Thursday, 8 March 2018

5 Fundraising Ideas to Fit in with your Day to Day Life...


I understand that fundraising needs to fit into your day to day life and what a bonus it is if you can have fun with family and friends whilst doing it! So here is a short list of easy fundraising ideas you can try...

1. Bake Sale 

The all time classic, what is better than a homemade goodie? Get together with your friends and family and bake! Chose somewhere to sell your goods and donate the profits.

2. Outdoor Games Competition

This one is perfect for a summers day! Get to your local playing fields with your friends, family and locals to participate in a game of Rounders, Cricket or even a simple obstacle course. Charge an entry fee for individuals/groups to join in, you can even include a prize for the winners!

3. Night in 

The swap, invite your friends over for food and a film night instead of going out and ask them for a small donation in return! The same fun and entertainment just at home. 

4. Bingo Evening

The ultimate fun evening! Hire your local hall, get your equipment, ask around for donations from companies in your area, advertise & GO! You can charge people an entry fee or per game.

5. Craft Sale 

Let the creativity flow! Do you enjoy knitting, making cards or anything crafty? Set up a sale of your homemade products and donate profits. The other bonus is that it gives you the perfect excuse to do something you love! 

So there you have it! A few simple ideas for fundraising, share your suggestions or what you have been up to in the comments section below.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Is fundraising a daunting thought for you?

So this post is a lengthy one, but very beneficial if you are thinking of fundraising for PSS. The whole process can seem almost intimidating, there are questions that need to be answered, will you have time to see it through and doubts of whether it will be a success. We completely understand, so our aim is to help you along the way. You are not alone.

We have been in contact with Louise Dixon, once she made us aware of the efforts both herself and her group of friends are going to, in order to fundraise for us. After speaking with her, we thought this is a perfect opportunity to document a fundraising journey!

We wanted to know  why Louise decided to fundraise, how she began and how it made her feel. Louise is an everyday mum becoming a HG Hero and we know there are lots of you out there that can do the same. Below is our interview with Louise, alongside the pictures of their first meeting. A perfect excuse to see your friends, drink tea and eat cake!

The beginning of Louise Dixon & friends fundraising journey...

What is your story and why have you decided to support PSS?
When I was suffering through my HG pregnancy I had no idea what HG was. I didn't know it had a name, that there were different medications I could take, that other women went through it too. All of these things would have helped me through it. So, years later, when i discovered PSS I wanted to help raise its profile, to help other women to find this support network and have a better experience than my own.

How did you find out about fundraising for PSS?
I decided that I desperately wanted to become a peer supporter. When my welcome pack arrived from PSS, it included possible fundraising ideas and I realised that this was another important way to support the charity.

What are you doing and how have you started to fundraise for your event?
I didn't find it easy to think of fundraising ideas myself, but I am fortunate to have the most amazing friends to talk things through with. The same friends that supported me during my illness and ever since, immediately suggested that we all fundraise together! Knowing that I am not doing it along has been a great boost. Our group consists of Ellen, Bryony, Gayle and myself. We are all working mums with busy lives, so our events need to fit in to be achievable. It is fair to say that Ellen is the most energetic/fit/active of the four and she immediately signed up for THE GREAT NORTH RUN in aid of PSS. As a group we are going to walk 'A Marathon in a month' by walking local routes around Berwick-upon-Tweed in May/June but the dates still need to be confirmed. The sponsorship for these events will be collected by sponsor forms and also via a Virgin Money Giving page. Bryony is a seasoned fundraiser, so her insider knowledge is
amazing and she is guiding us through ways to increase the money we raise. It is all very exciting! Gayle is very organised and she will be the perfect planner, keeping us all in check. I have also started my 'nine months of... hell!' as I've started spinning, which I really dislike doing (I'm not very fit and find it so difficult that it makes me feel physically sick) - so I feel like it is the perfect activity to try to stick at for 9 months! The end fundraiser on this is a little sketchy, but I am thinking a spinathon, or a sponsored spin of a certain mileage... watch this space! 

What advice would you give people thinking of fundraising for PSS?
I'm probably not very well-equipped to give advice to other fundraisers as I'm such a novice! When i first thought about fundraising, it seemed difficult; what could I do? Would anyone sponsor me? What if I shared my ideas and people thought they were silly? But getting help to more women suffering from HG and pregnancy sickness by raising awareness of PSS is so important,, that it made it all seem less scary. With my friends beside me, it's going to be a real adventure! 

If you are fundraising for us we would love to hear from you! 


Monday, 19 February 2018

Happy Monday

So this is the beginning my second week at PSS HQ and I am absolutely loving it! 

