Pippa Stacey, Social Media Manager, ME Association.
Living with a mostly-invisible condition comes with many challenges. With M.E., people can’t often see your pain, nor the way you carefully manage your condition, and because of that, they might find it hard seeing a clear way to help or to understand.
|“Fundraising is a beneficial pursuit and appreciated year-round, but in the run up to M.E. Awareness Week and during the month of May, it’s the perfect time to harness the buzz from the increase in media activity.”|
May is fast approaching, and as it features M.E. Awareness Week, there’s no better time to share your experiences and help more people become aware of the issues this community faces. We need to ensure that not only are we rallying all those affected by this devastating condition, but that we’re reaching outside our community as well.
Fundraising is a beneficial pursuit and appreciated year-round, but in the run up to M.E. Awareness Week and during the month of May, it’s the perfect time to harness the buzz from the increase in media activity.
It was with this in mind that I chose to support the ME Association through my social enterprise, Spoonie Survival Kits, back in 2015.
Spoonie Survival Kits officially began as a teeny tiny fundraising project I experimented with during my university holidays. I made twenty random ‘happiness bags’, sold them online, and donated the sales money to charity.
I was genuinely shocked by the support and backing my idea received from the chronic illness community, and within months found myself running a full-blown fundraising project, mostly from my bed.
We were making hundreds of individual Kits whenever my health allowed it, however the demand for orders and my own chronic ill health meant that approaching the project in this way was definitely not sustainable, especially with me being too unwell to fundraise as frequently as I would like to.
|“Fundraising can seem overwhelming at the beginning, especially when you’re managing a long-term condition, but it’s all about finding what works for you and accessing the support you need to make it happen.”|
Fast forward a few years, and we’re now a fundraising social enterprise, run more similarly to a small business, but still with advocacy and acts of kindness at our heart.
We now create Kits tailored to specific conditions and symptoms, and 50% of all sales money is donated to charity.
The remaining 50% is used to cover the costs of running the project, and the hope is to one day create more structured volunteering and paid employment opportunities for other chronically ill people.
It was my own experiences of M.E. that led to me founding Spoonie Survival Kits.
I wanted to let others with the condition know that they hadn’t been forgotten, and I wanted to do so in a way that raised vital money and awareness for the incredible charities that support them.
|“It’s such a blessing to be able to do something you enjoy, whilst managing your health, and knowing that you’re supporting a deserving cause at the same time.”|
That’s why I was keen to support M.E. charities first and foremost. As an enterprise we fundraise for one chosen cause at a time before moving to another, and the ME Association was one of our earliest chosen charities.
I was so impressed by the support I received from the charity right from the beginning: fundraising supplies sent out in the post, a friendly point of contact, and regular web and social media promotion that drove supporters to purchase our Kits and ultimately, raise as much money as possible.
Fundraising can seem overwhelming at the beginning, especially when you’re managing a long-term condition, but it’s all about finding what works for you and accessing the support you need to make it happen.
|“If fundraising has been sitting in the back of your mind lately, now’s the time to give it a go.”|
It’s such a blessing to be able to do something you enjoy, whilst managing your health, and knowing that you’re supporting a deserving cause at the same time.
Every single penny brings us closer to the support and answers we’re yearning for!
The ME Association
Real People. Real Disease. Real M.E.
We are a national charity working hard to make the UK a better place for people whose lives have been devastated by an often-misunderstood neurological disease.
If you would like to support our efforts – particularly during ME Awareness Week – and help ensure we can continue to inform, support, advocate and invest in biomedical research, then please donate today.
Just click the image opposite and visit our JustGiving page for one-off donations, to establish a regular payment or to create your own fundraising event.
ME Association Registered Charity Number 801279