Searching for Quality men

Camp Quality volunteer Shasha Alizadeh has put out the call for other men to help out. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d414583
Camp Quality volunteer Shasha Alizadeh has put out the call for other men to help out. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d414583

The Leeming medical student is just one of eight men who registered to to help kids living with cancer at the well-known resilience-building camps last year.

There are 342 boys registered with the organisation in WA, where just 39 men are registered to volunteer compared to 138 women.

Shasha (28) has joined the call for more blokes to put their hand up.

‘It’s good to have a mix of men and women to help the boys and girls, and boys need good male role models,’ he said. ‘Cancer is not selective and sometimes boys feel more at home with a male buddy, especially if they are into their early teens.

‘It is a fantastic, rewarding experience. Everything is done for you so it’s just up to the volunteers to roll up and have fun and make sure the kids do too.’

Shasha is in his final year of a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at Notre Dame University and already has an undergraduate Bachelor of Pharmacy from Curtin University.

He was inspired to work with children by his father.

Before he and his family fled war-torn Iran when he was a small child, his father was a paediatrician.

He then worked as a GP after settling in Bull Creek and Leeming where Shasha attended Bull Creek primary and Rossmoyne senior high schools.

Camp Quality chief executive Simon Rountree said misconceptions about men in volunteering roles with kids could account for the low numbers.

‘Some may think it’s a ‘sad gig’ to volunteer with ‘sick kids’ and others see it as a stereotypically female, nurturing role,’ he said. ‘Other men are nervous about how it might be perceived.

‘All our volunteers are fully protected by our robust safeguarding children practices.’

To transform the life of a boy living with cancer, men can call 1300 662 267 or visit www.campquality.org.au/ volunteer