Helping you live your life with confidence

22 March 2023
Helping you live your life with confidence
Helping you live your life with confidence -

Paola Simoneschi introduces the Urostomy Association and the services they offer to support ostomates.

There are several different types of stomata. The Urostomy Association is the national charity specifically for people who need, or already have, a urostomy or other type of urinary diversion, no matter where they are on their journey —pre-op, post-surgery or further along.

From our own personal experience, we know how life-changing it is to be told you need to have your bladder removed because of cancer or another health condition, and you will have to adapt to a different life. We understand how overwhelming it can feel and that it can be a very anxious time, not only for the person directly affected, but for their family too. This is why we do what we do, listening with empathy, answering questions, providing the latest information and ensuring everyone who needs us feels well supported.

We have been trusted to provide our services for more than 50 years and we are proud of the welcoming and supportive nationwide community we have established with and for our members.

How we help

Whenever someone needs a listening ear, has questions to ask or requires support, we are just a phone call or click away. Our services include:

  • Telephone helpline
  • Trained volunteers to provide one-to-one support, before and after surgery
  • Dedicated website and Facebook group
  • Information leaflets
  • Advocacy
  • Regular newsletter and magazine
  • Local, volunteer-run branches in some areas, with speakers and social events.

Support now and in the future

Being able to get information and speak to someone who had surgery and is living a full and active life, is really helpful for those who are preparing for an operation and their partner/family.
Knowing ongoing support is available is also very important, particularly in the early days, and helps people feel less isolated and more part of a community. Speaking to somebody who knows just how it feels to step out of the house for the first time after surgery, return to work, or spend that important first night away from home, can make it feel less daunting. It is easy to forget, when you have had your stoma a long time, how it felt in the early days, and think that you do not need to be involved in our association. However, we are not only there for people who are just beginning their life with a stoma.

A family staying active

Keeping in touch

Through our website and magazine, we keep our members informed about new products, and have regular, helpful articles on issues that can arise at any time, such as urinary tract infections or a parastomal hernia. Our meetings are the ideal place to get together with others as well as to speak to manufacturers and suppliers about their latest products. There are often talks by stoma care nurses/urology consultants about the latest research. We also aim to run several open days and other events each year in different parts of the country. These are opportunities for our members to meet suppliers of stoma care products and put their questions to experts, including experts working in the NHS.

One strong voice

We speak and campaign with one strong voice for people living with a urostomy or other urinary diversion, making sure their needs are recognised by the government, the NHS and other organisations. With the NHS focussing on cost savings, this is more important than ever, and we lobby on behalf of our members to ensure they continue to have a choice of appliances and other products they need. Often, we campaign collaboratively with the two other main stoma charities, recognising that together we are stronger.

Paola Simoneschi is a communications specialist working with the Urostomy Association
Telephone: 01386 430140