Our group comprises men who have been treated for prostate cancer and their partners or family members. It functions as a self-help group. It also works for the benefit of other people in the community who have (or should have) an interest in learning about early detection of prostate cancer, its diagnosis and treatment. You can help our group and the wider community through one or more of these ways:
- Share information about your experiences. Come to a meeting and share your experiences and ideas with us. For example, tell us about: your history with prostate cancer; how it was detected, the treatment options you considered or may be considering. If you have undertaken treatment, what that was and its effectiveness and what are your expectations and plans for the future. But if you are uncomfortable about telling your story, don’t feel that you have to – just come along to our meetings anyway so that you can learn from other people’s stories and learn from the presentations that we arrange.
- Help spread the word about early detection. Talk to your family and friends about prostate cancer and in particular the benefits of early detection. If you have some free time, volunteer to assist for an hour or so at an information stall when we set one up at a local event. Through that means we can chat to interested people and hand out information pamphlets.
- Arrange or participate in presentations. We often make information presentations to groups such as work groups, interest groups and friendly associations. You might be able to encourage a group with which you are involved to have a presentation from us. If you have an interest in actually being involved as a presenter at any such meeting that would be welcomed.
- Participate in planning and management. As with any self-help organisation, there is quite a bit to do in planning and managing our activities. If you would like to help with that it would lighten the load that our volunteer management group bears.
- Join in our advocacy activities. We are keen to get funding and training agencies and support services to recognise the importance of providing resources and funds for activities relating to prostate cancer. From time to time we develop submissions (e.g. about appointing specialist prostate care nurses), make petitions and undertake lobbying. On occasions, our group or individual members provide assistance to the PCFA in its advocacy work. If you have an interest or skills in advocacy work it would be of great benefit to our work.
- Help in our fund raising activities. Fund raising is not one of our priorities, but opportunities often arise (e.g. at community events, shows, displays or barbecues) and we need volunteers to help out. Of course, that also provides opportunities to raise awareness about prostate cancer.
In addition to the above activities, you may be able to suggest ways in which we can do more to help men, their partners and their families. We need good ideas as much as any other contribution.