Did you know it’s Volunteers’ Week this week? If you have thought of volunteering, but were unsure how you could help, this is a great time to find out more.
Volunteering has lots of benefits – from teaching you new skills (which could help get a job) to widening your social network (many people make new friends through volunteering). At the very least you could feel good about working for a cause which means something to you.
People can be put off by the time commitment needed to volunteer, however at Pain Concern we are looking for people who are willing to talk to journalists about their own experiences of living with chronic pain, or being a carer for someone who does. This could be for newspapers, radio or television – whichever you are comfortable with. The time commitment can be as little as 10 minutes on the phone to going into a studio to record an interview for radio or television. Whatever you do, we’ll make sure you’re looked after and given a briefing beforehand and help with preparing some answers.
We are hoping to build a database of case studies where the volunteers will be happy to speak to press, TV or radio outlets to share their experiences of living with chronic pain. This is exactly what media want –individual stories and a personal touch to bring to life to audiences what can sometimes be a dull report of a health condition.
One of our media volunteers, Erin, has been already talking to media to promote better understanding of chronic pain and her condition of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Erin was interviewed by Daily Mail at the end of April after publication of a chronic pain services report; her personal experience of how the pain affects her daily activities, and how she finds healthcare services in Scotland, was ideal material to wrap a story about the government report. By speaking to media Erin put a human face to the report which those with chronic pain could relate to, and those not living with chronic pain could understand a little better.
We rely on people like Erin to help us get the message across to a wider audience, who, without media coverage, many times would not be able to appreciate the condition that affects one in five people.
If you, or someone you know, have chronic pain and would like to share their experiences of living with pain with the Media, please get in touch with us 0131 669 5951 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit our Volunteer page to find more about volunteering for us.
Happy Volunteers’ Week!