Smile For ME is a charity for ME sufferers of all ages and their families and carers which was founded in 2012. Our main aim is to spread a smile and to help raise awareness and understanding of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). We know just how lonely and isolating this chronic illness is so we aim to help alleviate social isolation and loneliness by sending smile presents to those affected so they know that they are not alone and show that somebody cares. ME is an isolating illness and getting some post can really make you smile so we hope to spread the smiles.
There is a nomination form which can be found through the nominate page where anyone can nominate an ME sufferer or carer for a smile. We try to find out as much as possible about those nominated, what sort of things they like or enjoy so we can make the present as personalised and as special as possible so it is something that they really like and hopefully it makes them smile. We search online and buy appropriate presents and then wrap them specially before sending parcels out to hopefully brighten their day and make them smile. You can see picture of some of the recipients on our Smiles page.
Smile For ME was launched because we are ME sufferers/family members of ME sufferers ourselves. Through personal experience I (Alice) found being bed bound very isolating and lonely, not only because you can no longer do the things you love or even just basic daily tasks but friendships and support systems end which makes living in one room even harder. I turned online and found a community of people who were going through the same thing and I started making friends. We became pen pals which was when I realised just how special getting a letter through the post was. It was contact from the big world outside and it always made my day. I was determined something good would come out of having ME and I just wanted to make others smile. I thought if getting a letter made me smile what would getting a present do? So I came up with the idea for Smile For ME. I told my friend Grace about my idea and with her, her Mum and my parents help we set it up and became a registered charity for tax purposes on the 14th November 2012.
Meet the team
Alice, Grace, Janine, Clive and Jacqueline