Meet our Ambassador, Billie!
Our ambassador Billie has been using the Respond service for three years now, so we sit down with her to ask how she finds the service and how it feels like one big family.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Billie, I’m twenty-five years old and live in London. I have had my stoma for four years due to Ulcerative Colitis.
How long have you been using the Respond service?
I have been using the Respond service for three years.
I found out about Respond through social media via people sharing posts about them. I clicked through a few links, visited their website, and decided to join the service!
What is it about the Respond service that you like?
The customer service teams are just fantastic, and they make the whole thing so easy. When you go through the surgery, you come out the other side with something that you have not practiced previously, and when you meet with these people who know so much and can help you in so many ways, it is a huge relief. And that is really what got me through.
The Respond service is just so easy. It takes away the stress and anxiety that can stem from ordering items. If I have been really unprepared and completely forgotten to place an order, I can ring up the customer service teams and it’s fine – they say “we can get it out of here in a couple of days, don’t worry.” It’s seamless. And they focus on putting people first – putting the patients first – and taking that weight off your shoulders.
What would you say to someone who was looking to change their service?
It’s exactly what you need.
I think when you’re switching a service, you’ve potentially had an original service for a while. You’re changing because something is wrong or you’re just looking for something different. And I think that you’ve got to have that confidence to make a change, be brave. I think change is very scary, especially when you’ve got medical supplies in there. But I think that when you find the right one that works for you and you’ve got people that are there to support you, it’s so worthwhile.
What does it mean to you to be a part of the Respond ambassador programme and family?
It’s everything. The Respond ambassador programme has been such a lifeline for me. I feel like I’ve followed these people that I’ve met over the last four years and it’s amazing to actually meet them in real life. It’s lovely and wholesome. We have so much in common but also so many differences. There is a part of us that unites us and Respond has brought us together from that. We’re friends and that’s really nice.
Tell us something we don’t know about you?
My dream job when I was little was to be a Disney princess. I had really bleached blonde hair and I really wanted to be Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ …but she had brown hair, so I couldn’t do that! My mum bought me a Princess Belle dress anyway and I wore that every day with pride until the dress was bursting at the seams.
My dream job now, which I do every day at home, would be a chef. I just love cooking. My Mum’s a chef so I’ve grown up with food being a massive part of family life and being what really brings us together as a family. I know it’s cliché, but it really is, eating dinner is such an event in my house. If I could cook for a living, I would!
My favourite type of dish would be an easy pasta dish, something that reminds me of home.