Help us develop virtual support for friends and family
What it will involve
Our group will be made up of friends and family members of people living with MS from across the UK. The group will help us develop new virtual sessions for people with a friend or family member who’s recently been diagnosed with MS (within the last five years).
The sessions will mean we can offer support to more people supporting a loved one with MS. People will be able to connect with others going through the same experience, and support each other.
Wouldn’t it be exciting if you could help us make it happen?
The need for this support
When someone is diagnosed with MS it can be a lot to take it and understand, both for the person with MS and the people around them.
We’ve recently been working with a group of people who’ve been newly diagnosed with MS. Together, we created a virtual session to help connect recently diagnosed people with others at a similar stage of their journey with MS. People also told us that friends and family members could benefit from this kind of virtual support – which is where you come in.
Could you share your thoughts, experience and knowledge with us?
By joining our group you’ll take part in five virtual video meetings between February and May. Each meeting will last for one hour. They’ll be hosted on a video conferencing site called Zoom (https://zoom.us/)
Following these meetings, we’ll use what you’ve shared with us to develop our new virtual support offer. You’ll then get the chance to test this out and share your feedback with us. We’ll launch the new sessions in autumn 2019.
What do I need to take part?
- You’ll need to be the friend or family member of someone who’s been diagnosed with MS.
- Zoom is really easy to use but you’ll need some basic kit to access it. Ideally, a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone with a camera, speakers and a microphone (most tablets and smartphones have these functions). If you don’t have access to this kit, please let us know and we may be able to work around it.
- A stable internet connection. You can access Zoom on your device through an internet browser like Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. It just takes a simple click to get started!
If you’re interested in taking part and helping shape this work please contact Coleen Kelly, Self Management Lead on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 335 4050.
Further details about the virtual sessions
What will happen at each meeting?
Each meeting will be based around a specific them or set of questions, which we’ll ask you to reflect on based on your own experiences. We’ll ask you to share your reflections with the rest of the group online.
When will the meetings take place?
We hope the one-hour meetings will take place at lunchtime during a weekday or in the evening, to accommodate those with working and/or caring commitments. Once you’ve registered your interest in taking part we’ll ask you about your availability (we’ll do this via Doodlepoll). We’ll then organise meetings on times and dates when the majority of people can attend. It would be great if you could attend all five meetings.
When we will test the new content with you
Once we’ve developed our new virtual support offer, we’ll set up a trial session so you can try it out and give us your feedback. This will take place over approximately five sessions in June and July 2019. We’ll confirm dates once those who are interested let us know their availability (Via Doodlepoll). As with the previous meetings, we’ll organise the sessions on times and dates when the majority of people can attend. It would be great if you could attend all five trial sessions.
How Zoom works
Zoom is a virtual platform which lets people connect online. Similar to platforms like Skype, it lets you see other people on screen and talk to them like you’re in the same room. This means you’ll be able to take part from home, work or anywhere that is convenient for you, as long as there is internet access. All sessions will take place on Zoom, so you won’t need to travel to take part. Once you’ve signed up we’ll send you some simple instructions on how to use Zoom – it’s very straightforward.
Timeline of work
Recruiting people to take part in the meetings
Starts January, finishes February
Five virtual sessions take place
Starts February, finishes May
Taking part in a trial virtual session
Starts June, finishes July
Launch the new sessions to the public!
Starts September, finishes December