What is the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Online Forum?

Our Forum is a safe space for anyone over the age of 16, looking for support about any aspect of cervical screening, HPV or cervical cell changes (abnormal cells), or cervical cancer. This includes partners, family members, friends and supporters. We are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for anyone wishing to use our online Forum so that they can post freely and be treated with respect and sensitivity.

In order to be able to provide this, we ask that you follow the guidelines below. By registering and posting on our online Forum, you are agreeing to our guidelines. If you have any queries or concerns regarding these, please email the Support Services Team at support@jostrust.org.uk – the team will endeavour to respond to all emails within five working days.

How is the Online Forum moderated?

The Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Forum is moderated by members of the Support Services Team. If you are posting for the first time, your post will need to be moderated by a member of staff before being published. This is to prevent spam or illegitimate posts being published.

The Forum is moderated and reviewed during working hours and we reserve the right to remove or edit posts, or implement necessary measures in order to ensure that our online community stays safe and supportive. Please follow the guidelines below prior to posting.

If we do remove a post, the author of that post may be contacted by a member of the moderating team with a clear explanation as to the reasons behind the decision. We encourage healthy discussion and removing a post is only taken as a last resort.

Moderating our Forum in this way allows us to continue to offer support to everyone.

Who moderates the Online Forum?

Our online Forum is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that support is available whenever you need it. The Forum is moderated daily during the working week between 9am – 5pm and we will aim to respond to any of your enquiries as quickly as we possibly can. We have a team of moderators (staff members and volunteers) who keep the Forum a safe place to go to for support and information. If you are a new member your first post will need to be approved by a moderator, so if you have posted outside the moderation hours there may be a delay until the next working day in it being approved.

We ask you, as members of our online community, to contact us immediately if you find anything on the Forum that is offensive or inappropriate. You can do this in a number of ways:

Please see our help using our forum information on steps on how to do this.

All moderation decisions will be based on the Forum guidelines outlined on this page. We reserve the right to remove or edit any post that we feel is inappropriate for the site however we will always endeavour to contact users with an explanation should we need to do this. If you disagree with any moderation decision, please email support@jostrust.org.uk and we’ll do all we can to help answer your questions.

Your username and profile

For your online protection, please do not include your email address, telephone number or postal address in the about me section on your profile or as part of your username. Some internet searches will bring up posts on the forum (e.g. if cervical cancer or screening are entered into the search engine) so this is also why it is better to remain anonymous. For similar reasons, we also ask you to refrain from naming your hospital or healthcare professionals.

Your username is how other members of the forum will identify you. Please select a username that is not offensive or inappropriate. We reserve the right to refuse or amend an inappropriate username. Please consider the following guidelines when choosing your username:

  • Do not use your full name or any other information which could be used to identify you outside of the forum
  • Please do not use names that refer to a health care professional for example nurse, doctor, etc.
  • Your username should not contain reference to children or words that include “mum” out of courtesy for members grieving the loss of their fertility.
  • Please also avoid using the ‘@’ symbol in your username as it will prevent other forum members from being able to tag you in posts.

Photos, pictures and videos

In order protect our Forum users and prevent spam you are unable to post images or videos in posts or comments, and are not permitted to post pictures or embed videos in posts, topics or private messages.

The community guidelines apply to profile pictures as well as written posts. Any offensive or distressing pictures may be removed. Similar to your username please also be mindful of including information about children, or use pictures of children, in your profile picture as this could appear insensitive at a time when you are intending to be supportive.

Please also make sure you have permission to use any photos that you use as your profile picture.

Be supportive, respectful and kind

We ask you to be respectful of others beliefs, religions and opinions at all times. Always be aware of the thoughts and feelings of others when you are posting, what might be acceptable to you could offend someone else. Members of our online community who use the Forum may be going through something very difficult and your support is important to them. Please be mindful that people will be going through different forms of treatment so not to pass comment. By following the steps below you will be making a positive contribution to the online Forum and its community.

  • Take the time to read your posts and messages before you submit them. Posting on an online Forum is not the same as having a conversation face to face. Please be aware that a written comment might not come across in the way that you had intended and could unintentionally cause offence.
  • Please use clear and understandable language – it is very important that those who wish to support you have a clear idea of what your concerns and needs are.
  • Please be patient there are users of all ages and abilities using the Forum.
  • The Forum is public and may be read by many different people, from young women, the media, MPs, and potential funders of the charity and you need to ensure your message is appropriate for anyone to read
  • Please be aware we cannot guarantee replies to all posts. Please ensure you read the category description so that others in a similar situation to you are more likely to see it and be able to offer support.

