View Comments
Male volunteers wanted to offer life guidance
Firefighter Kyle Chrystie with Laura Emmett and Carly Waples. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Kyle Chrystie may be entrenched in the traditionally male-dominated vocation of firefighting.

But it is his new other job of giving cancer kids smiles that he hopes more men will follow.

Mr Chrystie is one of too few WA men volunteering for Camp Quality to give gender-matched support and life guidance to children with cancer.

Just eight WA men volunteered for the program last year for a total of 39 to go with 138 women.

There are 342 WA boys registered with Camp Quality and chief executive Simon Rountree said many stigmas were attached to helping sick kids.

He also believed some men were nervous about volunteering because of child sex abuse issues.

Mr Chrystie said many of the Camp Quality kids came from broken homes and needed more adult male interaction.

"Having male adults to muck around with, play sports, kick the footy, play cricket, shoot each other in laser tag . . . they are opportunities they don't sometimes get," Mr Chrystie said.

As well as male volunteers, Camp Quality needs doctors, registered nurses and qualified paramedics to volunteer at their resilience-building camps.

Mr Chrystie and other volunteers this week took 41 kids aged 13 to 17 on a five-day camp in Albany but they had a surprise trip to Perth yesterday after Crown donated $6800 worth of theatre tickets to The Illusionists.

Having cancer was not pleasant, and giving children a chance to forget it was the aim.

"It's nothing to do with cancer - it's just about giving the kids as much fun as we can," he said.