Help Literacy Hub

But what do they REALLY need?

AUTHOR: Dr Susan Palmer

Back in the very early days, when Gather My Crew was only an idea, I was working in Brisbane with breast cancer patients.

A group of these lovely humans agreed to come together to form a reference group that would help me develop a greater understanding of the problem I had identified – and what the solution might look like for them (eg. the Gather My Crew app).

These lovely humans were deep in their breast cancer journey. All were undergoing treatment, all needed varying levels of help, and a good number of them were single parents with young children at the time…

As we were sitting around and they shared with me their particular challenges around asking for help and coordinating the offers of help they do receive, one of them mentioned the particular difficulty in knowing how to respond when someone has offered or provided something rather unhelpful (eg. flowers or another lasagna) – when you were in serious need of more helpful help.

This was really interesting to me…

So I asked them; “If you could turn those flowers and lasagna into the help you REALLY needed – what would that be?”

Their response – changing the bedsheets.

They went on to explain to me that, due to ongoing fatigue and/or the result of their surgical treatment, most of them were unable to remove bedsheets, re-make beds, carry wet (heavy) laundry, or hang washing on the line. And, because they were often the only adults in the home, there was no one else to notice or to help.

These women had not had clean sheets for themselves or their children for a long time… and they were undergoing treatment.

This was the moment I knew Gather My Crew was so essential.

This was such a simple reflection of the problem we are trying to solve with the Gather My Crew app – closing the gap that exists between the help we offer and the help that is REALLY needed.

Because who thinks to offer to change the bedsheets?

Definitely not me (until that very moment). Do you?

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