If you do see something that offends you please flag the post or contact one of the moderators straight away either by private message or emailing support@jostrust.org.uk rather than trying to handle the situation yourself. The role of the moderator team is to resolve these sorts of issues so that you don’t have to. Under no circumstances should a Forum user respond to an offensive remark made by another member of the online community. Provoking a troublemaker takes control of the situation away from the Moderators and makes their role more difficult.

Any member of the online community found to be sending offensive or bullying posts and/or private messages to another member will have their account deactivated and blocked immediately.

How to make sure your post is read

By posting in the most relevant category and clearly labelling your post it will enable other members of the community to find, read and respond to your posts. It will also allow greater choice over what people wish to read. For example, some treatments for cervical cancer cause infertility and for those experiencing this loss, they may not wish to read news about pregnancy. Similarly, those who are going through a hard time themselves may find it harrowing to read about someone else’s experience. The forum categories are there to also assist in this choice.

Some examples of labelling posts;

  • If you want information on something specific such as IVF, chemotherapy, hysterectomy etc., include this in the title.
  • If you are posting good news please include what it is about, such as new job, getting married, receiving an all clear.
  • If you are posting about pregnancy, not infertility, please be sensitive in your post title and include ‘ref. pg.’ at the end.

Swearing, offensive and abusive language

We will not tolerate any forms of threatening, harassing or abusive behaviour. This includes, but is not limited to, comments which are:

unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, racially offensive, religiously offensive or otherwise objectionable.

Please also avoid online “SHOUTING”. As a general rule in online communities, typing in all capital letters usually means that you are shouting. This can offend others especially if you are discussing a sensitive topic. We would ask that you try not to post all in capitals but use caps lock for a special occasion, for example “HOORAY, I’VE JUST FINISHED TREATMENT!!”

Keep it legal

You may not post any defamatory or illegal material of any nature. This includes text, graphics, video, programs or audio. Posting a message with the intention of committing an illegal act is strictly prohibited.

Only post materials to which you have the copyright or other permission to distribute electronically. You may not violate, plagiarise or infringe on the rights of third parties including copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, personal, publicity, or proprietary rights.

No adverts, promotion or spam

Our online Forum is a source of support and should not be used to sell or promote services or products. Commercial advertising is not permitted, this includes links within posts and links in the ‘About’ section of your profile. We do not tolerate spam of any kind and any posts that are considered spam will be removed immediately.

Press, media and case studies, research

If you are looking for case studies for either media or research purposes please do not post on our Forum. The purpose of the Forum is for support amongst women affected by cervical cancer and cervical cell changes.

We do not allow third parties to post surveys, petitions or carry out research on our forum as it retracts from the support focus of our community. If you wish to ask for case studies or help with research, please contact the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust office directly on 020 3096 8100.

Failure to comply with the Forum Guidelines

Failing to adhere to our guidelines will result in the forum user being formally warned by email or private message. This warning may include suspending the account or placing the account under moderation (where posts will be reviewed before being published).

If, after this warning, the Forum user continues to breach the guidelines their account will be deactivated and they will be banned from the Forum. The decision of the moderators is final.

Data protection

By registering to use this community, you’re agreeing to us storing the details you provide. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust will not publish or provide your email address to anyone. Please remember that all the information you post on the forum is public and can be read by people who do not have an online account with us. Your profile, email and private messages will be private. Please read our privacy policy for more information.

Child protection

For the protection and safety of children, this online Forum does not support members under 16 years of age. If you are under 16 there are some excellent places where young people can get support. You may find it helpful to visit Teenage Cancer Trust or Clic Sargent.

Please remember

The opinions expressed by this online community are purely the views of its members and do not reflect the views and opinions of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust does not recommend or endorse any drugs, surgery, clinical trials or treatments of any kind, but seeks to provide support and information on the current options of treatment available.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust reserves the right to update and change our Forum guidelines at any time. We also reserve the right to deactivate or ban forum users at any time if they are believed to be causing distress to other forum users. If you have any questions about these guidelines, contact us at support@jostrust.org.uk and we’ll do all we can to help.

This document was last updated June 2023