You may have noticed that I have started to have a little change around of the website, so please have a look and see what you think. I have also made a Facebook frame, so you can take PSS pictures and we would love to see all of your photos!

Follow the link on the post about our new photo frame there is a try it button. Once you have your picture go ahead and post it on our page.

One of our lovely fundraisers Louise Dixon has agreed to give us an insight to her group of friends fundraising journey! They certainly have a lot planned for this year, keep your eyes peeled for more about them, what they are getting up to and how they are getting on. 

I think it is a great idea for a bunch of friends to fundraise together it can make it more fun, so why don't you see if any of your friends would like to get involved with you! 

Monday, 12 February 2018

Hello Nine months of...

First of all, I would like to introduce myself - the girl behind the blog. 

So my name is Fern, I am 24 from Cornwall. Today I have joined the team as the new Fundraising and Engagement Administrator and let me tell you I could not be more excited to get stuck in!

Here I will be showcasing the brilliant fundraising you are doing, telling you all about the fun things we have going on at PSS HQ for you to get involved in and much more...

If you are fundraising for us I would really like to know all about it, so please feel free to contact me: or even a message on facebook

The month of LOVE 💗

Valentines day is just a few days away now, are you organised? No? 
Well below is a handy link for you!  

So this is something new, but a great and easy way for us to raise money. You simply need to book a dinner reservation through this website and chose us as the charity you would like to support and we get £1 per diner! How incredible is that!?

This isn't just for Valentines either, you can book through charitable all year round. 

I have come to the end of my first ever post and I am really looking forward to hearing your stories and helping you along the way where I can.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Charlotte and Adam's Zip wire challenge is complete!

Charlotte and her husband Adam have just Zipped down the longest Zip wire in Europe to raise money for Pregnancy Sickness Support.

Their amazing challenge has raised £400 for the charity.

Here Charlotte talks more about the challenge and why she and Adam chose Pregnancy Sickness Support.

You had HG in pregnancy? How did it affect you and your family?
I found out I was pregnant the week before my husband Adam and I went on our honey moon. I started vomiting violently while were away , and it got progressively worse the first 3 months. 
Violent is the right word because the vomiting took over my whole body. 
At its worst every time i moved I would wretch. Even on good days i had consistent feeling of nausea.  I tried to carry on as normally as I could . I am a social worker and had recently been made a team leader, I tried my best to get into work but would often have to go home after being sick on my way in. One particularity lovely morning I was sick all over myself on the train into work. I am so lucky I had a supportive manager and caring colleagues, especially my lovely friend Ruth who basically carried my work load as well as her own for my pregnancy. 

During my pregnancy due to HG i missed work, a girls holiday, a family holiday a best friends hen do i had helped to plan , days out, nights out. I have never felt so lonely in my whole life, but at the same time didn't have the energy to care. HG vomiting isn't like normal vomiting. Its aggressive and exhausting, it comes from your toes ! My friend Jasmine was pregnant at the same time as me . She didn't suffer from HG and at times it was hard seeing her doing things we should have been able to do together. I am lucky i have good friends who are understanding , would bring me water and turned the TV up when I vommed ! They made allowances for me so I wasn't totally isolated, But still a vomiting friend is not the life and soul of any party!

We are sold a view of pregnancy that it is a wonderful time where the woman is glowing, the dad is happy and everyone is just wonderful. Mine was the opposite of this but i tired the whole time to pretend this is how i felt, living in the hope the vomiting would stop soon . Every health professional we would see told us, the sickness will stop by 12 weeks, 15 weeks then 20 weeks. I was told this was normal and a good sign. I remember being about 13 weeks pregnant and seeing my GP , he's a nice guy, but I will never forget him saying this may feel traumatic for you, but your body is coping well and your baby is fine, sickness in pregnancy is normal and healthy. This  made me feel like a was being pathetic so from then I just pretended I was fine and tried to get on with it the best I could. I was hospitalised at 16 weeks and had a drip and IV anti sickness meds which made me feel a lot better for a while!

Adam has said to me the first 5 months of my pregnancy was the loneliest time of his life. He would come home from work to find me in the same place he had left me that lunch time. Some days he would have to try to get me to eat anything by offering a array of snacks! He would beg me to eat and was so worried. I would spend days in bed . Even on good days when I was tired the sickness got  worse so I went to bed latest 8pm which meant all evenings he was on his own. He lived in a constant state of fear !  He was my rock, telling me all the time I could do this. He was also super practical ! He researched and bought super doper sick bags which where a god send . He would make sure I took my tablets, having spares on him at all times encase I forgot. I swear he stopped me getting dehydrated  by having water near me all the time and counting how much i had drunk. It was hard on him , going from newly weds to him being my carer, cleaning up my sick. He was amazing through it all and I think it shows the kind of man and father he is.

