Over the past 18 months, Cessnock City Council staff members have raised $21,121 that has been donated to charities including the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation and beyondblue.
Breast cancer, prostate cancer, depression and anxiety are issues that hit close to home for many families across our region so council employees have taken the initiative to lend a hand and support the work that these charities are doing for people in need.
One in eight women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. A person’s mental health is also equally as important as their physical heath.
This staff-led initiative has seen both council’s indoor and outdoor uniforms turn pink and blue to raise awareness and funding for the chosen charities. Many staff also elected to make payroll deductions as a one-off payment or over a longer period to further contribute.
Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent is proud of what council staff have achieved through these initiatives, particularly the way they connected with the broader community.
“This all started as an idea from a member of our outdoor crew and it has grown into something really special,” Bob said.
“It is just amazing what an organisation can achieve when everyone comes together for a good cause and I commend all staff members who have taken part so far.”
Cessnock City Council Excavator Operator, Andrew McNamara was the individual who put forward the idea and said it was positively received by management, who supported it from day one and ran with it.
“I used to work for a coal mining company that painted their trucks blue and raised money following a colleague losing his battle to prostate cancer and to help staff with the grieving process,” Andrew said.
“I saw this as a great initiative for both employees and the community so I wanted to introduce it to local government. It’s heart-warming to see so many people getting involved.
“By supporting beyondblue, we are also being proactive in helping to break down the stigma of having a mental health problem, which is important, especially with a predominantly male outdoor workforce.”
Keep an eye out for council staff proudly sporting pink and blue to show their support for local people who have suffered or are suffering from cancer or mental health issues.