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It's been five months since we set off on our Be Cervix Savvy Roadshow and in 16 weeks we’ve visited 16 cities across the UK. Starting in Glasgow and ending in Knowsley we wanted to engage with over 4,000 women and empower them about how to be cervix savvy.
Over 4,000 miles later we are extremely proud to say that not only have we achieved our goal, but we have far surpassed it! With over 9,000 conversations, we've spoken to double the amount of people we planned to speak to and have handed out 13,000 travel wallets that explain what a smear test is and where women can find more information or support.
We couldn't have reached so many women without our 88 incredible Roadshow volunteers who, come rain or shine, joined us on the road and gave us 860 hours of their time. That's almost as many hours as a part-time member of staff for an entire year!
We want to say a massive thank you to each and every one of our amazing volunteers, we think you are fantastic!!
What we spoke to women about
The Roadshow has allowed us to talk to women within their communities on local highstreets and retail parks across the UK. It has been an extremely valuable opportunity to provide the people with a chance to ask questions about cervical cancer and ways to prevent the disease but also listen to their experiences with health care systems, they health concerns and providing space for open and frank conversations about women’s gynaecological health.
These conversations included concerns about smear tests being painful, about what the results will mean and about smear test not feeling relevant to them. Through the Roadshow we have been able to address these concerns with women through one to one conversations as well as distributing information that can be passed on to other family members and friends. We also know from feedback that some women we spoke to have now booked their overdue smear tests which we couldn't be happier about.
Our Roadshow volunteers said volunteering was a positive experience for them: more than half (52%) said they gained new skills delivering information and two thirds (60%) gained new skills approaching members of the public, one third said they gained confidence, and four out of five said they particularly enjoyed being part of a campaign that helped to raise awareness of health inequalities and cervical cancer. It is gratifying to hear that our volunteers gained so much from their experience on the Roadshow.
Now that our Roadshow has come to an end we will be analysing the data including the conversations, themes we collected from the people we have engaged with so we can measure our impact we had in each city. And we hope that we will be able to demonstrate the need to run further Roadshows in other locations across the UK to allow us to create different ways for people to access health information and make choices about their gynaecological health.
The Be Cervix Savvy Roadshow is part of a bigger campaign called Eradicate Cervical Cancer where we want to create conversations and raise awareness of cervical cancer within local communities across the UK, working towards a future cervical cancer is a thing of the past. As part of our campaign we're developing a team of Public Health Engagement Coordinators in Manchester, London and Glasgow. These Coordinators will continue to expand on our engagement and awareness work that has started with our Roadshow. Over the next three years they will recruit and train Community Volunteers who will also help us for many years to come to raise awareness of cervical cancer and how to prevent it. Our Coordinators will also be working with local health care professionals to increase screening attendance in their areas.
All of this will bring us closer and closer to a future where cervical cancer is a disease of the past. Thank you to all the volunteers who will help us make this dream into a reality.