February 2024

29/02/2024 2 By Smile For ME

Hello and welcome to February’s newsletter. Hope you have had the best month possible.


Nominations for Merryn’s Smile Day 2024 are now open. You can nominate a Severe or Very Severe ME sufferer to receive a Smile on the 13th May 2024 by completing our nomination form.

Repeat nominations are considered as we know it’s tough being in the same position as time passes so we’d love to keep reminding those severely affected that they are thought of and not forgotten.

Merryn’s Smile Day is an annual event when we send Smiles to those affected by Severe ME in Merryn’s memory on her Birthday, 13th May.

Merryn Crofts sadly passed away from Very Severe ME in 2017 just days after her 21st birthday. I (Alice) was lucky enough to be her friend and, thanks to her family’s blessing, Merryn’s Smile Day was created in 2019 to celebrate her birthday.

Smile For ME want to remember Merryn by sending a Smile in her name to those suffering with Severe ME. Merryn loved sending little gifts and also loved it when happy post arrived for her so we are glad to be able to do this in her memory.

To read more about Merryn and Merryn’s Smile Day check out our website page: www.smileforme.org.uk/merrynsmileday


10 Smiles were sent to both ME sufferers and carers of all ages this month. All chosen and personalised to fit each person’s likes and interests. Some of the items sent this month included a blanket, bubble bath and salts, Real Techniques make up brushes, Rimmel 60 second nail polish, face masks, candle, hot water bottle, Jellycat fox, Jellycat rabbit, squishmallow, xbox voucher, Emma Bridgewater sweet pea mug, Wrendale giraffe socks, Lego Technic tractor set, cross stitch craft set, colouring book and pens, wordsearch book, Wrendale dog pen, grow your own bonsai tree, Japanese snacks, Cadbury hot chocolate, mini marshmallows, Milkybar, Kinder, Galaxy chocolate and sour sweets. “Hello. I just want to say thank you for the beautifully wrapped Smile presents I received from you nominated to me by my cousin. It was such a lovely surprise and it definitely brought a smile to my face. The gifts I received – a hot water bottle, a huge tub of hot chocolate powder, mini marshmallows and a giraffe mug & socks are all perfect to me and I’ll for sure be using all of them. Thank you for all that you do. Smile For M.E is my favourite charity.”

“What a surprise! Thank you so much for my beautifully wrapped parcel. So unexpected but a delight. Thank you! And what a lovely idea!”

“Thank you so much for cheering my daughter up today. Beautiful gifts, beautifully wrapped xx”

“Thank you so much for Isabella’s parcel, she absolutely loved them and they definitely made her smile. Here’s a picture of Isabella’s  gifts from SMILE for ME, she loved them all and they definitely made her. She did get some kinder bars too but they are her favourite so didn’t quite get a picture taken in time before she had eaten them all.”

Share a story

This month’s share a story is by Clare Norton, specially written for us as we launch the nominations for Merryn’s Smile Day 2024. Thank you Clare for sharing about Merryn and for your blessing and support enabling us to try to honor her with our event in her memory.

“Alice kindly asked me if I would like to write a little something about Merryn for Merryn’s Smile Day. Firstly I’d like to say an immense thanks to Alice both for giving me that chance and for what she does all year, through her charity Smile for M.E and for Merryn’s Smile Day too.

What to write about Merryn?

I’ve spoken many times about her love of life, how she never walked into a room but bounced in, her big smile, her infectious laugh, her big heart.

Merryn had so many things she wanted to do in life- study performing arts, travel, have children, have a career in the arts. She was never a stay at home kind of person, she was always up early and out with friends, she had so much to do, she wanted to make the most of every day and fill it with fun. I recently found an old blog of Merryn’s with the words ‘I want to live, not just exist’. Poignant words written before she ever became ill.

Merryn was love and light with an immense love for people, for connecting with them and making them feel good, that undefinable something. We called it Merryn Magic.

M.E robbed Merryn of so much, her life shrank and became smaller and more isolated by necessity but through everything, all the pain and losses she suffered her love, empathy and need to connect with others grew.

Through her illness she worried that her life wasn’t meaningful, that she hadn’t achieved any of the goals she had had in life. She couldn’t have been more wrong and I would tell her that.

Her suffering only grew her need to help others who were suffering too, she made so many wonderful friends in the M.E community. A community of some of the bravest people ever. She sent letters (I wrote them as Merryn was unable to), messages, gifts, some thoughtful words and I would tell her because of you someone feels good today, someone remembers those kind words you sent or looks at a little gift and feels not so alone.

She built her new world, from her bed, in a dark room and the light it shone came back to her and helped her feel less isolated. It made her happy to know she was helping others.

A wonderful friend of Merryn’s wrote a poem on the first anniversary of her death. It’s a beautiful poem but I won’t write it all here, one part particularly stood out for me.

‘Listen, listen, listen,

For there was a girl

Who grew light in the dark

As though it was a plant

And she was a gardener.’

That is Merryn”

Smile of the month

What’s made you smile this month? Each month we ask this question on social media and we love hearing the responses. We hope by sharing some of your smiles, and a couple from last month too, it can help others to find a smile.


19th May 2024, a date for your diary. Blue Sunday, The Tea Party For ME annual fundraiser founded by Anna.

Thank you to those who have kindly supported Smile For ME previously, you have helped make a difference to us. Nearer the date we will be sharing more information about how to donate to us during Blue Sunday 2024 if you wish to do so.

For more information:



Thank you’s

Thank you to everyone who has supported us this month. We are so grateful for the kindness and generosity which enables us to continue sending Smiles to those affected by ME. It means such a lot thank you.

A special thank you to Emma for kindly donating wonderful handmade crocheted hearts, flowers and butterflies. These will be included in our Smiles to be able to send love and a piece of nature from the world Severe ME sufferers are often missing from.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter.

Smile For ME