A review of the Online Community in 2023

6 minute read time.
A review of the Online Community in 2023

Each year we are humbled by the kindness and compassion our members show each other every day. The Online Community team is passionate about keeping the site a safe and supportive space for you to access peer support and share your personal experiences. We want to highlight some of the changes and updates that have happened over the past year and celebrate the power of peer support. 

Connecting with people who are in the same situation as you can be a vital part of your support system when living with cancer or supporting someone who is. It can help you feel less alone when talking to someone who knows how you are feeling.

In 2023 we saw around 22,904 people join the Community with over 156,523 posts on the site. We have spaces for everyone to get support so if you have a cancer diagnosis, supporting someone, or coping with the loss of a loved one, there’s lots of support you can access here.

The power of peer support

Welcoming new Community Champions

The Online Community team works alongside the amazing Community Champions day to day. This year we introduced Millibob, Sistermoon, Jane and Branoc to the team. Each one of our volunteers takes the time to offer support, share their experiences, and welcome new members to the site. All of our volunteers are affected by or living with cancer and dedicate their time to supporting the Community.

If you want to know more about our Community Champions, read the volunteering on the Online Community blog. There’s information about who they are, what they do, and how to register your interest.

Changes to the Community

This year we introduced some changes to our groups. We added the What’s happening at Macmillan forum and the Identity and cancer forum.

  • The Identity and cancer forum is a space where you will find different forum threads that may link to parts of your identity. This group was created due to some feedback we have received. The aim is to help people make connections and have a representative space for all our members.

  • The What’s happening at Macmillan forum is a space to hear about what is going on at Macmillan Cancer Support and beyond. For example, we recently shared information about the HOPE course which is a free course to help overcome problems effectively (HOPE). Click here to read more.

Your feedback is invaluable to us as it helps us improve the Community. Feedback can help us make functional changes which can help people find support and make the site more user-friendly. If you’ve been using the Online Community for a while, you may have noticed some changes last year.

  • We updated our Help Pages to include short tutorial videos and make the step-by-step instructions easier to follow.

  • Within the Help Pages, you will see information about how to contact a moderator and a page 'Meet the Online Community team'. Read this blog where Steph shares a day in the life of an Online Community officer.

  • The flag to moderator button which you see under each post on the site, now has a two-step process. This two-step process was put into place after receiving lots of feedback from you.

The flag to moderator button is in the same place as it was before. You will see the button under each post on the site. Please do use it if you see something concerning or want to make the Community team aware of anything.

Cancel, React, flag to moderator and more buttons in green

The second part of the reporting process will look like this. We were getting reports of lots of posts being accidentally flagged so you will now be asked if you are sure you want to report this post.

Blue continue and cancel buttons are you sure you want to report this post?

  • We changed the way the search function works, and we hope to develop this further in 2024. We will share more information about this soon so keep watch for a user guide to help you make the most out of the new search feature.

Catch up with our content

Throughout the 2023 the Online Community team and Macmillan’s Cancer Information team posted 99 blogs. We often post support information, site updates and personal cancer stories. Why not read a few of our blogs below of visit our Community news blog for more.

 There's also been opportunities for you to get involved with some of our more interactive content:

We shared information about some face to face support groups in this blog.

Macmillan’s Cancer information team posted blogs about help with childcare costs, planning ahead when living with cancer and many other topics. Click here to read more of their blog.

We would love to know what you would like to see more of in 2024. Would you like to see us sharing content on a certain topic or starting something new you have not seen on the site before? We welcome your ideas and suggestions so please do use the comment box below or email community@macmillan.org.uk.