As part of a new series, we’re going to be meeting people from across the WM community. Where better to start than the newest member of the WMUK team. Alison McKinney joined WMUk in August 2022 to establish the charity’s support line. Alison currently runs the support line and is also developing our Nurse Education Programme.
Alison studied Nursing at Birmingham City University before she started her preceptorship at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals. She has also worked at the Portland Hospital and The Royal Marsden where she transitioned to oncology care before joining us here at WMUK.
What motivates you? My motivation comes from seeing first-hand the impact that better awareness and care has had on the WM community, and makes me strive to continue to try and keep improving on this.
How would you describe your day job in one sentence… Providing support with clinical queries and addressing the educational needs of healthcare professionals to increase the awareness and knowledge of WM.
What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
Setting up the support line for WMUK is something which I'm really proud of and feel that it's a big achievement, that I can't wait to see how it continues to grow and evolve.
What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
My day usually consists of logging on, answering any queries that I receive via phone or email and working away with some of our ongoing projects. The main thing I am working on at the moment, is looking at our current support pathway to see how we can adapt it and evolve it to better suit our community's needs.
What three words would you use to describe your role? Varied, Challenging and Rewarding.
What is on your wish list for your next five years at WMUK?
My wish for the next 5 years at WMUK, is that we help to form and implement a more structured and standardised process for WM care that really improves the experience of patients and their families.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
I'd say my biggest professional challenge recently has been moving from the NHS to a charity - they work in 2 completely different ways but I've really enjoyed the change and learning about the different positives, and challenges, that come with working in a different sector.
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
Michelle Obama - I think her way of expressing herself and her opinions is amazing.
What do you like most about your job? I love how varied it is – not one day looks the same, and I get to be involved in a huge range of different projects and exciting opportunities as well as meeting some amazing professionals who are passionate about WM care.
However, my favourite part is when I am able to chat with a member of the WM community, hear more about their story and feel that I have helped them or reassured them in some way.
When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
I am very fortunate that both my husband and my sister make me laugh until I cry on a regular basis - the last time probably being only yesterday!
What is your motto or personal mantra? “Positive thoughts, positive outcomes” – through my nursing career I have had some rough patches, and sometimes it is hard to see the positives in things and how you can move forward.
It is a mantra that I say when things get a bit challenging to remind myself that things will get better, you just have to keep trying to see a positive in every situation - even if it is a tiny one, it’s still a positive!
Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?
Adele - because who wouldn't want those vocals for a day?!
What is your guilty pleasure? Emily in Paris on Netflix… until recently I had avoided it and rolled my eyes any time it was mentioned, but then I was recommended it by some others of the WMUK team and I am now hooked.
It’s the perfect trash TV for an evening and makes me consider if I could pull off a beret on a weekly basis.
You can contact Alison by emailing email@example.com. The support line is open on Monday 9 am -2 pm and Thursdays 12pm – 5pm.