“Turn and face the strain” suggests David Bowie. Well, there’s been a lot of changes in the helpline team recently, but fortunately facing the strain of losing one colleague has led to us welcoming a new member to our team.
As some of you will be aware, my helpline team colleague, Sarah Kate Ball, who some of you will have spoken to on the helpline or had contact with on HealthUnlocked, left at the end of March because she was relocating. I’m pleased to say that Sarah is doing well in her new job and her new life outside of NRAS, but is still keeping in touch with us and the work that the charity is doing. I am even more pleased to say that the gap this left in our helpline team has now been filled!
For those of you who don’t know, the helpline team consists of Lorraine Tanner (the helpline manager), myself and now our new starter, Lee-Anne Brown. Lee-Anne has been with us for a couple of weeks now and is doing very well. She has a lovely telephone manner and she is picking things up fast. As you might imagine, there’s a lot to learn before someone can take calls on the helpline, but Lee-Anne has already started answering the phone and taking messages for us and is familiarising herself with all the internal processes, as well as doing a lot of reading, research and hopefully gaining from our experiences on the helpline.
Sarah was always going to be a tough act to follow, but Lee-Anne is fitting in very well, and in the coming weeks she will become more present on the HealthUnlocked forum, and will be able to introduce herself properly to you. It’s a big period of change for the helpline team!
In the coming weeks, regular users of the HealthUnlocked forum will also be made aware of some big changes that will be taking place on the forum. The HU team will make you aware of these changes nearer the time, but here’s a little heads-up:
Ruth and I attended an event at the HealthUnlocked offices this week. This was partly so that we could touch base with people from some of the other charities who use the forum for various other conditions, and to share experiences. It was also an opportunity for HealthUnlocked to talk to us about the changes that they would be making to the forum later this year. The new platform that they will be launching looked very good, and we are hopeful that it will be more user-friendly and have some great new features, without making it unrecognisable to regular users. Some of the changes include automatic tagging of posts and larger images to accompany ‘blogs’, which on the new platform will be referred to as ‘posts’. More will be revealed nearer the time, but I am confident that you will see all the changes as improvements!
Change is never easy, but sometimes it can be very positive... and who’d want to live in a world without change?
(Helpline & Information Coordinator)