 Apart from Adam , I think the only people who saw the extent of my HG was my Mum and Dad. A few times during my pregnancy they brought me home to look after me for a few days . My Mum jumped up every time i was sick (which was soooo many times ) each time she held my hair. My Dad would get up each night when i was sick, one night he even had to give me a flannel wash ! My mum was a midwife, then a health visitor and is now a family nurse Supervisor. She knows a lot about pregnancy and babies. She would reassure me as much as needed that my baby would be OK, that he was cooking nicely :-).  She advocated for me when i had to go to hospital and I feel between her dad and Adam they kept me out of hospital and at home as much as humanly possible. I know her and dad hated seeing me like that, that it was hard for them to be excited for their first grandchild but having to see what i was going through. HG has a impact on a couples whole family. It takes away from the enjoyment and excitement of it all, I know Adams family felt this too.

As my pregnancy progressed I had a bit of respite at 6-7 months, I was still sick most days but I could leave the house, eat certain foods fine and was even able to attend our best friends wedding, go for a few meals with the girls and celebrate my brothers 21st . I still had bad days though and when they come they would knock me on my bum! Adam would find me sometimes heavily pregnant passed out on the bathroom floor, just totally exhausted from vomiting or generally feeling ill. I developed other health problems as my pregnancy progressed which meant going on Mat Leave early and being induced at 37 weeks. My last vomit was in theatre as they did the emergency c section , I remember thinking that s my last VOM !!!

What has struck me since having my gorgeous , worth every vomit,  little boy, is how HG was never really explained to me by  most professionals. There was just one GP who told me what HG was called and insisted I took some time off work and an amazing  midwife called Anne. Anne told me at about 26 weeks , you are doing so well but this is likely going to last you whole pregnancy and it may get worse. I was so grateful for her honesty, I needed information so I could process what was happening to me . HG is isolating all encompassing condition , and those suffering need help support and above all information!!!

How did you come across PSS and how did the charity help you?

I came across the charity on Facebook. My mum is a family nurser supervisor and had heard about PSS so we had a search for it. There was a post on FB that discussed life after HG , I cant remember all the detail but it talked about feeling unable to move on from a HG pregnancy and being mentally scarred by it. It was a light bulb moment for me, I realised I wasn't crazy and there are a lot of women out there feeling the same as me. I didn't feel alone anymore and the more I looked into the group the more empowered I felt.

 Since then I have read posts on the page and messages from followers about life after HG. I now know its normal to be scared of being pregnant again when ever I feel a bit sick, that I need to talk about my pregnancy and I still feel shell shocked from it 2 years on. That's all OK- i'm not crazy or pathetic!! 
No one can really understand how it feels to vomit up 20 times a day, to be in love your baby but hate being pregnant unless you have been through it. It's also helped me be hopeful for the future. That I can have another baby, there is a treatment plan I can speak to my doctors about. Knowledge is power and PSS has provided me with the knowledge I didn't have in my first pregnancy. It was the most lonely scary time of my life. Because of PSS if I have HG again i know i wont feel alone.

How is life now that your baby is here?

From the moment he was born Zach has been the most gorgeous funny cheeky little boy. He has brought so much fun and joy to all of us !!
Zach is now two, he is a mama's boy and the most loving little fella in the world. Having him is the best thing that has ever happened to us, he has the best daddy and is adored by his whole family. 
Its been hard moving on from HG. I suppose i grieved for the loss of the " fairy tale pregnancy". I had a c section, couldn't breastfeed and as a result of all of that and HG felt like a total failure as a mum before id even begun. 
I suffered with Postnatal depression and it's taken me a long time to admit I hated being pregnant- we are not supposed to say that as women are we!! 
I've learnt its totally fine to have hated being pregnant but love your baby, that the two are separate. The being a good mum is nothing to do with how you carry, give birth, or feed your child. Its about overcoming what's thrown at you for the good of your family and i'm in a place now I can see I had to overcome a lot and I am a better mother for it.  
For my husband it took a lot of adjustment to me not being ill. He had lived 9 months on pins, waiting for me to need to go to hospital again, arguing with me to eat or finding me asleep on the bathroom floor after a bad Vom sesh! Its fair to say he's had to deal with a whole lot of anxiety, and that anxiety doesn't just go away on its own! We have had to support each other get over our HG journey

What made you want to do a zip wire, where will you do it, and how did you choose the location of the wire you wanted to fly?

