to higher levels of engagement for people of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (CALD), as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

New equipment including the ChemiDoc MP Imaging System has further personalised patient experience and diagnosis. This system also supports medical research for Canberrans living with immune-related diseases.

READ ALSO Play therapists at Canberra Hospital are transforming children’s medical experiences

Karla Maganto-Parisotto, quality and promotions officer at BreastScreen ACT, urges Canberrans to support the CAN-BRA Strut Your Bra at Work campaign alongside CAN GIVE DAY.

“Friday 13 October we ask you to either wear or decorate a bra over your clothes to show your support for our campaign,” she says.

“Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, and neither should awareness for it. This campaign directly contributes to early detection projects for CALD, First Nations and LGBTIQA+ communities, which are less likely to engage in screening programs and benefit from the early detection of cancer.

“This fundraiser is not just about wearing a bra – it’s about wearing hope, empowerment, and solidarity. It’s about evoking empathy, understanding and unity. By standing together, we ensure no-one faces breast cancer alone.”

Join the Canberra Hospital Foundation this CAN GIVE DAY, Friday 13 October, to inspire hope and show support for local healthcare services and patients.

Jump online to find out more about CAN GIVE DAY‘s impact and get involved in the CAN-BRA campaign.


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