Category Archives: fundraising

Double the donation, double the impact!

We’re very excited that APP have been selected to be part of The Big Give campaign as part of their Women and Girls fund 2022.

This means that throughout July, every donation we receive via our campaign page on The Big Give website (www.bit.ly/APPTheBigGive) will be doubled, thanks to match funding from the DCMS’ Tampon Tax.

So, if you’d like to donate to APP during July, we would be so grateful – and your donation would have DOUBLE the impact – you donate £5, APP will receive £10; you donate £25, APP receives £50 and so on.

Our target for the month is to reach £2,500 in donations – which would mean a total of £5,000 raised. This would make such a difference to our work – and we are particularly keen to increase our offer of peer support - setting up more face to face café support groups, particularly in areas of the UK that are currently underserved. We’d also like to try and reach and support more women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities; and to provide additional support for partners and parents of women who develop postpartum psychosis.

We know our peer support service is vital, life changing, and in some cases, life-saving - giving women and family members with experience of PP the opportunity to meet and talk with others.

baby asleep on a person wearing an APP t shirtWe're so grateful for your support – we are a small charity, and as such every single donation we receive really does make a big difference to the work we do.
If you aren’t able to donate more at the moment, we totally understand – but please do share our campaign with others if you can.

That link again is www.bit.ly/APPTheBigGive - only donations through that page will be doubled. You can also find shareable posts on our social media feeds.

You may also be interested in our ‘The Big Bake’ campaign that we’re running alongside The Big Give – find out more here...

Chamomile MBU Team take on Snowdon for APP

Good luck to the Chamomile Mother & Baby Unit team from Birmingham who are taking on an epic challenge to help raise funds for APP this weekend - a team of 30 staff from the uniChamomile MBU Teamt will be attempting to summit the highest mountain in Wales - Mount Snowdon!

Plasters, insoles and plenty of snacks are packed and the team (which includes APP trustee Dr Giles Beresford) are raring to go!

Keep an eye on our social media feeds for updates during the weekend and you can show your support for their amazing efforts here - they're so close to their fundraising target! www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chamomile-mbu

We're really excited to see how they get on and can't wait for pictures from the summit! Wishing the whole team lots of luck!

Tonna Trekkers complete their #MilesforMumsandBabies Challenge!

Collage of the Uned Gobaith Miles for Mums team
Uned Gobaith team members taking part in their challenge.

A team of 17 from Uned Gobaith Mother and Baby Unit in Swansea Bay, Wales, have completed their APP #MilesforMumsandBabies Challenge this month - covering over 1000 miles between them during May.

In their first week they covered over 300 miles, initially doing the majority of them separately but they went on to organise a series of group walks - with a team of them even making it to the top of Pen Y Fan - the highest peak in Compilation of images of the team in their purple APP tshirtsSouth Wales!

 

Bethan Williams, Nursery Nurse at the unit, has been keeping us updated on their progress.

She says 'It's been lovely for us all getting out in the fresh air and has been a great team building activity, we have all enjoyed encouraging each other.  Between us we have walked, run, cycled and ridden 1018.4 miles across Wales, England, Norway and Greece.  We have had a number of group walks and our children and pets have enjoyed joining in with us.

We are thrilled that we have raised over £1,200 for APP and are looking forward to taking part in more challenges over the years. It has been a lovely event for us to do to celebrate our first year as a team.'

Tonna Trekkers on Aberavon Beach

Huge congratulations to the team on their amazing achievement and a massive thank you from all at APP!

You can still show your support for them at: www.justgiving.com/team/TeamTonnaTrekkers

Would you like to fundraise for APP in 2022?

APP is fortunate to have an amazing group of supporters who raise money for the charity and awareness of postpartum psychosis (PP) through all sorts of fun activities. However, we always need more of you to ensure we can keep operating our vital information and peer support services.

Are you interested in fundraising for APP in 2022? Here are a few ideas of some of the fundraising activities and events you could take part in. It's easy to support us by organising your own activity - be as imaginative as you can!

  • Organise a fundraising event in your local area - from Art sales to Zumba, every £ you raise helps us to help more people affected by PP.
  • Skydive for APP! Would you like to enjoy the exhilarating and unforgettable feeling of a skydive; flying through the clouds from over 10,000 ft at up to 120 mph? Find out more here.
  • Kiltwalk in Scotland! Take part in a fab walking event with three distances to choose from, suitable for walkers of all ages and experiences, in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh. Find out more here.
  • Get sporty! Run, walk, swim or cycle an event and raise sponsorship for APP. Tell us about it here and send us any photos and fundraising links.
  • Are you a  member of a club or society that could hold a fundraising event for APP or let us have a stall at an event where we could collect donations? Let us know.
  • Having a clear out? Sell your unwanted items via Ebay for Charity and donate part or all of the proceeds to APP.
  • Take part in our Miles for Mums and Babies Challenge. Walk, run or cycle 10 miles, 20 miles, 500 miles or even 1000 miles! Each mile reflects the journey mums, babies, partners and families travel to be together, whilst mums receive care in Mother and Baby Units. You can read a news article about the challenges that were completed in 2021 here, which included;

Katherine Paul and her son Harris who walked 3 miles in one day on 6thMay (during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week).

