“Living with visible scars is hard every day, and it makes going out and meeting new people even harder”, these were the words of burn survivor and KPF beneficiary Catrin, when she sent out a message in November 2015 to encourage donations to our crowd funder for the launch of our online forum. Catrin went on to say “Having a safe place to talk to other survivors online would have been fantastic for me. I could have had those very first conversations from the comfort of my own home, which would have been invaluable”
Well, thanks to your incredible and generous support, we are thrilled to tell you that our online forum pilot is under way!
We are always striving to reach more burn survivors and the launch of our online forum was a vital step forward in achieving this goal. Whilst in just 5 years The Katie Piper Foundation has enabled over 150 people living with burns and trauma scars to attend one or more workshop or social activity so that they could meet other people with similar experiences, give and receive peer support, get professional advice and gain access to other KPF services, our new online forum will ensure that in future people won’t be restricted by geography, health or confidence to benefit from our services.
Our beneficiaries have shaped how our forum has been developed and here burn survivor Beth gives her thoughts “I’m so excited that the eagerly anticipated KPF forum is ready to launch. The forum looks great and has been professionally designed to make it user-friendly and intuitive to use. It is clear that a lot of thought has been put into providing a dedicated online community which survivors have been requesting for some time. I am looking forward to sharing my experience and learning from others. I’m sure it will fast become an essential resource for people with burns and scars. It will certainly become my go-to-place for any questions that I have”
So far our Software Developer has finished making the final adaptations to the forum in order to make it user-friendly for our beneficiaries. We’ve trained an additional 8 Peer Support Volunteers to help us to get the forum off the ground and we’ve also recruited and trained a team of 7 Volunteer Forum Moderators who will be responsible for making sure the forum is a safe place for individuals with burns and scars when using the forum in the evening and at weekends. We’ve also been checking the security of the forum and undertaking DBS checks for our volunteers. As you can see, we’ve been very busy with preparations and are now planning to launch in the first week of February.
We will be in touch again soon to keep you updated on the progress, but once again THANK YOU for making a positive difference to the work of The Katie Piper Foundation and for helping us to make it easier to live with burns and scars.