The Canadian Cancer Society office in Cranbrook is closed until volunteer staffing can be put in place. However, it’s the Society’s long-term plan to eventually close to office for good.

Doors shut at Cranbrook office as Cancer Society faces changes

Will re-open once volunteer staffing in place, but will likely close in long-term

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), like all charities, is facing major changes, including the way the public accesses its services.

As a result, the CCS is taking a long, hard look at aspects of its operations — including its office spaces in communities around the country, including Cranbrook.

Mia Gardiner, Manager of Volunteer and Community Engagement for the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon, said the Cranbrook office of the CCS on 9th Avenue South has been temporarily closed since staff departure.

“We did have a staff that’s been affected by our restructuring,” Gardiner told the Townsman last week. “So when [that staffer’s] last day was up, we then had a summer student in, and when the summer student’s contract ended, we had a gap in our volunteerism — so we’ve shut the doors temporarily.

“The doors are currently shut until we get that volunteer staffing in place.”

Gardiner added that it is, however, in the CCS’s long-term plan to close the Cranbrook office.

“That being said, we would never do that before informing the community. We always talk to our volunteers first. Right now, we’re actually in conversation with some of our key volunteers about what our plans are with Cranbrook and area, and what our potential is in the next several months.”

Gardiner said it’s important that the public is aware that the Canadian Cancer Society is going through massive restructuring, and that there has been some staff affected across the country.

“I understand that that’s difficult for people — we all do — and so yes, Cranbrook has been affected by that staffing.”

Ultimately, Gardiner said, the need for the Society to operate offices at all is is decreasing because people are able to access services from a distance. Services like the Travel Treatment Fund, the Lodges, Peer Support Program and Cancer Information Service can all be accessed from anywhere.

“The reason we’re looking at [closing] offices at all is that our way of doing business has changed. Literally the wig banks are the only thing that people are needing to access physically through office space anymore.

Gardiner added the CCS is looking to partner with another organization to co-locate the Cranbrook wig bank to ensure the service remains available for people in the community.

“The community of Cranbrook can access and does access all our services a lot of times without the bricks and mortar. And this is just the way of the world.

“And truthfully, we’ve got to catch up with this new way of business and make sure we’re being as efficient as possible. And that’s why we’re really looking at things.”