South Hertfordshire Branch’s greetings card
In an effort to engage with more people who have recently been diagnosed with MND, the South Hertfordshire Branch decided it was time for more direct action rather than waiting for people to approach them.
As a result, the branch is now in touch with many more people with MND and holds regular get-togethers for people with MND and carers to meet for support.
Branch Chair, Lesley Ralston said: “I have been chair of South Herts Branch since 2009 and we only had contact with a handful of people with MND until the end of 2013. This was very frustrating as we felt it was so important for them to have a local point of contact which they could call on.
“We hit on the idea of writing a very informal greeting card telling people the sort of things we can do to help them and giving them the option of contacting us. We then asked those who were already in contact, to pass them on.
“We had a stupendous reaction – and the rest is history! We hold ‘get-togethers’ now and it is not unusual for 20 people to come, people with MND and their carers.”
The greetings card includes information about the branch support meetings, what financial support and equipment can be offered, information about Association Visitors and also quotes from others living with MND about how useful and supportive the branch have been.
The card, along with a branch leaflet and a response form are sealed in an envelope and left with Care Centres, MND specialist nurses and anywhere else newly diagnosed people might attend.
The idea has been so well received that other branches and groups are beginning to adopt this way of working. Lesley has recently passed on the idea to the Colchester and North East Essex Group who are producing their own version, hoping it will help them reach more people too.
If you would like to implement something similar in your area and would like some ideas or support on how to do this contact your VDC.