MelaNoMore Buddies (FAQ)
Frequently Asked Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Click on boxes below to reveal ANSWERS
Below are the Answers
Where / How do I find out more?
What is the MelaNoMore Buddies?
MelaNoMore Buddies is a part of MelaNoMore Support Group (MSG) which set up a Buddy system aimed at offering support to those who want to talk with someone who has had similar experiences to those you are dealing with.
How would you describe a Friend?
A Friend is someone who is under the care of clinicians at the designated Cancer centres and who wishes to obtain the services of a Buddy. A Friend may also be a member of a patient’s family or a carer.
How would you describe a Buddy?
You don’t have to be a past or present melanoma patient to qualify as a “Buddy”. You could be a family member, a friend, a carer, or someone who just wants to help. Buddies don’t need special training either, you just need to care. We all have different experiences of melanoma and all are relevant – it is not all about the medical side of the equation.
The essence of a “Buddy” is to be available, friendly, a good listener, be able to show understanding and empathy, to share experiences and generally support new patients and/or their relatives and friends to feel more comfortable with their situation.
We are looking for “Buddies” from all walks of life to be available to offer telephone support to new melanoma patients, should they desire it.
It is recognised that we all have busy lives and the time commitment can be as little or as much as you are prepared to give.
If you wish to participate in the “buddy” system as a Buddy then please send an email to email@example.com stating why you wish to become a buddy, create a small biography (bio) of yourself (no more than 300 words) and add a picture. This may be included on the web site at a later date.
Who is eligible to register?
This service is available to all patients, their families and or carers who are being treated at the St Luke’s Cancer Centre, Guildford or linked Hospital Trusts (Ashford & St Peters, East Surrey, Frimley Park and Clinics) where treatment is being given at St Luke’s. Members will be eligible if aged 18 and over.
As a member of MelaNoMore is it mandatory I join MelaNoMore Buddies?
Absolutely not. MelaNoMore Support Group (MSG) means different things to all members. Some are happy to receive updates of the group’s activities by email, others want to sit in on the Wellbeing or education webinars and participate in the day’s discussions or just be amongst friends. The MSG organises social events which all are welcome to attend.
How do I register as a Friend?
For new Friends that are not registered with MelaNoMore and that wish to participate in MelaNoMore Buddies as a Friend then the first thing to do is to register your interest through the website. A simple check is then undertaken to ensure you are eligible for the service. You will receive a follow up Phone call within a week from the leader of the Buddies scheme to see how best we can help and to discuss your needs.
What happens to the data you hold about me?
The MSG has experienced members on the Committee who are very aware of the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). We can assure you that your data is stored safely and if you no longer want to be a member of MSG or MelaNoMore Buddies, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will remove and delete all personal data we hold on you.
As a Friend do I get a say in choosing a Buddy?
Indeed, you do. You might decide you prefer someone of the same sex, or with someone that has experienced a similar treatment path as you. Whatever the reasons for your choice we will endeavour to match you with your preferred individual. This may not always be possible as all our Buddies are in demand but we will try to match you with a suitable Buddy.
Who do I contact to tell them about my preferred Buddy?
You would let us know any preferences you may have via through the email: email@example.com. Alternatively, a member of the Melanomore Buddy service will call you for an initial chat (prior to allocating you a Buddy) and you can tell them on that call.
What can both parties expect?
- That you will treat one another with respect and will not call each other outside of the times you agree.
- That you will not give/receive either money or gifts.
- Confidentiality must be observed at all times
- The emphasis will be on supportive conversations
The Buddy system will involve the arrangement of a minimum of six regular (weekly or agreed) telephone call, typically lasting up to 30 minutes. The reason for the call will be simply to have a chat and provide a listening ear. While shared experience is helpful, it is very important that the Buddy does not provide advice or counselling to the Friend. Signposting to local and national support services should be provided if detailed advice is needed.
What happens if I don’t gel with my Buddy?
We are all different and there is no shame if you don’t gel together. In the first instance the Friend and the Buddy should have a grown-up conversation about their differences and if this doesn’t improve the relationship then you can request a change of Buddy via the email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I meet up with my Buddy or is it only through the telephone?
Initially contact will be through the telephone. If both parties have the ability to Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp etc., then you can agree to video calls. Equally if both parties agree then you can physically meet up.
Can I have more than one Buddy?
Alas, you cannot. Our resources are stretched as it is and it is only possible to have one Buddy at a time.
Can my friend take part in calls or meets?
If a Friend wishes to have a friend with them on calls or videos or at meetings, then provided the Buddy agrees then this is allowable.
Do we have to pay for this service?
This service is completely free of charge and is funded through donations received by the MSG. However, all donations are gratefully received!
Why won’t my buddy give me their contact details?
The rules of your Buddy/Friend contact can be established between you but there is one important rule for Buddies: in order to protect their privacy, they are not obliged to give their contact details to a Friend unless they wish to do so.
1. At Clinics the Cancer Nurse Specialists will ask whether you would like to become a member of the MelaNoMore support Group.
2. They will pass your name and email address to Committee members who maintain the member lists.
3. You will then receive a Welcome Letter from Aga Kehinde, the Chair by email. (Click here to view).
4. You will receive the regular Newsletters, invites to events and the monthly Virtual Cafe.
5. Susequently an invite to become a Friend or Buddy will be sent to your email address.
Keen to be Friend or Buddy please complete this form and we will contact you asap by email or telephone. All your details will be kept secure and not shared with a 3rd party without your permission.
Through social & virtual events, such as our Wellbeing Webinars, where everyone can meet, chat and seek advice. We have now returned to "real" social gatherings.
Click here for ~ Newsletters
As well as running educational events, we have a website where lots of information about Melanoma, will be easily accessible and pooled into one simple point of access.