This month's focus: Media Volunteers
Jean Herd shares her experience being a media volunteer
Recently, myself and husband Chris were asked by the charity if we would do an interview with ITV for Lorraine Kelly's breakfast show, as they were doing a campaign focusing on women encouraging their men to get their health checked. Chris had been diagnosed with prostate cancer after I encouraged him to go to the GP and have a test. Our names were put forward, and shortly afterwards I was contacted by one of the producers, James. He had already been given our biography over the telephone, he asked a few more questions and made arrangements to come to our house to do the interview. A couple of weeks later he arrived with a cameraman. He explained that he would ask the questions but wanted us to repeat the question in our answers for the film. This felt strange at first but we soon got into it: the hardest part was not focusing on the camera. It was then off to a local park to film some outdoor shots. On the morning that the interview was aired, I was very nervous at how it would come across and what we looked like! We needn’t have worried as it was fantastic and we were told that our story came across very clearly and had made a very big impact on people.
There are challenges when doing a role like this, for me it’s thinking I will say something incorrect and worrying about how the message is delivered, but this is my story and I don’t need to be concerned about medical terminology or facts and figures. All this is outweighed by the satisfaction that you have reached out to someone and perhaps made a difference in their life and given them encouragement and support.
I have had so many new experiences since being a media volunteer: I have been interviewed for a newspaper and radio and now TV. I initially started out as a peer to peer volunteer but through encouragement and support I am now proud to say that I’m a media volunteer for the charity and helping others.