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?

Visit the MelaNoMore website at www.melanomore.net and click on the support icon. Send an email to melanomore.buddy@gmail.com

What is the MelaNoMore Buddies?

MelaNoMore Buddies is a new part of MelaNoMore Support Group (MSG) which has 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 then please fill in and return the form sent to you and create a small biography (bio) of yourself (no more than 300 words), add a picture and send to melanomore.buddy@gmail.com .   This will be included on the web site at a later date.  Please find some examples of a “Buddy Bio” on the MelaNoMore web site, which hopefully will get your creative juices flowing.   If writing isn’t your thing – just send some notes/photo and we would be happy to “bio” them up for you.

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 virtual coffee mornings and  participate in the day’s discussions or just be amongst friends. The MSG organises social events which all are welcome to attend. Education is another aim of MSG and Wellness Days are also planned. With Covid, physical togetherness is difficult but we are hopeful that not too far into the future we can all get together again.

As a member of MSG, you will be invited to become a Friend or Buddy and will be sent a form to fill in, but only if you wish to be a Buddy or a Friend. If you wish to be neither then just ignore the communication.

How do I register as a Friend or Buddy?

Existing members of MelaNoMore will be sent an email asking if they wish to become a Friend or Buddy. There will be an attached form to complete requesting basic details about yourself and in submitting that form back to us you confirm your acceptance of the privacy notice.

For new Friends that are not registered with MelaNoMore and that wish to participate in The Friendship Group (TFG) either as a Buddy or 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. Once verified you will be sent a form by email to register some basic details about yourself and in submitting that form back to us confirming your acceptance of the privacy notice.

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 TFG, please email us as above. We will remove and delete all personal data we hold.

As a Friend do I get a say in choosing a Buddy?

Indeed you do. If you click on the Bios icon you will see a brief story of each of the available Buddies. You might decide you prefer someone of the same sex, or a particular story may have grabbed 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 replacement 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: melanomore.buddy@gmail.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 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: melanomore.buddy@gmail.com

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.

Process for New Members joining MelaNoMore Support Group & then being part of MelaNoMore Buddies

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 Paul Duhig, the Chairman 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)

11 + 12 =

Buddies Email

Email MelaNoMore Buddies on
melanomore.buddy
@gmail.com

Our Email

Email MelaNoMore Support Group on melanomore@googlegroups.com
for non-clinical issues

Our Website

Visit us on www.melanomore.net
for Events, Support & Contact Details

Our Facebook Group

Join our Facebook private group
‘MelaNoMore Support Group’ by providing your email address to Kelly Smith

Where You'll Find Us

St Luke's Cancer Centre
The Royal Surrey County Hospital
Egerton Road
Guildford
GU2 7XX