Central Coast LHD - CoastCanCare

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Central Coast Local Health District’s CoastCanCare Wellness Program has been a proud beneficiary of the annual Dry July campaign since 2013. Thanks to the generosity of those that commit to raising funds for us and Foundation grants, we continue to provide support, care and assistance to adults living with cancer on the Central Coast. CoastCanCare provides valuable wellbeing and recovery tools – free of charge – to cancer patients, their families and carers on the Central Coast. Information, education and support helps patients and carers to develop skills for coping with a cancer diagnosis, treatments and treatment side effects, such as fatigue, pain and anxiety. Art therapy, drumming, legal and financial workshops, self-care Saturdays and “Look Good Feel Better” are just some of the face to face programs designed to equip those attending with the tools to stick with their treatment plan with the best possible outcomes and to manage their health and wellbeing at the end of their care. Friendships and connections are established and continue long after CoastCanCare participation. And while face to face interactions may not always be possible, the CoastCanCare team continue with essential services including regular telephone and email contact with all participants, maintaining connection and a friendly voice during difficult times. We are grateful to Dry July for continuing to include CoastCanCare in the annual Appeal. With your support, in turn we will continue to support our community. As a “Dry Julyer” two things happen; not only do you have the opportunity to help local cancer patients – maybe a neighbour or relative – but 31 days without alcohol could also improve your own general health and wellbeing. Nominate Central Coast Local Health District’s CoastCanCare to ensure money raised stays on the Coast to benefit the local community.

Latest Updates

Making it through a month of no alcohol for a good cause

Miss Baldwin, aged 31 of Narara, said she was “in complete shock” when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2017. 

“I was just 29 at the time and probably the healthiest and fittest I have ever been – I was running half marathons and had just completed my first triathlon,” she said.  

“I was overseas in England at the time when I felt a lump and thought something is wrong.”  

Within a couple of months Miss Baldwin began what she described as a grueling 12 months of treatment with chemotherapy and a double mastectomy to remove the cancer. 

“I was losing my hair, I looked really sick and I was also struggling to deal with the emotional strain which is much harder than the physical side effects,” she said.  

It was at this point that her lymphedema physiotherapist told Miss Baldwin about the CoastCanCare wellness program.   

“I have a phenomenal family so I didn’t think I needed any outside help but the CoastCanCare program provided me with more support than I could have imagined,” she said.  

“I started out doing an art therapy class which I loved and then began tai chi.  

“They have also taught me how to tie a head scarf, gave me a wig to wear, showed me how to draw on my eyebrows, helped pay for bills and lots of other valuable support. 

But the biggest benefit for Miss Baldwin has been the connections she’s been made with other survivors. 

“The workshops have countless healing and wellness benefits but what is by far the most valuable thing for me is being in a room with other people who know what you are going through,” she said. 

“They all know what it’s like to have cancer and lose your hair and not feel yourself. 

“It’s a safe place to cry, talk and vent and work on my wellness.”   

After 12 months of treatment Miss Baldwin is now in remission and discovering what she calls her “new norm”.  

“It’s definitely an adjustment but CoastCanCare helps you through the process and I am back at work which is really nice to be a nurse again.”  

Miss Baldwin is taking on the Dry July challenge and encourages others to get behind the cause.  

“Raising funds for this program is something that is really close to my heart and I hope others see the value it has for people affected by cancer,” she said.   

“I’d also like to create more awareness about the CoastCanCare wellness program for young people on the Coast living with cancer who may feel isolated or alone.”  

If you would like to donate to CoastCanCare, please visit 

Wellness Program continues on the Central Coast thanks to Dry July Foundation funding

Thanks to an $80,000 grant from the Dry July Foundation the continuation of the CoastCanCare wellness program is guaranteed to continue in 2019.

Workshop sessions include mindfulness; practical exercise education and goal setting; music and art therapy; tai chi; meditation and vision board planning have taken place in 14 different suburbs and utilised 19 different venues across the Central Coast. 

Positive feedback from CoastCanCare participants include:

“This group has been my lifesaver keeping me focussed on the future not on my past journey”

“I loved listening to the different speakers. All people were friendly - helped me a lot with my rollercoaster day and gave me purpose”

“I love this program and have found it has made such a difference to my life”

“The wellness program gives you a platform — you can’t just sit at home, life’s to be lived.“

“It has restarted my life”

“This has given me back an important part of me”

“Enjoyed the friendship. Enjoyed the energy. Staff lovely.” and

“Motivated to keep on living!”.


