🎶”We can see clearly now the rain is gone.
We can see all obstacles in our way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had us blind.
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day”🎶
That’s what we’re hoping for anyway! Right, Johnny Nash?
We’re extremely optimistic about the new year and want to share with you what we’re most looking forward to in 2021 as a team. Hear from Mary Rose, Phil, Laura, Blayne and Rick on what they’re most excited for this year and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Happy New Year!
Here’s to making it a great one.
Mary Rose Roberts, Head of Operations
Probably what I’m most excited for is the arrival of a new Findacure staff member! As we speak (or type!), I am interviewing candidates for our Projects Administrator position, which we hope to have filled by the end of this month. Once in post, they’ll be working alongside me and Phil on a whole heap of exciting events and projects, from our workshops and e-learning materials all the way down to our conference and showcases. Growing the team to six people will open us up to so many opportunities and allow us to expand our energy and focus more so than ever before – I can’t wait!
I’m also pretty excited to continue our venture into the world of virtual events. It goes without saying that 2020 was all about adjusting, exploring new avenues, and plenty of trial and error! By the end of it, I think we’d just about gotten into the swing of things, and with a good number of online activities now under our belt, I’m looking forward to seeing how we can improve and develop in this area.
The next big challenge for me will be delivering our 2021 Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases Conference which, naturally, will now be online. We’ll be postponing the conference until late spring, but I’m already eager to get planning and see how it will all fit together in this new format!
If I’m allowed, I’m going to mention one more thing I’m super looking forward to this year, and that’s the much-needed upgrade of our e-learning portal! For the past few months, Phil and I have been working on revamping our existing materials and building a whole new online platform, which will soon become our “Resource Hub”.
The Resource Hub will become a one-stop shop for all the materials from our patient training projects, becoming the place where patient groups can go for support on a whole variety of subjects – from fundraising and charity registration to setting up clinical trials and more! Through videos, recordings and written courses, along with the addition of an accessibility tool called browsealound, we hope that the new Hub will be an accessible, informative and fun learning experience for all involved. We’re still a few months away from completion, so watch this space!
Philippa Norman, Projects Coordinator
In 2021, I am most looking forward to another year with the wonderful Findacure team, as well as welcoming a new member to join us!
I can’t wait to continue developing workshops online, as this has been one challenge that keeps forcing us to adapt and think of new ideas.
I am also working on some exciting new projects this year, such as our new podcast series in collaboration with Same But Different, which will focus on experiences in the rare world that get talked about less often but are nevertheless still very important!
After the showstopper that was our rare showcase in 2020, I can’t wait to deliver more online events in 2021 alongside the amazing Findacure team. I am hopeful that in 2021 we can expect the world to feel a little brighter as we move forward and continue to help the rare disease community the best that we can.
Laura Thompson-Harper, Fundraising Manager
In 2021, I am looking forward to settling into our new world. Last year felt like a rollercoaster, but the success Findacure enjoyed throughout 2020 was huge.
Working virtually has been a learning curve for us all, but we can’t ignore the positives. More patient groups have accessed our workshops, webinars and events than ever before. Many have also commented on how virtual access to our programmes has enabled them to partake in sessions which they would never have normally been able to attend. This isn’t the world I imagined we would be living in during 2021, but I am excited to see the possibilities it holds to further bring our community together.
Blayne Baker, Marketing & Engagement Manager
Looking ahead to 2021, I’m thrilled to begin implementing our new SEO digital marketing and social media strategies after months of careful planning and consideration behind the scenes.
Raising awareness of the wonderful work that Findacure does begins with people finding our website, so I cannot wait to start optimising it to appear highly in web searches. I’ll be improving our website’s content to ensure that we answer your pressing questions and provide the answers you need to accomplish your goals.
We’ll even be bringing you exciting new content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram this year, which I hope you’ll find engaging enough to share. We’d love to feature you on our social media profiles, so please tag us in your posts so that we can highlight and share your accomplishments with the wider rare disease community!
I hope you’re all staying safe and I look forward to seeing you at another Findacure event soon!
Dr. Rick Thompson, CEO
Happy New Year, everyone!
I would like to personally thank you for your continued support. It goes without saying that 2020 did not go to plan, but it’s been thanks to our supporters and the rare disease community that we were able to soldier on and make a success of 2020.
I’m extremely excited about many aspects of 2021, but I’m afraid that I got a rather early new year’s surprise, which has taken me away from the office.
Just like the Terminator, I’ll be back, but keep an eye on Findacure’s social media next week to see where I’ve gone and what I’ve been up to!
UPDATE (14th January 2021)