The meeting was attended by around fifteen people, including the partners of some members.
Shievon Smith represented the urology department of the hospital.
Following a previous meeting’s proposal to conduct the club on a more formal basis and maybe register as a charity, those members present were asked if they would consider taking on roles such as Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer. Since no volunteers were forthcoming so the subject was deferred to a future meeting.
Recruitment & Publicity
The difficulty in attracting new members to join the club, particularly at a time early in their diagnosis when they could obtain maximum benefit from the experiences of those who had gone through the process, was discussed. It was felt that the screening/diagnosis/ treatment decision schedule of new patients put pressure on patients to make a decision before they had a chance to attend a club meeting. The advantages of having a list of volunteer “buddy” members who could talk to new patients was mooted. All new patients are advised of the existence of the club when they attend clinic but take-up is extremely low. In order to maintain momentum the possibility of issuing an emailed newsletter between meetings might be considered if anyone was willing to take on that task.
The need to update the poster advertising the group was discussed both for its visual impact and for the contact details following the departure of Christine Stubbings and Claire Turner. Members were asked to bring ideas to the next meeting.
It was generally agreed that the main benefit of the club was the exchange of problems and advice between members. It was felt that meetings should begin with such discussion for at least half an hour and that whilst outside speakers could add valuable insight it was not necessary to have one at every meeting and presence at alternate meetings would be sufficient to keep members updated.
The question was raised as to whether the day of the week and time was most appropriate. However, it was agreed that no time and day would be suitable for everybody and there were no advantages in making a change at present.
Most of the rest of the meeting was devoted to listening to the problems of a visitor, who had not yet decided whether to sign up as a formal member, and offering him re-assurance and advice from existing members.
It was reported that the website continues to attract several hundred “hits” each month and it was requested that more members submit notes on their experiences of diagnosis and treatment for anonymous inclusion.