After our wedding we went on a "mini moon " in Betws y coed North Wales. Its our favourite happy place.  We were told that there was the longest Zip wire in Europe there. I have a bit of a fear of heights but when we looked into it thought we would love to give it a go! PSS has helped us both know we aren't alone or crazy for feeling how we have and has given us hope for if we decided to have another baby. 

Your husband is going to do the zip wire with you? Who is more nervous about it – you or him?

Defo me ! Adam will only get nervous on the day i think hes really excited!

What target have you set for the money you would like to raise? Do you have plans for other fundraising ideas?

 We have a target of £100. Adam is talking about doing a sky dive in the future !! I think i might stick to a cake and coffee morning !  

If you have been inspired by Charlotte and Adam you can follow this link to information on how you can join #TEAMPSS and raise money for Pregnancy Sickness Support.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Pirates, Pantomime, and PSS!

You may remember the amazing efforts of our volunteer fundraiser, Claire, who raised over £1100 for PSS with her charity indoor boot sale...

Well, she's done it again!

This time, Claire - who is a member of the amateur drama group, The Showboaters, based in Boat of Garten - has raised  £1610 for PSS, by setting up a refreshments station at each of the five pantomime performances of swashbuckling Christmas comedy 'The Boat' that the group did this year. She also raffled a giant Pirate Bear to boost the funds she raised. 

It's an amazing achievement and so I asked Claire if she would answer a few questions about what she does and how she does it...

Claire, you’ve raised a lot of money for PSS. What motivates you?

When I look at my wee girl and I wonder that she might get this in the future- I want things to be better for her.When I hear of other women suffering, I want things to be better for them. When I think of having another baby, I want things to be better for me.

Where do you get your fundraising ideas from?

When I decided to do fundraising I came up with a list of ideas. I started with the boot sale because it seemed the easiest one to manage before the end of the year. Luckily, the Showboaters group approached me and asked if I would like to raise money during their shows. 

Have there been any potential disasters or worrying moments during any of your fundraising events?

Not so far, but if there were I wouldn’t be too stressed!

Do you have any plans for more fundraising efforts in the near future? If so, what will they be?

Yes, I think so. We are planning to do a pub quiz sometime over the spring or summer.

Do your children and/or other family get involved in your fundraising? How do they feel about what you’re trying to do?

Yes, I wouldn’t be able to do any fundraising without the help of my family and friends. They helped so much with organising, looking after my wee girl, and on the day of events. 

They are happy and very proud. 

What would you say to anyone else wanting to fund-raise for PSS?

I’d say if you are thinking about it at all then just DO IT. I really believe that every little helps. 

Huge thanks to Claire for everything that she has done, and is doing, to support the work of Pregnancy Sickness Support. You can read more about fundraising on our website; feel free to get in touch with any questions.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Challenge Yourself

It's funny how vague ideas can quickly become concrete plans!

It will depend upon my losing some weight beforehand, but my parachute-jump idea is rapidly gaining momentum almost by itself - I know which company I would like to jump with; I know where; I know how much weight I need to lose to be able to do so... and I may even have another PSS supporter to jump with (or, perhaps, at the same time as, if we have to go to different locations in the end). A week ago, it was a nascent idea and now it is fast becoming an actual plan.

Which ties in nicely, in fact, with our fundraising prompt for January: New Year, New Challenge. Pregnancy Sickness Support is asking its supporters to step out of their comfort zones and do something challenging to raise money for our cause.

Now, if you're interested in a parachute jump, take a look at this website (the company I am thinking of jumping with) and do let me know about your plans. It may be that we can co-ordinate a group jump or at least share motivation and inspiration (I'm going to need a lot of that to overcome my fears).

But, whilst it's certainly quite an extreme thing to do, a challenge doesn't have to mean jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft. It could be the 'Run Every Day' challenge that you take on; or maybe there's something you've always thought you couldn't do - like a zip wire flight or an abseil? What about smaller challenges, like giving up fizzy drinks (that's on my list too!) or giving up sugar in your tea? Anything that requires you to do something that discomfits you is going to be a challenge!

My own series of challenges - lose weight; get fit; run 10k, then 8 miles, then a half marathon; fit in a parachute jump along the way (more probably at the end) - begin on Sunday as I embark upon Nine Months Of Recovery in an effort to get my old self back. I'll be tracking my progress here and setting up a donations page for anyone willing to sponsor me. But I would absolutely love to hear from others undertaking their own challenges - whether over nine months or not - so that we can share ideas, compare notes and progress, motivate and inspire each other.

Whatever challenge you choose - and there are some ideas on our website - good luck!