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Myeloma patient associations defend patients’ rights and carry out projects about aspects that institutions don´t take into account or don´t cover as they should, thus trying to improve affected people´s quality of life and represent subjects of general interest.

Myeloma is still a scarcely known disease in Europe and it has serious effects on its patients. With scientific developments and improved treatments, myeloma has been made chronic and the number of patients that receive treatment and deal with the consequences of this illness has increased. Therefore, the creation of raising awareness campaigns, information and the setting up of support projects for all concerned require more and more people to get involved each day.
Patient associations direct their efforts to improving the quality of life, not just of the patients but also of the people that are involved in looking after and supporting them. As a patient association, you probably rely on fewer people and resources than you would like. Therefore, one of the main priorities must be to form a team of united and committed volunteers with whom to work and achieve the association´s aims.
The “Voluntary worker management” toolkit of Myeloma Patients Europe (MPE) is a support resource for patient associations, and its purpose is to give guidance and information about the process of managing volunteers. This guide offers practical proposals and introduces a voluntary worker plan that will suit the circumstances of each organisation, leading to a greater social involvement in the achievement of your aims.
It offers an overview of issues you should bear in mind when you want to start up a volunteer programme and thus achieve maximum benefit for your organisation and for the patients you represent. The general idea is that you put a lot of thought into starting up, or into reinventing yourselves, in this field rigorously and responsibly, and strategies will be put forward for you to follow in a practical and suitable way.

The toolkit is organised in three main parts. The first, part examines the concept of the voluntary worker, the principles involved and the value that volunteers provide to non-profit organisations. The second part states the legal and ethical factors that patient associations must keep in mind in the volunteer sector. And the third part deals with the different phases of voluntary worker management: planning, internal regulation, searching for volunteers, selection, incorporation, monitoring and finishing.

You may opt to read only the sections most relevant to you, but for a complete understanding of the voluntary worker management we suggest you read the whole guide.