As Ambassadors you already play a huge role in helping us make people aware of the services and information we offer through your conversations with patients, handing out of information and putting up of posters.
Another way that you can help us support patients is by helping us to grow our Bloodwise patient community. You can help us do this in 3 main ways:
1. Sharing your own blood cancer experiences
If you haven’t already done so already we’d encourage you to join our patient community and write a blog to introduce yourself. The blog doesn’t have to be long - just something that introduces who you are, your own blood cancer experiences and your hopes for the future.
Being able to read about others who have been through or are going through something simliar can be enormously beneficial to patients and their families and can often provide real inspiration and hope.
Sharing your experiences can also be really helpful for you too - I found the whole experience helped me reflect on and make sense of everything that I'd been through. The fact that my blogs could also be of use to someone else has also helped me feel like I’ve been able to give a little something back.
If you haven’t already signed up, you’ll need to create a Bloodwise account before you can start blogging. You can sign-up for your account here: https://bloodwise.org.uk/user/register
Alternatively you can always drop me an email at email@example.com and I’ll be send you some more details on how to get started.
N.B. A blogging guide is also available on your Bloodwise memory stick which you received with your Ambassador Packs which should help you with the blogging process itself.
2. Engaging with and supporting others in our patient community
This is really, really important. At the moment we have a number of fantastic blogs and patient bloggers but we haven’t managed to generate a lot of engagement within the community itself.
We want all patient blogs to be acknowledged and have at least a couple of messages in the comment box which can be as simple as a message thanking them for sharing their experiences.
Leaving a comment is easy – all you have to do is write something in the comment box directly below the blog post.
N.B. Don’t forget to log-in before leaving a comment to receive notifications of any responses you might receive. It will also encourage greater engagement within the community and enable others to interact more with you and your own blogs.
3. Encouraging others to visit our patient community
We need your help in promoting the patient community to more blood cancer patients. The easiest way to do this is by directing people towards the patient community section on our website. Here’s the link: https://bloodwise.org.uk/our-community/patient-voices
If you’re a member of any patient Facebook groups, forums or online communities you can also help us grow the community by mentioning it to both the group and individuals you’re in contact with as and when appropriate.
Similarly, it would be fantastic if you could mention the community to other patients and your treatment teams but only if/when the opportunity presents itself – the last thing we want is for you to feel that you need to shoe horn it in to every conversation you ever have when you're at the hospital!
Going forwards we want to expand the patient community to incorporate forums and encourage ever greater peer-to-peer interaction as we know that being able to talk to and support other patients is an enormously important resource for many of you.
This can only happen if we can encourage engagement and build upon our existing patient community. By writing blogs, engaging in conversations and encouraging others to get involved you will be leading the way in helping us establish a supportive community we can all be proud of.
If you have any questions about the community or blogging please don’t hesitate in emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org