The countdown is on for Dry July with the Central Coast community joining together for an alcohol-free month in support of local cancer patients.

The Central Coast Local Health District’s (CCLHD) CoastCanCare Wellness Program has been a beneficiary of the Dry July initiative for the past five years, helping make a real difference to the lives of adults diagnosed with cancer across the region, as well as carers and families.

Complementary therapies such as music, exercise and tai chi classes are offered as part of the program and focus on stress and pain management during a difficult time in people’s lives.

Claire Job, 34, was diagnosed with metastatic thyroid cancer almost two years ago and has found the CoastCanCare Wellness Program extremely helpful and rewarding.

Ms Job has enjoyed exercise and tai chi classes for the past 18 months and is looking forward to starting music and art therapy sessions in the coming weeks. 

“Receiving a cancer diagnosis is often an overwhelming, isolating, challenging and life-changing time,” Ms Job said.

“The CoastCanCare Wellness Program has provided my family, friends and I a place of peace, comfort, support, encouragement, respite and a sense of normality during an otherwise unfamiliar time.

“I was looking for anything to help overcome my feelings of fear, confusion and isolation. I was suddenly facing my own mortality, realising how fragile life can be and how quickly it can all change.

“I have learnt so much about myself and my diagnosis whilst gaining new and positive strategies around sleep, relaxation, nutrition, exercise and pain management. 

“Words cannot describe the amazing and rewarding benefits of the program – not only for the patient, but also for family, friends and carers.”

CoastCanCare Wellness Program coordinator Tia Covi encouraged Central Coast residents to get behind the Dry July initiative which continues to support many people affected by cancer.

"Every day I see first-hand the benefits the CoastCanCare Wellness Program is having on Central Coast adults diagnosed with cancer like Claire,” Ms Covi said.

“Ultimately our aim is to assist people to optimise their quality of life; to set and achieve their goals and priorities; to live their best life regardless of a cancer diagnosis.  

We do this by engaging therapists to work with people in group settings. This enables participants to connect with, support and learn from each other, as well as the therapist.

“Participants who have attended our programs have reported feeling less stressed and anxious and more connected, supported and skilled to promote their own health and wellbeing.” 

This year, Dry July participants and their supporters can once again nominate the District’s CoastCanCare Wellness Program as their beneficiary, ensuring their fundraising dollar remains on the Coast to benefit local cancer patients.

Sign-ups for 2017 are now open.

Visit to register to participate or to make a donation to a team or team member and be sure to nominate the ‘Central Coast Local Health District’s CoastCanCare Wellness Program’ as the beneficiary to ensure donations stay on the Coast.

Wellness program now in fifth year

Now in its fifth year, 2017, Central Coast Local Health District’s CoastCanCare Wellness Program continues to go from strength to strength with the support of the Dry July Foundation and the generosity of the public that nominate CoastCanCare as their beneficiary.

The Program provides information and practical tools and support to promote wellness for adult cancer patients in our local community. The Program also allows for a patient’s carer or family member to attend sessions and this has proved to be invaluable for the ongoing treatment and care of the patient.

CoastCanCare sessions provide advice on nutrition, psychosocial and physical care, distraction therapies such as meditation and mindfulness and occupational activities such as music and art therapies and exercise. The feedback from attendees has always been very positive and we are grateful for the opportunity to once again be part of the Dry July “family” in 2017.

All donations received from the Dry July Foundation – as with all monetary support for the District – goes directly to patient care to enable us to continue to provide the best care and treatment possible for our patients.

CoastCanCare Upcoming Programs

CoastCanCare is a supportive program for adults on the Central Coast living with cancer. The program's goal is to address the needs of patients and incorporates care domains in nutrition, psychosocial care, physical therapy, speech pathology, care coordination, and access to complementary therapies such as Music, Art Therapies. Dry July 2016 funds will continue to support CoastCanCare.

Currently scheduled programs include: 4 x 8 week Practical exercise classes, “Your Next Step to Wellness”; 3 x 6 week “Project Wellness” courses; 2 x “Staying Positive” workshops; and 2 x “Self-Care” workshops – facilitated by Quest for Life. 

The program has recently released outcomes from its first 18 months, wherein it provided 250 hours of programs to more than 200 individual adults, as well as 500 hours of additional therapy. Of participants surveyed, 81% of participants said the program helped motivate them to change habits and improve their own wellness.  

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