Tony Britton, PR & Fundraising Manager, ME Association
From the West Country comes a Christmas offer to help the ME Association – a set of beautiful cards you’d be more than pleased to send to your nearest and dearest.
Emma Roberts, a former NHS high-flyer whose life changed completely when her 13-year-old son became ill with M.E., has been inspired by her new home farm floristry business to sell cards that glow with yuletide colour.
“They’ve been kindly painted by a family friend and feature our home-grown seasonal flowers and foliage.
“They’ve been designed specifically to raise awareness of and funds for the ME Association. I’ll be sending the charity £2.50 from the sale of each pack…”
- To order Christmas cards from Emma, please visit the Flower Studio Shop and £2.50 from each sale will be donated to the ME Association.
George was diagnosed with M.E. at the age of eight – after going into hospital with a nasty bout of glandular fever. “After that, our bouncy, mischievous football-loving son never really recovered”, said Emma. “The past few years have been very up and down.
“George started secondary school two years ago using his electric wheelchair, which was really isolating and meant making friends was so hard. Nowadays, he’s in school between 9 and 12 five days a week, although sometimes he doesn’t make it in every day.”
Emma has a rather different take on the pandemic to most of us.
“I have to say that the changes brought about by the pandemic have been really instrumental in improving George's ability to attend school.
“The year group is in a bubble and the children have to stay put in the classroom during the day, while their teachers do all the walking round between lessons.
“This has reduced significantly the energy drain for George and means he can concentrate on making friends.
“He’s been much more stable over the last few months and has been able to use his wheelchair as a backup at school”.
Emma rented a plot of land next to the family home in Atworth, Wiltshire, a little under a year ago. She grows a great profusion of flowers and other plants there for her new one-woman business, The Flower Studio.
You name it, she grows it. She's sprouted a whole set of green fingers in the course of the last year.
Initially, she started selling to friends and neighbours. Now she is hoping to move into mail order and seeing her business grow to become sustainable. If things go well, she might rent a bigger plot next year.
“If you had asked me a couple of years ago when I was knee deep in NHS management if I had ever imagined that I would become a gardener and a florist, I'd have said ‘Never in a million years'!” I’m so grateful to have found a business which complements being able to concentrate on George.”
- To order Christmas cards from Emma, please visit the Flower Studio Shop and £2.50 from each sale will be donated to the ME Association. The cards were designed by family friend Gabrielle Malcolm.
The ME Association
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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.
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ME Association Registered Charity Number 801279