Chris Wade’s blog – 40 years of support…
2019 marks an important milestone for the MND Association. As we mark our 40 years of operation, we recognise that it’s not a time for celebration as we are yet to find a cure or treatment for this vile disease. Although a lot of progress has been made and we do have a lot to be proud of, the job is not yet done. However, we can, acknowledge and be thankful to all those selfless individuals who have so generously given their precious time and energies over the last 40 years to help people affected by MND.
So, let me start by thanking you for your contribution to that amazing volunteering effort. I have never come across a more dedicated group of people in any other organisation. Individually you are great and collectively you are an amazing force for good.
Whenever we survey people affected by MND, the support given by volunteers is always rated so highly and greatly appreciated. The reasons for that are almost as numerous as the number of people we ask, but it is clear that people affected by MND value you, as people who give time freely without obligation, they value your empathy and compassion, your creativity and resourcefulness, your tenacity and determination to make a difference, the comradery you offer, your experience, skills and knowledge, and the fact that you are members of their local community giving something back.
The 40th anniversary seems to me to be a great time to capture some of the best learning, experience, knowledge, and good ideas that you as volunteers put into reality week after week, year after year. I know the temptation for us all is to get on with the next activity almost as soon as the last one is complete. Let’s be honest, there is always so much to do to help local people affected by the disease, that it’s sometimes easy to forget we are all part of one wondrous network of volunteers in communities across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
So, as you design a new initiative or put a tried and tested plan into action, and as the expertise, knowledge and learning you have gained continues to support people affected by MND in your community; why not take a little time to capture what worked well and share it with us. We can then share all your combined ideas, success stories (whether new or 40 years old) in a special 40 year celebration edition of The News and in a volunteer innovation archive. That way other volunteers from Andover to Aberystwyth and Penzance to Penrith can learn from what worked for you; and most importantly use that learning to achieve better outcomes for people affected by MND in all our communities.
So do please share success stories, tips, and learning with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and during the year we will be able to collate an archive of great ideas that would be the envy of other charities. It will show just how resourceful volunteers are in the MND Association.
Lastly, a mini survey from me. I would love to hear your stories direct. So please email me on email@example.com and tell me what one single activity you have taken as a volunteer or group of volunteers at the Association you are most proud of and why? Don’t be shy, as I would love by the end of 2019 to have the most wonderful account of the impact volunteers have made for people affected by MND in the last 40 years. You have much to be proud of, let’s capture it and learn from it to help more people in the future.
Director of Engagement