Hello and welcome to June’s newsletter. Hope you have had the best month possible.
This month during 7th-13th June we celebrated Carers Week. Carers Week is an annual campaign in June to raise awareness of caring. Smile For ME have joined in with this event since 2018 as we want to highlight carers of ME sufferers. ME doesn’t just affect those suffering it affects those around them who have to take on the role of being a carer.
We celebrated some of the wonderful carers of ME sufferers by sending 50 special Bear Hugs Smiles to thank them for all they do and show them how much they are appreciated.
A big thank you to Bear Hugs who we choose to partner up with each year for our Carers Week celebrations. We partner with them as they are a brilliant business which spreads a little kindness and a thoughtful hug. Bear Hugs was founded by Faye who is a chronic illness sufferer and, as well as the wonderful work they do, they offer and advocate for accessible inclusive jobs. A special thank you to Jared for helping us this year, we can’t thank you enough for helping us create smiles.
Sending a big hug to those caring for a loved one. You are amazing and everything you do is much appreciated not just during Carers Week but always
Smile of the month
Each month we ask on social media what has made you smile this month? We love hearing the responses and hope by sharing some of your smiles it can help others to find a smile too.
What’s made you smile this month?
Share a story is a segment in our monthly newsletters where we share a story from an ME sufferer or carer about their personal experience of ME to remind others they are not alone. This month as we celebrated Carers Week all our carer’s stories can be found here. Thank you to everyone who shared their story.
June’s share a story is a piece by Alice, a young carer. Thank you Alice for writing about your experience of being a carer and for allowing us to share it.
My name is Alice, I’m eleven years old and I’ve been a young carer for my mum for the last four years. My mum has ME and POTS.
A young carer is someone who helps someone else in their family. This could be a parent or a sibling. A young carer could help with household chores, help the family member with getting dressed and help lift or carry items too. They can help out in the house but also help out when out, for example help with shopping.
I help by mum out by helping around the house by doing things like the washing up and vacuuming. I also help my mum out by making drinks or help getting her medication.
The best part of being a young carer is knowing I’m helping my mum out to make her life easier. I am also part of Gloucestershire young carers so have made new friends and I go to a group and play games and do crafts. It’s nice to be around others who understand what it’s like being a young carers and having a relative who isn’t very well.
The worst part of being a young carers is when other people don’t understand what a young carers is or about my mum’s illnesses. People don’t always understand when we can’t go out or can’t do the same things some of my other friends do.
Lockdown as a young carer has been up and down. I’ve got to spend more time with my mum and have enjoyed home schooling but we haven’t always been able to go out as my mum hasn’t been well enough and she can’t drive very far without getting very tired. We have enjoyed doing things at home though like arts and crafts, puzzles and playing in the garden.
Now we are coming out of lockdown but we still need to be extra careful as if my mum catches covid it could make her even more poorly.
When Mum has a rest I like to play with my Lego or on my switch. I know how important it is to let mum rest so this is part of our afternoon routine.
Me and mum are a team and life as a young carer is just normal to us.
Do you shop online? Why not support us at the same time through AmazonSmile and Easy Fundraising. AmazonSmile is for shopping with Amazon and Easy Fundraising is available with 3,800+ online brands and retailers. Sign up with the links below and when you shop we receive a donation at no extra cost to you.
For a mobile/tablet device
- Download Amazon app on your device and open it
- In the main menu tap ‘Settings’
- Then tap ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions selecting Smile For ME to complete the process
- Go to https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1185760-0
- Pick ‘Smile For ME’ as your chosen charity. Smile For ME will then appear at the top of your screen near the Amazon Smile logo confirming you have selected us (You only need to select us once it will be saved for future purchases)
- Shop like normal and we will receive 0.5% donation from your net purchase price on items that are eligible for AmazonSmile donation
- Remember in future you need to start at smile.amazon.co.uk instead of amazon.co.uk each time you shop in order for us to receive a donation. There is a browser extension called Smilematic which if you install will automatically redirect you from amazon.co.uk to smile.amazon.co.uk every time. (Thank you Marilyn for telling us about Smilematic)
For a mobile/tablet device
- Download Easy Fundraising app on your device and open it
- Click ‘Create Account’
- Search for ‘Smile For ME’ and click ‘Support This Cause’
- Follow the on-screen instructions creating an account to complete the sign up process
- Search for retailers through the app, shop online and we will receive a donation when you spend
- Go to Smile For ME’s Easy Fundraising page
- Click ‘support this cause’
- Create an account with Facebook or Email and enter your details
- Click ‘add the donation reminder’ to add the extension to your browser
- Shop online as normal. Donations are available through 3,800+ online brands and retailers. When you are on the website of your choosing if it is an eligible shop you will see a notification in the top right hand corner saying ‘Great news, up to __% free donation on this site’ Click ‘Activate donation’ and we will receive a donation when you spend
Thank you to those who have already signed up and supported us. We have received £211.84 from AmazonSmile and £903.80 from Easy Fundraising thanks to your kindness.
In her name Lucie
Lucie has very kindly been supporting us since 2018 with her In her name Lucie fundraiser. She has raised thousands of pounds for us and she is still going! Lucie is currently supporting us with her DofE Award and has started off her fundraising with a Euros 2021 sweepstake, good luck to everyone and their teams. You can follow along with Lucie’s fundraising on her Facebook page and support her through her Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. Thank you Lucie and everyone involved in the In Her Name Lucie fundraiser.
Lauren kindly fundraised for us last year with her business Wrapsie Woo through the sales of the blue wrist wraps and keyrings. She has kindly chosen to support us again and has created a new blue wrist wrap and hair wrap. Wrist wraps cost £3.50 and hair wraps cost £3.75 with £1.50 from each item sold going to us and the remaining amount covering P+P and materials used. If you would like more information regarding these items or would like to place an order contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you Lauren for your support.
A big thank you to everyone who supported us this month. Your kindness and generosity means such a lot. Thank you for helping us to continue sending Smiles to those affected by ME.
A special thank you to Alex for your kind donation in Merryn’s name.