Any of you that have called the helpline in recent months may well have spoken to Laura, who joined us last October, and who sadly left NRAS last Friday. It is hard for any of us to believe that Laura was here for less than a year, as she very quickly fitted in to the helpline team and the charity as a whole, and we will all miss her very much.
You may well be wondering why we want to thank someone that has decided to leave us so soon! Well, after telling her on many occasions that I hadn’t forgiven her for going, I finally decided that actually it is hard to be angry at someone that is going from one good cause to another very worthy pursuit. You see, Laura has left us because she and her partner have decided to become foster parents, and after a lengthy process this dream is now being realised for them, and anyone that has spoken to Laura on the helpline will know that she will be a natural in this new role.
There are some aspects of our work on the helpline that can’t be taught. We were very lucky in Laura to find someone with a caring disposition, lovely telephone manner, and a strong desire to help people. She also had to be a pretty fast learner, having to get up to speed on a lot of information, and practicing some pretty complicated drug names (the one she struggled the most with was ‘rituximab’ which she used to have written on a post-it note by her desk as a prompt, though you’d never know it if you’ve called her about it).
In addition to her work on the helpline, Laura helped us with the RA self management programme, which launched earlier this week. She was also responsible for matching the volunteer telephone support calls, an aspect of her job that I know she loved and will really miss, as she had come to know some of our amazing volunteers very well.
So, once we’ve all got over our anger at Laura’s leaving us, and I have stopped panicking about how we are ever going to replace her, I hope that you will all join me in wishing her all the best with her difficult role as foster parent, and if any of you have any parenting tips for her, I am sure she will appreciate them, as she will no doubt keep up to speed with the NRAS blogs, and I know that she will keep in touch with us in the office, as she may no longer be an NRAS employee but she will always be our friend.
Helpline & Information Coordinator