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We would like to say a huge thank you to the Big Lottery Fund for helping us develop our Volunteer Programme. The Grant means we can continue to support our Volunteers, by providing essential training around the UK – such as Data Protection, Adult and Child Protection, and the Information Standard – meaning we can strengthen our network of Volunteers throughout the UK.
The Hypermobility Syndromes Association is always looking to increase on the 134 brand new and long term volunteers we have now. We have been growing significantly over the last few months as we only had 85 at the beginning of the year but a recent count up for new business cards revealed our progress!
If you would like to be part of a committed and well established volunteer team then please do email email@example.com. It is our volunteers who make the wheels in the world of the HMSA turn and without them we wouldn’t be able to do half the things we do now…so give it some thought and have a read below for more information.
Our volunteers undergo an application process, similar to that as you would in a paid role, and this includes reference checks, DBS, and an informal interview. We will support you in your role, assist you with developing new skills and welcome you into a very friendly group. The volunteers, staff and medical advisors, in particularly Chief Medical Advisor, Dr Alan Hakim, work very closely with the team and you wouldn’t be expected to deal with something you were uncomfortable with. Our volunteers undergo annual training in Data Protection, using Social Media, Confidentiality, Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and Children. For those who wish to gain paid employment but need experience first the HMSA is a great place to start, as many of our staff and volunteers have gone on to gain paid employment based on their volunteer work.
You do not need to have lots of spare hours or have previous experience but a friendly and positive disposition, with a will to support other people through their journey in learning about the heritable connective tissue disorders or hypermobility syndromes is a bonus! We do ask that all volunteers are members of the charity but this is because it helps with a sense of ‘ownership’ as the HMSA does belong to its members.
At the moment we need volunteer GROUP LEADERS with experience and knowledge of the hypermobility syndromes to run our groups throughout the UK. Please check our local group network to see if there is a gap near you. At the moment we have 25 groups but we need more and in particular in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. If there is a group in your area already you may be needed as a DEPUTY LEADER so don’t let it put you off!
We also need people with experience in SOCIAL MEDIA to assist our very busy social media team! The HMSA has a forum, website, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+ and many Facebook pages! A few hours here and there would be hugely helpful to the team. We particularly need help with managing the main HMSA Facebook page at present.
As we hold the Information Standard we are looking for people to assist us with our INFORMATION PRODUCTION. This could be reviewing articles, helping to write them, seeking new material or assisting the Editor of the HMSA twice a year published Journal, or by assisting our Social Media Coordinator with the monthly e-newsletter.
Our HELPLINE is always busy and it is time to recruit again to help support the staff and volunteers who manage this busy resource. You would be talking to newly diagnosed people, people needing signposting for services and diagnosis and support from the HMSA. You may also be talking to medical, health and social care professionals who are looking for advice for their patients. You will need to feel comfortable on the phone and have very good communication skills, professional attitude and a good knowledge of the hypermobility syndromes.
We always need people to FUNDRAISE as we are a very small charity. Please see the Charity Commission for our accounts. Funds raised are used to help run the charity, pay for events, programmes, research etc.
The HMSA is also looking for assistance from people who are skilled in WRITING GRANTS to enable us to continue to provide the Family Programmes, research activities, education days etc.
If any of these roles are of interest, to find out more (with no obligation) please email Jen Patchett, Volunteer Coordinator and Social Media Coordinator by clicking here or Catherine Eves, National Groups Coordinator by clicking here
We have been informed that St John and St Elizabeth Hospital is receiving referral letters from GPs to the Hypermobility Clinic, with the GP and patient thinking they are referring for an NHS appointment. The Hypermobility Clinic at St J and E Hospital is a Private facility.
GPs must refer to the relevant NHS Trust. A letter of referral to St J and E Hospital cannot be converted to an NHS referral. This has created a lot of additional admin for the team at St J and E Hospital as they have to write back to the GP to advise that the referral cannot be accepted.
If you are seeking a referral to a Hypermobility Clinic please see our list of recommended clinics and the referral process here
Have you used JustTextGiving? To help us continue our work in supporting children and their families please consider donating to our JustTextGiving facility.
Simply text: HMSA00 (zero zero) followed by the amount you wish to donate, to 70070. For example, HMSA00 £2
Any amount is appreciated in our fight to provide better services, earlier diagnosis and management in this complex, multi-systemic condition. Thank you