Tuesday 27 April 2021

Minimal effort ways to support charities

Charities do so much for you, whether it be scientific research into new treatments or understanding illnesses better, running helplines, raising awareness of illness and advocating for patients and supporting change, sending out care parcels, donating food and toiletries to those in need and so so so much more!

Thought my time being ill different charities have supported me in lots of different ways and I try to give back in any way I can. Like for example writing articles for their magazines or partner organisations (like when I wrote an article for the nursing times on behalf of Action for M.E). Charities have also been there for me when I've needed someone to talk to or to ask for advice through their helplines. I've also received care packages like the one that I received from Smile for M.E.

As much as I would love to hold a big fundraiser the reality is I can't and many people can't but there are many other ways that you can help support charities.

Become a Member

Birds eye view of a pile of magazines with the tile Fragile Links, next to the magazines is a cup of coffee and in the top right corner of the photograph is a green plant

One of the big pieces of advice that I give to people newly diagnosed is to become a member of a charity that covers your illness. 

That you pay will help support support that charity in the work that they do. In turn your membership will give you access to help and support. For example giving you access to a community of others with the same illness as you and other benefits such as magazines newsletters, and/or emails keeping you up-to-date with things such as new research projects, participation opportunities, stories from others members etc. You might also receive information on living with the condition, ways of coping with the different symptoms, treatment options etc.

Birthday/Christmas Gifts

Information leaflets laid down. On top is a card with a picture of a puppy wearing a purple jacket and text reading 'My Amazing Puppy'.There is also a cuddly toy puppy wearing a purple Canine Partners assistance dog jacket, there is also a photograph of a puppy waring a purple jacket.
An idea for a birthday or Christmas gift could be to ask for donations to be made to a charity instead. An alternative is to sponsor/adopt an animal for somewhere like a zoo, animal sanctuary or an assistance dog puppy.

Cards & Other Things

Christmas cards

Instead of purchasing your Christmas cards from the supermarket or a stationary store why not buy them from a charity? Most charities do produce Christmas cards for people to purchase and it's a good way to help give a little bit back.

Alternatively, and this is what I do, is what I'd pay in postage and to make Christmas cards I donate those costs to charity instead.

Stationary & other items to buy that support charities

Here are just a few shops I found for you to have a browse at but there's much more out there is you just search online for it, like I searched for 'charity shop stationary' (even I found some new websites!)

Amazon Smile

Orange background with word Amazon with it's arrow logo underneath with the word Smile next to it. Underneath this Amazon Smile wording is more text reading You Shop. Amazon Gives.
Instead of having a regular Amazon account you can have a smile.amazon.co.uk account and from there you can select a charity. Certain products will support Amazon Smile and a percentage of the item bought will go towards your chosen charity. You will also be told how much you have raised for your chosen charity per purchase and also in your spending total as well as how much your chosen charity has been given from everyone supporting that charity.

Charity Shopping

Purchasing an donating to charity shops is a great way to support charities and you can often find some great finds.

You can even go charity shopping online. My go-to charity shop is THRIFT+.This is an online thrift (charity) shop where you get to decide what charity you want to support with your unwanted clothes. Then in buying clothes (all great quality I've shopped there myself a few times) you get to support other charities in return - the charity supported by each clothing item is chosen by the donor of that clothes item. Donating to THRIFT+ is so easy, just order a donation bag, fill it and then drop it off at a collection point to be sent to their warehouse.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Video collaboration with Georgina for FND Awareness Month

Georgina and I got to know each other through social media. Like me Georgina has FND - Functional Neurological Disorder, and so we teamed up together for April's FND Awareness Month.

Together we shared our experiences and journey of having FND and that challenges and positives of having this illness in our lives.

What I felt was so helpful in this video is how Georgina and ! show just how different FND can affect two people despite having similar symptoms. For example both of us have non-epileptic seizures as part of our FND but our non-epileptic seizures couldn't be any different. Mine present as a more 'classic type' seizure whereas Georgina's non-epileptic seizures are more dissociative. 

As FND affects the whole brain is can result in a wide range of symptoms as Georgina and I share. We also chat about getting our diagnosis and the different support and treatment's we've had as well as the general fluctuations of the illness both day-today and year-to-year. Georgina and I also share that challenges of having FND especially when it comes to how often our illness is misunderstood.

The video...

Clicking the video will take you to the video on YouTube. Feel free to leave any questions or comments. You'll also find CC on the YouTube video too.