The team from the MBU at Glasgow’s Leverndale Hospital and colleagues from the Community Perinatal Mental Health Team who challenged themselves to walk 10,000 steps a day throughout May.

Anna Grisedale who had PP in 2015 and 2018, challenged herself to walk 119 miles, which represents the journey she made from Leeds to the MBU in Morpeth with her first born.

Emma Charlton who works at Beadnell MBU in Morpeth. Along with her colleague Katie, Emma walked 161 miles over a 12 week period to raise money for APP.

The team from the new Perinatal Mental Health Service in Ayrshire and Arran challenged themselves to walk 1,400 miles throughout October.

Just a few of the amazing fundraising events that you could sign up for during 2022 are listed below:

Kiltwalks – Scotland

A Scottish piper in front of a crowd of Kiltwalkers

Mass participation walking events in Scottish cities - walks range from a 'Wee Wander' (3-6 miles), a 'Big Stroll' (11 miles) or a 'Mighty Stride' (25 miles) - and kids are welcome to take part too!
Kiltwalkers can raise funds for APP and thanks to the generosity of Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation, all funds raised will be topped up by 50%. Sign up on the Kiltwalk website and select APP as your chosen charity!

Aberdeen - 29 May
Dundee - 21 August
Edinburgh - 18 September
Scotland’s Virtual Kiltwalk 7 - 9 October

 

Tough Mudder – Obstacle Races

London West – 21 and 22 May 2022
Scotland – 2 and 3 July 2022
Manchester – 23 and 24 July 2022
Yorkshire – 30 and 31 July 2022
South West – 20 and 21 August 2022
North West – 10 and 11 September 2022
London South – 24 and 25 September

Jurassic Coast Challenge

– 14 to 15 May 2022

 

 

Great Manchester Run

– 15 May 2022

 

 

 

 Edinburgh Marathon Festival

– 28 May 2022 run 10k
– run a half marathon
– run a full marathon

 

RideLondon-Essex100

– 29 May 2022

 

 

 

Great Swim 2022

Great North Swim– Windermere 10-12 June 2022
Great North Swimrun – Windermere 11 June 2022
Great East Swim – Alton Water 18 June 2022
Great East Swimrun – Alton Water 18 June 2022

 

3 Peaks Challenge

(National and Yorkshire) – anytime May to October

 

 

Great Run Events

Great Manchester Run – 22 May 2022
Great North Run – 11 September 2022
Great Bristol Run – 25 September 2022
Great Scottish Run – 2nd October 2022
Great South Run – 15 and 16 October 2022

 

Royal Parks Half Marathon  – 9 October 2022 London

We have filled our three charity places in the 2022 Royal Parks Half marathon which will take place on Sunday 9 October in London. The 13.1 mile route takes in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. If you got a place in the ballot and would like to fundraise for APP, please email fundraising@app-network.org

TCS London Marathon

Ballots have now closed for the 2022 London Marathon and we have a couple of amazing runners signed up.  Keep an eye out for next year's event!

We do still have spaces available in the TCS Virtual London Marathon which takes place on the same day as the in person event (2nd October 2022) but you get 24 hours to complete the distance and people all over the world will be taking part at the same time. Contact us if you're interested in joining the APP London Marathon team this year!

 

Do you live in Northern Ireland? Here are some fundraising events you could sign up to;

Mourne Way 10K Night Walk – 21 June 2022 Kilbroney Park
Coast2Coast Multisport Challenge 14 to 15  May 2022
Causeway Coast Marathon Events – 24 September 2022

The Original Mourne Seven Sevens Walk

– 2 August 2022

 

 

 

If you would like to get involved in fundraising, we'd love to hear from you! Please contact fundraising@app-network.org for more information.

Thank you

 

A day in the life of…a fundraising assistant

Kelly Ashcroft has worked with APP as Office Administrator and Fundraising Assistant since September 2020, and prior to that she worked as a peer support volunteer. Kelly, who had no previous mental health problems, experienced PP in 2006, three months after the birth of her son. She had her second child in 2011 and no recurrence of PP, although she still lives with anxiety and depression during times of increased stress.

Here, Kelly shares a typical ‘day in the life’ of her role with APP.

9.30am

I usually start work around 9.30am after the school drop off. The main part of my role is helping people who want to fundraise for APP, whether this is an individual fundraiser or a group of people fundraising as a team. I provide help with setting up a fundraising page on platforms such as JustGiving, GoFundMe and Facebook, and I post out fundraising materials including APP branded running vests, t-shirts, loose change collectors and balloons.

As a charity, we sometimes purchase places in events such as the Royal Parks Half Marathon, so I also help to register our runners' details on the charity consoles.

