So I've been thinking about how we can raise the profile of our peer support group. I was pleased that we agreed on a name and a poster, but I think they are just the start. Every time I visit the hospital stroke ward full to the brim, the statistics say that 80-90% of people survive their hospital stay, so where is everyone?
Sure, people end up with all sorts of mobility issues which might prevent them coming into the centre of Salisbury. But not everybody, surely? Those of us who come along already obviously find ways to attend.
So I guess the place to start in terms of raising awareness is in the field that I know. Bear in mind that in professional life, I used to be very handsomely paid in my jobs in IT. So things like creating a web site, for example, are a doddle. Plus, there are so many generators around these days, which mean the creation process is easier still.
What I'd therefore be looking for as an early goal is that if someone sits in front of their computer and types in "Salisbury stroke", for example, then they should get a link returned which highlights us and what we do. So we can hopefully minimise ignorance as a reason for not attending.
So, the obvious thing is to have some kind of web site. It doesn't need to do a lot, I mean clearly we're a very small group with very limited means. And again, I suppose traffic would be so low that that I doubt we'd ever top the list. But again, I have some expertise in that area so maybe I could contribute?
I mean, there are other ways in which to use the available technology, lots of which are in place already. I'm a user of Facebook (I don't know if everyone else is, but certainly a few of us have become friends with each other) so maybe we could create a group so we could keep in touch with each other online a bit more visibly? So, at least is someone did a search on Facebook, they'd find out that we existed. Plus, of course, other social media sites are available.
I mean, the only thing really is that I suppose most of the responsibility for actually doing all of this would come back to me. But it's not as if I'm pressed for time at the moment.
I suppose, though, being a very consensual person, I have to put my money where my mouth is and make sure that everybody is happy with the idea. No point jumping the gun - we don't want to end up with fewer members because of this! The last thing I want to be is the newcomer who wants to take things over.
BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation. I am based in the UK and the blog therefore has a UK bias - I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any terms which might be ambiguous, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me. Lastly, you'll find typos here, although I do my best to correct them. There are reasons for this, which you'll discover as you read.