Why get involved with Arthur’s Place?
Arthur’s Place founder Andrea McBride (pictured) writes:
As a nurse, having seen first-hand the impact of arthritis and related conditions for many young people, I wanted to find a new way forward.
Together with my sister Sarah, an insightful digital media editor, we brought Arthur’s Place to life.
I wanted to reassure and inspire young people that their diagnosis did not have to define them, and most certainly did not have to limit their hopes, dreams and achievements in life.
Yes, getting a diagnosis of any long-term condition can stop you in your tracks, like pressing one heck of a pause button, but I can promise you it isn’t pressing the “LIFE STOPS” button.
Once you’ve had time to absorb where you’re at, through a little learning and lots of support, the moment comes when you are ready to again press “PLAY” on your life.
Several young adults I supported as their nurse shared with me just how isolating these illnesses can be, not just because of the physical effects, but the emotional impact too. What added to their difficulties was the fact that it was near to impossible to find anyone else their age going through the same experiences. One patient told me that by having a way to connect with others they could all be “stronger together”.
Arthur’s Place was never meant to be just another website; we wanted to find a way to virtually walk by your side while your confidence grows, offer reassurance when you need it, support along the way, and fill any information gaps to empower you, as knowledge becomes increasingly one of your strengths.
It was to be your virtual coffee shop, with no need to book, a comfortable relatable space with an always-open door, welcoming and embracing new friends who amongst many things, have one thing in common, you all just simply ‘get it’, and all just simply want to crack on in life despite of it. Taking moments together to share thoughts, feelings, and experiences, offering mutual support and learning together, through different points along your personal journey.
You are the people who matter the most
We believe you are the people who matter the most, and always. To some degree Sarah and I are more like the custodians of Arthur’s Place, the facilitators, the work force. The leaders of Arthur’s Place are YOU, every one of you. This is your place, your time, your opportunity, and always your choice.
Share with us what you think, what you know, what you need and what you want, and we will listen and will do our best to deliver.
We want Arthur’s Place to be totally inclusive, authentic, honest and real, not something done to people but with people. We want to grow alongside you, as authentic, inspired and informative as possible.
To be true to our vision, we want to share as many opportunities as possible for you to get involved if you’d like to.
10 ways to get involved
Here are just a few ideas of ours, but if you have others just say the word. If it will enrich the experience for all, we are all ears! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Join Arthur’s Social
Come join us in our virtual coffee shop – Arthur’s Social, our Facebook group, is always open, always warm, always comfortable and always full of friends around for a chat.
2. Write a blog post
If you have never written before but would like help to give it a go, Arthur’s Blogs is a space made for you. We are happy to help get you started, and we have a bloggers support group too. Find out more and register your interest here.
3. Write articles
If you would like to write articles for our magazine sections get in touch via the email address above. With or without journalist qualifications, we welcome all new talent aboard.
4. Make multimedia
If you love photography, film, or audio, why not pick up your phone, make your own stuff, get in touch and we will share it via Arthur’s Place TV or on our website.
5. Send us your feedback
Simple as you like – just email and tell us what you love about what we do and what you would change. We aren’t easily offended; we embrace change to improve the quality of what we do.
6. Let us know what you’re looking for
We can’t help individuals with medical advice, but if you are looking for information about particular gizmos, from everyday life stuff to the more specific or specialised stuff, and find there is a real ‘gap’ here or elsewhere, let us know, and we will see what we can do about it.
7. Share research opportunities
If you are involved in related research and would like to share project opportunities with others, or you would like to gain feedback, get in touch. We see value in gathering insights and sharing new knowledge and advances.
8. Use your skills behind the scenes
Are you a photographer, an artist, a journalist, a scientist, an employment solicitor, an accountant, and willing to help us? The list could go on! Let’s start a conversation, and together work through what might be possible. (It’s not essential that you have arthritis!)
9. Donate your fundraising expertise
If you have experience as a fundraiser – WE ARE DESPERATE for help! Please get in touch.
10. Donate money (only if you can, there’s no obligation!)
If you would like to raise money on behalf of Arthur’s Place – We are a very small not-for-profit community interest company (CIC). To ensure all of our time and very limited funds goes 100% to our work – hosting, listening, developing and moderating of Arthur’s Place and Arthur’s Social – we took the decision not to have charity status. However, as a CIC we are still responsible, accountable, registered and regulated, with a voluntary board of non-executive directors. But, by not having Charity status we are limited on the platforms we can use to raise much-needed funds. We will keep looking for other solutions. If you see value in what we do and would like to offer a monetary gift towards the work of Arthur’s Place, we would always be grateful. Please do get in touch.