As a Macmillan professional, you know there are now, thankfully, a multitude of online tools and websites available to help both you and your patients at different times after a cancer diagnosis. But with many different options available, how do you know which particular tools could benefit those you support most at different points, and have the right impact? This issue of Sharing Good Practice will give you some useful pointers.
How online tools help to reduce costs
As a vital source of support for people affected by cancer, you highlight which types of information and assistance Macmillan can provide to them. Each person will have a different set of preferences for how they digest information about cancer – some will prefer to read booklets in their own time, others will immediately go online searching for answers – and, with your guidance, will hopefully go straight to the Macmillan website in search of support.
It’s easy to assume online uptake falls into two categories – the younger know what they’re doing online and older people struggle. While this can be true, it’s not always the case. So we’re not advocating a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather to be aware of the online resources that can help those affected by cancer. An added upshot of this is that, by using digital resources instead of printed ones, we can all save Macmillan money.
For example, each copy of The Cancer Guide booklet costs Macmillan 52p to produce. While you don’t want to hold back providing our supporting information, sometimes you don’t need to use printed information to help. Someone could be just as happy reading the information online.
Sharing information options
Many of those you support may wish to share the information they are accessing online. There are the usual various share options available on our online spaces (the social media icons you’ll see at the top of most of our webpages) – this doesn’t have to be a publicly viewable share, either, as users can send it using a private message on Facebook, for example, or bookmark a direct link to the information.
If those you support are concerned about their children seeing cancer-related terms appearing in search, for example, if they haven’t yet shared their cancer diagnosis, then you can also highlight the option of going ‘incognito’ when browsing online. To find out how to go ‘incognito’ on different browsers, search for ‘how to go incognito’ and various instructions for different browsers will be available in the search results.
How be.Macmillan helps people affected by cancer to fundraise for us
People you support or their relatives or friends may be showing signs of wanting to give something back to Macmillan, be it volunteering, doing a fundraising challenge, or joining a focus group. If so, please direct them towards our website so we can harness their enthusiasm for the benefit of others affected by cancer.
As our ‘warehouse’ website, be.Macmillan.org.uk also provides helpful guidance and tools for fundraising, so people can use our brand for their activities and order merchandise for their events. It’s also where both you and also people affected by cancer can order all our cancer information booklets, should print format be required.
Continue reading this issue of Sharing Good Practice
Online support at different steps
Case study - Debbie Provan
Case study - Mandy Trickett
Digital support - Further reading