You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you’ll win no matter what the outcome’ Patch Adams
It’s been 23 years since I first dipped my toe into fundraising. At the tender age of 9, I raised a solid £32.80 for the NSPCC playing 3 Blind Mice on the recorder for approximately 5 hours on our street corner whilst I made my sister run around the street with a shoddy cardboard sign shouting ‘HELP THE NSPCC’. If I remember correctly, our neighbour, Morag, gave me £10 in the end to bugger off inside.
I’ve always felt passionate about helping to raise money for people; their causes always close to my heart. I hear their stories and instantly think how lucky I am, and in turn want to make things better for them in anyway I can. My phone bill is always ridiculous because of the amount of times I text a charity following an advert (although I do now tend to visit the charity website and speak to the fundraising team to ask where the money goes specifically).
Anyway, community style fundraising is built into who I am (I’m happy to admit the day to day stuff I could work on). I’ve ran a Tough Mudder, held a dance-a-thon, set a summer fundraising challenge for my dance students, sold show programmes for 10 years in aid of different charities and done more ‘Blue Peter’ sales that I can count. (I swear the girl who lived to the right of us used to just run back and forth for 20p to buy my old sh*t).
Low moment when I’d just come out a skip filled with ice cubes and wet my pants! #alltheglamour #atleastmyfannywaswarm
Selling journals that I know have the potential to make people happier, whilst helping to raise funds and awareness for charity makes the job so worthwhile, and in just 2 months we’ve raised £500 for Tommys The Baby Charity, £500 for Winstons Wish, £1000 for Huntingtons Disease and so far £96 for Teddys Legacy Fund with another 2 weeks to go 🙌
As we move into January, I’ve decided my next focus is to be Sue Ryder. An amazing charity that have appeared on our doorstep in some times of real crisis and helped to pull us back from a point of no return which could certainly have resulted in my mum going into a home and my dad becoming extremely unwell.
They thing is, carers, unpaid, paid, nurses, paramedics and the like (all carers in their own way), are the glue that holds it all together. No matter how much awareness and money we raise for tragic conditions, if we don’t take care of the carers, what’s to be gained? The patients quality of life is directly affected by the reserve of energy the ones caring for them have. You all know the saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ and it’s true. My aim is to bring a little balance to my fundraising.
New mums are encouraged to leave the washing, forget the dishes, wear pyjamas, and nap when the baby naps, because people know that a newborn baby is a 24 hour a day non stop job with a human that is totally dependent on you. But here’s the thing. It’s exactly the same for carers and our public services. But they can’t leave the washing, nap or forget the dishes. And if it weren’t for people that offer care support, emergency medical care and ongoing medical support, they could not, and would not survive.
That’s why this Christmas I am pledging for you to join me in my #wecarethatyoucare #unsungheroes #thanksinpants campaign.
All you need to do is take a photo however, wherever, with whoever, to say THANKS! Here’s the fun bit! You need a pair of pants (cape optional) over your trousers and your best superhero pose! Perhaps you have a specific someone you wish to thank. Maybe you want to thank our services. Or maybe you just want to let someone somewhere out there know, you think they are amazing.
I’ve also added a list below of 11 ways you can get actively involved in brightening the day of those in positions of care this Christmas, so that you can extend your awareness campaign that little bit further if you wish.
1, FUNDRAISE – For a condition or even a person or family. All over the country there are adult carers struggling to make ends meet as they attempt to juggle work and care, as well as child carers who experience loneliness and miss out on the fun treats our own children often take for granted.
2. READ- Read up about a condition if you have friends or family suffering. As a family we’ve sadly had social workers arrive with no knowledge of our family condition and it takes 10-15 minutes of your time to read up.
3. COOK- Practical daily tasks such as cooking meals can be time consuming, particularly if the carer has to cook separately due to special dietary requirements. Often the carer comes last with little nutrition in their diet due to lack of time. Cooking something wholesome and fresh that they can bung in the freezer will go a long way and relieve stress.
4. HOUSEWORK- Can you help with any daily chores? Walking a dog, or even giving the carer a break by offering your company so they can go out with the dog? Try your hardest to avoid saying ‘Call if u need me’ because they wont, they don’t have time and will find it difficult to ask. Just get stuck in!
5. ASK – Ask about a condition. What things are unique to their care? What do they need daily? You wont offend anyone. Families dont expect you to know these things so don’t fear helping because you don’t know how. Just say you wish to help and ask. This will allow you to offer help in a more practical way.
6. THINK- Before you dial 999, ask yourself, is this a life threatening emergency? I’ve listed examples of when to call 111 and 999 below. The ambulance service visit people everyday who do not need an ambulance, taking vital care away from those who need it.
7. SEND A CARD- How lovely does it make you feel when you receive a thank you card? Long shifts, rude patients and lack of fair pay can all make jobs in the NHS hard but one thank you card can be enough to lift someones spirits at the start of a shift to keep them going. Gratitude always goes a long way.
8. COMMUNITY- Get a local community club to do something for a care home. Perform a dance, sing some songs. Offer to organise it for them. Christmas is often quite a lovely time in care homes with specific activities planned but the rest if the year is when it would go a long way to bring some happiness to the staff and residents.
9. REMEMBER YOUR MANNERS- Never forget these people are just like you and I, they work long shifts, miss out on many special occasions with their family and are greatly over stretched. They want to help you ans will always do the best they can.
10. BE HANDS ON – This is based on our experience only. Family members who are unpaid carers rarely have the time or energy to talk emotionally about what they are going through, and in our experience it can often just leave people drained when they return to the task they can’t ‘clock off’ from. Saying things like ‘I don’t know how you do it’ can not only be counter productive but also leave those cared for feeling a burden. My advice would be to instead give some company, learn about their lifestyle and give a little time to help make things easier in a practical and sustainable way.
11. DONATE- I have opened a fundraising page for Sue Ryder, link below and will be keeping this open whilst my care for carers focus remains at the forefront of my fundraising. Here’s some totals you can look out for.
£16 pays for one hours care
£35 pays for one massage session helping patients feel calm and cared for
£50 funds a bereavement session for someone coping with the loss of loved ones
£100 covers the cost of a hospice nurse for the day
Finally, share this blog. Get others on board and give a little love this Christmas (and forever more). Do you have any of your own ideas? I’d love to hear them.
Thank you for taking the time to read. I can’t wait to see your photos. Don’t forget to tag @the_bees_knees.co so I can share them and remember those all important hashtags #wecarethatyoucare #unsungheroes #thanksinpants