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Member meeting

User
Posted 19 Jan 2020 at 13:15

Hi Folks,

Can't recall seeing anything about a possible meeting this year.  If nothing has been planned so far it may be too late for some who may already have booked summer holidays.  There are of course many other reasons why potential attendees may not be able or wish to attend.  Some may be affected by ongoing or anticipated treatment, may not be well enough, or a chosen venue may be too far away, or they may have other commitments being likely reasons among others.  Also, sadly some of our members have passed away.

I believe a small scale meeting was organised last year by a member but I miss the large meetings we had at The Mill where we had a talk and Q&A sessions with people like the late Jane Plant and Oncologists.

It is possible that some members who may have attended a major meeting may have joined  local groups so have no desire to travel possibly long distances to a larger one.

Well, having stated the position, I wonder if anybody has given any thought to this and if it is considered  too unrealistic to organize a meeting this year whether there would be sufficient interest in a meet in 2021.

 

Barry
User
Posted 19 Jan 2020 at 19:01

Which "The Mill" is that, and how many people used to come?
I'd be up for a meet.
Depending where/when it is, I might be able to help find some clinicians for Q&A (although I'm a bit weak on oncologists). One option might be to synchronise it with a local support group meeting.

User
Posted 19 Jan 2020 at 21:21

Andy,

I did write a longer post much earlier today when I gave more details but each time I tried to post I got 'Access Denied' and lost the script and later posted an abbreviated version which lost a lot of detail. I will now add the additional info which will hopefully make all clear.

For many years due to his connection with another group, George Hardy arranged a meeting at The Mill on the Soar at Leicester, a large pub in a peaceful situation. At it's peak there must of been about 70 men including those bringing partners and family in attendance. George even booked accommodation there for those wishing to stay around the time of the meeting which was held in mid summer. Vegetarian and normal lunch was had in an upstairs room and talks followed. After this people congregated in the extensive outside gardens and in the evening many stayed for dinner and overnight in many cases. In deference to George, Prostate Cancer UK took over organising the event in 2018 and numbers fell substantially. I don't think this was attributable to the Charity; it could have been due to a number of factors. Maybe the fact that George regularly reminded members about the meeting helped. Anyway, the upshot was that Prostate Cancer UK decided not to arrange the meeting subsequently. This is a typical link from when George was organizing the event https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t11870-B2PCa---THE-MILL-2017--THE-10th-ANNIVERSARY.

What was said https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t21041-Meet-Up-2019

So there you have it!

 

Edited by member 19 Jan 2020 at 21:35  | Reason: Not specified

Barry
User
Posted 19 Jan 2020 at 22:40
We usually stayed for a couple of nights when we went; one year, john was unofficial photographer and the next year, Steve took proper photos for us all. Si_Ness's oncologist Jamie used to come and talk about research, emerging treatments and news from the annual urological oncology conference, Si being the first man to have early chemo.

Sadly, many of those special men that I have called my friends are now gone and the last time I went I found it too sad even though it wasn't a sad event at all - full of laughs and relief at being with others who 'get it'.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 20 Jan 2020 at 11:49

As Lyn has said most of the stalwarts of the old forum have gone and with them the "magic" they brought to the party, so to speak.

Some others did try to get smaller "get togethers" going (Newark springs to mind) and of course the annual Christmas gathering at the Euston Flyer in London (near the station of the same name) but in time these events have fallen by the wayside.

I personally see the way forward being based on regional annual get togethers where county support groups that meet regularly, liaise with adjoining groups to organise an annual bash.  This way no member should have to travel no further than say 50-60 miles or so to attend an annual gathering.

The big problem with this idea is that many counties don't have support groups and as such people living in those counties will be immediately stymied.  

Unless another "champion" rises from the forum's membership to take hold of the matter, I doubt if the likes of the Mill on the Soar get togethers will be seen again which is a real pity, as putting names to faces and socialising with those "faces" was something that many forum members and their wives and partners looked forward to each year.

I'm not being defeatist just pragmatic.  Perhaps the majority of men with PCa (and or their partners) now tend to seek support and close friendship with similar men via social networking and are happy with that particularly as social media has come on in leaps and bounds in the 15 years since the first annual get together took place.

 

 

 

Roger
User
Posted 20 Jan 2020 at 14:40

Roger,

I help run 3 local support groups. Two of them are individually large enough to do large social events (the third being part of an oncology department).

What might be possible is to get members here together, perhaps regionally (I'd struggle to get to Leicester because I'm also a carer, and it's too far for me to help with organising). This could be a combined local support group and PCUK forum members from perhaps a few counties radius, depending how far people are willing to travel. However, I get the impression most PCUK forum members are not local support group members - I'm not sure why that is (nor even sure it's true, but it's my impression). Different local support groups vary enormously from 100% medical to almost 100% social clubs. One of my groups does hold some whole day events, such as PSA testing event and info (probably not relevant - as we're all diagnosed), and a Men's health day, with top consultants coming to talk, probably one weekend day in October this year. Tagging a PCUK forum members event on to that might be quite interesting.

User
Posted 20 Jan 2020 at 17:24
I think because many of us don't want or need that kind of support - the Leicester & Euston meets were social more than anything else. I got John to those but would never, ever get him to a support group; he simply isn't interested in sitting around listening to people talk about prostate cancer.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 20 Jan 2020 at 20:53

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
I think because many of us don't want or need that kind of support - the Leicester & Euston meets were social more than anything else. I got John to those but would never, ever get him to a support group; he simply isn't interested in sitting around listening to people talk about prostate cancer.

i agree I went to a couple of support groups and came away a bit depressed.

Went to Euston Flyer meet a couple of times and came away suitably pixxed after drinks with Si, Paul (Yorkhull) and on one occasion Kev (Irun) 

George did a great job

Bri 

 
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