Andy Jackson
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Make May Matter

Andy Jackson
Posted by
04 May 2015

Get involved in our online community in May to help us in our efforts to support patients and their families.

We've got a really busy month ahead on our Facebook page as we look to continue reaching out to the online blood cancer patient community and need your help to make sure we make it a success.

First and foremost we'd like you to help us in our efforts to support Mental Health Awareness Week (8th - 14th), International Nurses Day (Friday 12th) and International Clinical Trials Day (Saturday 20th). For all three of the awareness initiatives there are a number of ways that you can get involved:

Mental Health Awareness Week

1. Submit a question(s) for our Facebook Live session with a clinical psychiatrist

On Thursday 11th May we're holding a Facebook Live Q&A with Dr Frances Goodhart who will be talking to us all about mental health in relation to blood cancer. Ahead of the Q&A we're looking for questions that we can have ready to ask Frances and it would be brilliant if Ambassadors could lead the way on this.

We'll be putting a post up on Facebook asking for questions on Tuesday afternoon and it would be briliant if you could post your questions in the comment box in the first instance as it will hopefully encourage others to get involved. If you'd rather send us a question before Tuesday then you can always email it to us at

N.B. The interview itself will be on Thursday at 12pm and it would be fantastic if you could tell others that it's happening so they know when to tune in.

2. Share our Mental Health Awareness Week launch post

We'll be kicking off Mental Health Awareness Week with a launch post on Monday 8th encouraging people to share their own experiences and challenges to help break down some of the stigmas surrounding mental health. It would be wonderful if some of you could contribute to this on some level as well as highlighting any support or resources that you've found useful. 

The post will also promote our support line as a first port of call for people affected by blood cancer which we're very keen to publicise more widely so if you could also share the post that would be hugely appreciated.

3. Engage with our patient stories

Samantha Farr has very kindly agreed to write a blog especially for Mental Health Awareness Week in which she's going to be very open about some of the challenges that she faces. It would be fantastic if you could keep an eye out for her post on Tuesday and look to leave a message of support.

A lot of you are very good at doing this already but what would be even more helpful is if you could leave a comment on the blog itself as we're looking a big push to encourage more people to join the Bloodwise patient community on the website.

N.B. You'll need to be logged in to do this and if you haven't got an account you'll first need to create one. You can register here.

I'll also be putting a blog together about some of the demons I've had as a result of blood cancer as the Sunday patient story which just so happens to also be my 'cancerversary' - it'll be 13 years since my stem cell transplant.

International Nurses Day

For International Nurses Day we're looking for people to help us show our appreciation for the wonderful work that they do by telling us all about their own nurses and what makes them great. We'd love for you to lead the way on this so if you've got a good relationship with your clinical nurse specialist (CNS) it would be brilliant if you could leave a comment in support of your CNS and what it is that makes them so great.

We're mindful that not everyone has a CNS or knows that they have one so we're hoping that the engagement and comments about CNSs will encourage those who are less sure to get in touch with us.

Any photos you have of you with your CNS would be great, too, as we're looking to send on some of the responses to our nursing contacts to demonstrate to them just how valuable and appreciated they are by both ourselves and patients.

The post will be going out on Friday 12th at 9 am in place of #FeelAlive Friday which will be taking a week off before returning the following week. 

N.B. We may also be running a Facebook Live with a CNS however this has yet to be confirmed. If this is agreed then I will let you know early next week.

International Clinical Trials Day

For International Clinical Trials Day we're putting out a post to promote our new information booklet about Clinical Trials which we'd love for you to share and tell others about.

If you've got time to leave a comment about the booklets and/or any experiences you may have had with clinical trials and how having a resource like this available would be much appreciated but don't feel under any pressure!

Building our online community   

We really need your help to build up our online community on the Bloodwise website. Again, there are a number of ways that you can help us do this:

1. Write a blog for us

We're on the look out for more blogs about all aspects of blood cancer. Patient blogs are at the very heart of our patient community as they the touch point for so many looking to engage with us and find out more about other people's experiences.

If you're interested in writing a blog but haven't got an account set up already, you'll need to register first here:

All the rest of the information on how to get blogging should be available in the blogging guide on the USB stick that you should have received with your Ambassador Welcome Pack.

If you have any difficulites or questions about the blogging process please don't hesitate to email me directly at

2. Comment on others blogs

Engagement levels in our patient community are nowhere near where we'd like them to be. However this is something that we're working on. We need your help encouraging the conversation by you taking the lead in leaving comments on other people's blogs. 

Long term we're looking for the conversation to be as frequent and supportive as it is in the Ambassador Facebook group or the Bloodwise Facebook page. This will take time but with your support we'll get there sooner rather than later and have a community we can all be proud of.

3. Encouraging others to visit/join the community

To grow our online community we need your help telling people that this brilliant source of blogs and peer-to-peer support exists.

You can help us do this by telling others about the patient community. That can be anywhere and everywhere from conversations you have with other patients in the out-patient clinics to in any online or offline support groups that you might be a part of.

Similarly, if you know of any bloggers that you think would be interested in joining then do encourage them to get in touch.

Thanks in advance for all your amazing support with this - here's to us making a huge impact together online!


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