Thursday 15 April 2021

Review: Dear Chronic Illness

Dear Chronic Illness Dear Chronic Illness by Pippa Stacey
My rating: ★★★

I loved this book. It was very easy to read as I could read each person's letter to their illness one at a time. I learnt about different illnesses and could relate to people's stories on illnesses that we shared such as gratitude towards our illness for what it's taught us about life and ourselves but also the grief in what out illnesses have brought us taking away the plans we had for our lives from before we became ill and how we've had to learn and adapt to our new lives factoring in our chronic illnesses and disabilities. It's a book I would defiantly recommend people reading as there is so much emotion put into each letter and even if you're not chronically ill or disabled you can learn and understand about different chronic illnesses and how they affect people from reading this book.

View all my reviews

Tuesday 13 April 2021

Gratitude for my disability

A white heart with twine to hang it up. on it is written I am grateful in black text with a red heart.
I am grateful for becoming disabled. Confused? Becoming ill has grown my gratitude for life. The small things now mean the big things and to be honest I'm not all too bothered about the big things, Things like a text from a friend, a walk in my wheelchair, getting my washing, a letter or from a pen pal all fill me up with gratitude and positivity.

When I look at the noticeboard in my bedroom I am filled with love at all the time and effort people have taken, many of whom have health struggles themselves, to write to me and send me mail and bits and bobs, or projects that bring a smile to people living with chronic illnesses/disabilities.

Being positive and filled with fratitde isn't easy when you're chronically ill. It's so easy to fall down a hole of negativity when you're body is throwing curveballs at you all the time and some days it does take a lo of effort to put a smile on my face and be positive.

My friend Ruth who I see as my positivity cheerleader whenever I get a message or letter from her has this quote: "When there is life there is hope" - Ruth S

And I have to hope that better and brighter days will come.

But I am grateful for my disability as so much positivity has come from it. For a start I wouldn't have started this blog, or my YouTube channel. I've also met such wonderful people who I now call friends and in life I now know who the true friends are in my life.

There has been many difficult time and days and I've cried a lot and at times felt let down, upset, frustrated and voiceless. Life with a disability isn't easy by no mean at all but it's made me the person I am today.

Tuesday 6 April 2021

Product Review: SWet Wipes

One  of the many challenges for some people with chronic illnesses and disabilities is bathing. For me it's an exhausting task that just takes up too much energy that I simply don't have even with the aid of things like a bath lift.

I use a waterless body wash which is a foam and that does the job well but I though I'd do a search online for some nice wash wipes that like with my waterless foam wash would help me be and feel clean without the exhausting task of getting a bath in between when I am able to get a 'proper wash' in the bath.

I compared several wash wipes. I wanted something that would be a little more 'luxury' that would hopefully do a good job and cleaning me as well as making me feel freshened up and feeling nice.

I settled on purcashing SWet Wipes. Each pack contains 12 wipes with a lovely light coconut scent and the wipes themselves are very thick so they last the job  of being able to fully wipe all over my body and they feel lovely on my skin and I find them very suitable for my sensitive skin and I feel really freshened up after washing with these wipes.

The wipes themselves are antibacterial and remove dirt, sweat and body odour and the wipes themselves are biodegradable (which is always a bonus).

I would defiantly recommend these wipes to anyone who struggles with bathing for whatever reason, or is going into hospital or any other reasons such as for travel or camping.

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* This post has been created in partnership with SWet Wipes but all views are my own

Thursday 1 April 2021

April's Monthly Make - Block printed canvas pencil case

This month I show you how to block print to decorate a canvas pen case. The tutorial video can be found below.

Once you know how to block print you can decorate a wide variety of things including makeup bags, canvas cases, tea towels, tote bags, gift tags, wrapping paper blank cards and envelopes and much more!

Like with my decoupage supplies my go-to shop for block printing The Arty Crafty Place is my go-to shop. You can buy kits with all you need to get started with block printing and I've found in the past with their kits that if there's a paint colour or stamp in the kit that I don't particularly like then they are more than happy to swap the paint or stamp in the kit for one that I prefer. They also have a wide array of paints, stamps and craft blanks and extra supplies like sponges so you can build up your collection as I have if you find that you enjoy block printing. Everything shown in the video tutorial has been bought from The Arty Crafty Place.


If you enjoyed this tutorial check out my YouTube channel for more craft tutorial videos and if you want to keep up-to-date with all my new videos why not subscribe to my channel?