The increase in prevalence of the cancer and the success of treatments means that there will need to be a transformation in the way that the NHS cares for people affected by the disease, moving away from the emphasis on acute and episodic care towards a holistic personalised approach that is well co-ordinated and integrated. The aim is to transform care by offering people the opportunity for individualised support to enable supported self management.
There are established associations between music and health, physical and spiritual. Involvement with music making is recognised as having benefits for specific conditions, especially neurological disorders including forms of dementia. Participation in music making has been shown to improve well being and music has power to communicate with individuals at times of difficulty. This formed the background to the establishment of our cancer survivors’ choir, Rising Voices Wessex.
Underpinning formation of the choir was the intention of using participation in singing as a choir to aid recovery following cancer treatment, to encourage confidence and social interaction, and also promote wellbeing. The focus of the choir is to support people affected by cancer and their carers to regain their confidence and directly stems from the key principles defined through the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative.
2. Where we are now?
To date we have relied on word of mouth, social media, posters, events and leaflets for communications about the choir and events.
3. Where do we need to be?
Communications have a key role to play in building a consistent voice across the community and local NHS and social care settings. This can be achieved through the delivery of joined-up, consistent and coordinated messages that support and aid the promotion of the choir. We need to identify ambassadors for the choir, who will offer support to promote the choir, performances and events.
- Staff across the local health and social care services (primary, secondary and private) have a common understanding of the Rising Voices Community Choir and will promote it in their clinics and working environment.
- Members of the choir understand the need to promote the choir and have the necessary resources to do so.
- Local community and faith leaders are aware of the choir and are interested in supporting or promoting the activities.
- Local Physical Activity programme leads are aware of the choir and are interested in supporting or promoting the activities.
- Local employers and corporate organisations are aware of the choir and are interested in supporting, sponsoring or promoting the activities.
- Local libraries and entertainment venues have posters and leaflets.
- Local media, newspapers, TV and Radio understand and support the choir
5. What success will look like?
By December 2014 we want all local NHS Staff working with people affected by cancer to be able to articulate our ‘top three’ things you should know about Rising Voices, who to contact, where the group meets and what fun they have. We want be confident that the same can be said across all the stakeholders.
We intend to use a core script and storytelling to explain the benefits of the choir and engage people in its delivery. All communications regarding Rising Voices will be delivered under the strapline...Singing to recover from cancer, singing for fun, singing to create a sense of well-being Singing can help with breathing, combat fatigue and restore confidence. Singing to recover through the sound of music and singing together as part of the choir.
Using the standard logo on all communications as shown on this document.
Using a storytelling approach will ensure that we keep messages and communications focused. It’s a communications technique often used to explain abstract or complicated strategies. It will bring the choir to life by rooting it in the individual experiences that people can relate to. This will bring people into the project, making it easier for them to understand and act as ambassadors for the choir. One of the ways we could achieve this is through story telling on the website/facebook and by using a video which will provide people with an on-going narrative, and the key headlines, about the choir.
7. Key messages
Detailed key messages for each audience will be developed. However the broad brush messages for each main audience group are currently identified as follows:
|External stakeholders||Rising Voices Wessex is a community choir for local people living with and beyond cancer in Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.|
Taking part in the choir:
The Rising Voices Choir is about improving people’s lives
8. Communications channels and products
The Choir needs to develop a robust process for communication and make use of these, together with a range of other bespoke communications.
The key activities include:
- Poster and leaflet campaigns
- Story telling of real experiences
- Sound bites
- Photo Gallery
- Video clips
- External briefing material
Access to the choir should be easy, welcoming and fun.
All briefing materials will explain the purpose of the choir, the facilities, venue for rehearsals and details needed to invite people to join.
- Core message script
We will use a core messaging script to inform all interested parties about the choir. To include the ‘top three things’ people should know about Rising Voices Choir - who to contact, where the group meets and what fun they have.
- Feature articles
Feature articles will be scheduled into Mac Voice, Pulse, local press and other publications and newsletters. These will draw on content from our central story bank as well as providing people with regular updates.
- Cartoon/animation/video storyboarding
This will start by giving an overview of the story so far, and then provide engaging details to attract people to the subject and the choir for support, information and sponsorship.
- Refresh the website pages
We will refresh and develop the existing website to give people a real sense of what we do and how they too can help, to make it more vibrant and informative. This will also include some or all of the following:
- Cartoon/animation/video storyboard
- Stories and profiles taken from the story bank
- Updated FAQs for interested people
- Briefing materials/presentations
- We will also refresh and develop:
- Briefing pack/resources
- Rising voices core message script/FAQs
- Posters and Leaflets
- Tee Shirts and Sweet Shirts with Rising Voices Logo
- Rising Voices pull up banners
- Rising Voices pull out banner
- Rising voices balloons
- Rising voices pin badges
- Rising Voices Video
- Rising Voices CD
Where possible evaluation will be built into the activities of the choir; further evaluation will be developed related to the benefits of singing in the choir for members using Survey Monkey. A small scale phone or paper survey could also be undertaken to see whether messages are reaching staff in the NHS and if they are understanding and engaging with the story.
There are a range of risks that need to be considered in this plan.
|Lack of buy in/support from stakeholders to promote and support the choir||Make sure we include the right people to ‘make it happen’.|
|Dependency on choir members to communicate and market the choir||Make sure we contact external stakeholders and champions to ensure support and growth of the choir|
|Choir is currently dependant on one Musical Director(MD) and accompanist||Ensure plans are in place to support the MD and accompanist and succession plan.|