Have you thought about joining one of MS-UK's Peer Pods? Here, Peer Support Co-ordinator Vicky shares updates on this growing service for the multiple sclerosis (MS) community.
By now, I am hoping that you have all heard about our new service and the themed Peer Pods that we have been running since March. You may even already have attended one or more of our sessions and enjoyed meeting others online. At MS-UK, we are dedicated to letting the voices of the MS community inform the work we do – so I am pleased to announce that we will be launching three new Peer Pods, based on what our Virtual Insights Panel or VIP (made up of people living with MS) told us they would like to see.
We understand that there are some symptoms and issues that can be difficult to talk about, particularly when they are around sensitive subjects, so we hope that by having these specific groups, people will feel more comfortable discussing the topics that really matter to them.
We also know that 'newly diagnosed' is not necessarily just those that have been diagnosed in the last month or year, or even the last five years. We understand that many people when first diagnosed can spend several years not engaging with health services or the 'MS community' and so this pod is for all those that may only now, for whatever reason, be finally feeling ready to talk.
Unlike our current pods, these sessions will have no particular theme, which means that anything can be a topic of conversation and a chance to share stories and learn from each other.
We know from experience what great benefits there are to be gained from speaking with others that are living with similar challenges, and how this can help people to feel less isolated and alone – regardless of whether you have a good support network of family and friends.
But don’t just take my word for it! Here is what some of the attendees of our pods have said so far:
'Thank you so much for your support. I really enjoyed the zoom get together yesterday, what a fantastic group of people! It was very interesting hearing everyone’s story and I’d really like to join you again in a couple of weeks.'
'I am so happy that I’ve met you, your positivity is infectious, thank you so much!'
'Thanks so much Vicky, I will pop in again next week. I really benefitted from the laughs & sharing experiences.'
'That was lovely! I nearly didn’t join as I was having a bad day, but so glad I did! Thank you so much for setting up the Peer Pods Vicky, it’s like a massive breath of fresh air seeing you all and chatting so freely!'
'So good to chat, ladies. It felt totally ok being able to share with each other in such a brilliant safe space'
'You have all helped me when I was at my lowest and loneliest.'
It needn’t stop there either! We are always happy to hear from you, so if you have any suggestions for a Peer Pod that you would like to see in the future – or if you like the idea of volunteering with us and facilitating a pod yourself – then please do get in touch!
Fancy joining one of our current or future Peer Pods? Simply contact us by emailing email@example.com
I look forward to ‘seeing’ you soon!