No More Grapes - A Social Enterprise For Families Dealing With Cancer

No More Grapes - A Social Enterprise For Families Dealing With Cancer

When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, apart from the emotional strain, the hardest part of the process was not being able to keep in touch with our families as much as we would have liked.  It was the early 1990s so there was a constant queue for the public phone in the main hospital corridor, mobile phones were expensive, and it was years before social media and WhatsApp. We had to provide as much information as we could during short visits home and opportunities to just "pop in" from extended family were few and far between as the hospital was 40 miles away from home.

Because of this, I wrote a lot about cancer on this blog to try and break taboos and provide information. I'm always interested in new initiatives that help families who are supporting a cancer patient so I was excited to read about a social enterprise website called No More Grapes. The way I'd describe No More Grapes is like an online 'hub' for the family where you can reach out and share news, even with those far away.  You can also plan hospital visits and write out wish lists so that everyone can get involved without feeling awkward or overbearing. 

It's easy to set up. You create a nomoregrapes account and personalise your profile page.  You can then invite family and friends to create a 'circle'.   Your circle is where you will share all your updates such photos and messages and there's even a calendar so you can manage hospital visits or tell relatives when the best time is to call at home on the days you need support. Anyone in your circle can interact with your updates so you can keep all your sensitive messages off your main social media channels but still update lots of people in one fell swoop. No More Grapes is available on all devices so it's easy to keep in touch with each other and I'm assured that all information is private and secure.

As you delve further into the website there are some great sections that will provide tips, experiences and inspiration for supporting those with serious illnesses, There's also a fab shop onsite with a full catalogue of thoughtful gifts and necessities which include items such a Netflix gift card to luxury toiletries to incredible day experiences. 

This would have been ideal for our families - especially the ones that weren't up to making the long journey to the hospital in Manchester at the time - or when my daughter wasn't allowed visitors as she was high-risk for infection after a course of chemotherapy.  Just having a place to collate information and being able to choose who sees it and interacts with it is one less worry - and Great Aunt Sarah can't complain that she's been left out of the loop! Thinking about it now, it would have also been a godsend when when my mum was receiving treatment for Bronchiectasis in hospital and needed to communicate with my sister and myself who lived 70 miles apart.

Even if you don't need this type of support network right now, tell a friend about it or bookmark it just in case.  It could be a lifeline when you need it the most. 

No More Grapes - A Social Enterprise For Families Dealing With Cancer

Disclaimer: I was approached by No More Grapes to ask for their support. I'm working in collaboration with them to help spread the word about this social enterprise by sharing the information on my blog and social network.  I hope that you can also help by sharing this blog post or any of my Tweets or Facebook updates when you see them.  Thanks in advance.