11.00am

I often help to promote our fundraiser’s stories and campaigns by sharing them on the APP website, through our social media channels and our newsletter. So sometimes the latter part of the morning is spent writing up an inspirational story which is always lovely to do.

I also encourage our fundraisers to join the APP Events and Fundraising Teamspace, and the Running, Walking and Cycling groups on Facebook so that everyone feels supported and part of a community. I might also be sending out thank you emails, certificates and medals to anyone who has recently completed a fundraiser for us.

12.30pm

I usually eat my lunch in the  garden so I can get some fresh air, and read a magazine to help me switch off. After lunch on a Tuesday we always have a team meeting, where each member of the APP team updates on the work they have been doing and what they have coming up. During this meeting we can ask for guidance and support from our colleagues/managers.

1.30pm

I also like to check in on any current fundraising challenges to see how fundraisers are doing and cheer them on. We recently had a fundraiser (APP’s very own Partner Coordinator Simon O'Mara!) complete an epic 851 virtual mile cycle ride for APP, so I always checked in on his daily progress, updated the news article on the APP website and offered him words of encouragement.

We’ve been so lucky to have lots of amazing fundraisers getting involved recently. Amy Coutts-Britton took part in the Oswestry 10k and we had had four runners in the Royal Parks Half Marathon; Nicola Ball, Jeni Dibley-Rouse, Anneka Harry and Sally Hogg. We also had Steve Bushell run the Yorkshire Marathon, Abi France ran the Liverpool Rock n Roll Marathon and we had several runners in the London Marathon; Jason Sales and Andy Rolfe ran in the live event, and Dave Orridge, Sophie Raynor, Esther Land and Karen Lacey ran in the virtual event. The team from the Brockington Mother and Baby Unit even climbed Snowden for APP! We also still have some ‘Miles for Mums and Babies’ fundraising challenges ongoing. I am continually amazed and inspired by our brilliant fundraisers!

2.30pm

As part of my Office Administrator role I might also be answering the APP phone and monitoring the main APP email where I respond to queries or forward them onto relevant colleagues. The administrator role is really varied and can involve things like booking meetings on Zoom, posting out copies of our Insider Guides and leaflets, updating databases, and updating the APP website. Soon, I’ll be writing and sending out Christmas cards to this year's amazing fundraisers which is always a joy to do.

5.00pm

By 5pm I finish work and make a start on the tea for my two children and my husband. Working from home gives me a better work balance by not being stuck in the rush hour commute so life is always a bit more relaxed at teatime these days!

Anyone who is interesting in finding out more about fundraising for APP can contact Kelly by emailing fundraising@app-network.org

 

 

Simon completes 852 virtual miles raising awareness of support needed for partners during postpartum psychosis

We are absolutely thrilled that today, our brilliant partner peer support coordinator, Simon O’ Mara, completed his mammoth 852 mile journey raising awareness of postpartum psychosis, its impact on partners and the need for more Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) in the UK.

Marking the launch of a new support project for the partners of women who develop postpartum psychosis, Simon challenged himself to complete a virtual tour of all UK MBUs to highlight their importance in caring for the whole family unit at this critical time.

Simon, whose wife was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis 15 years ago, said: “As a partner, when all hell’s breaking loose and your wife and child have to go to an MBU, even though it’s the right thing, you feel like you’re losing them. But for some people, due to lack of services in their local areas, they have the added difficulty of travelling a really long way to see their loved ones.

“I initially planned to do the journey out on the road, but due to lockdown restrictions in the early stages of planning, I changed my plans to complete the cycle ride on my smart trainer.

“Doing a smart cycle ride of 852 miles felt like it might actually be a little easier – you don’t have to contend with the weather or road traffic. But it proved really hard at times, especially after a long day’s work when all you really want to do is relax and put your feet up with your family.

“Using the Zwift software and cycling virtually with others from all around the world was a real motivating factor though, as was meeting with some of the MBUs along the journey via Microfost Teams. It’s really kept me going and I’m delighted to have raised £800 for Action on Postpartum Psychosis.”

Simon added: “APP has been campaigning for more MBUs for many years now, and cycling the distances between these services felt like a really good way to show just how these gaps in provision can affect families.”

Dr Jess Heron, Chief Executive, Action on Postpartum Psychosis, said: “Families across the four UK nations are often faced with difficult decisions about receiving specialist MBU care many miles from home or being admitted to a general psychiatric ward. As women can expect hospital treatment to last 8 to 12 weeks, and full recovery to take many, many months, this distance can be an enormous pressure on new families. Families in Northern Ireland, North Wales and the North of Scotland do not yet have access an MBU in their region.

“While we know that experiencing a severe mental illness at this time can be devastating for women, our research shows that partners also describe the experience as the most traumatic of their lives. Many men describe long-term impacts on their own mental health. NHS England have made a commitment as part of the Long Term Plan to inform, signpost and support partners. We hope other regions of the UK will follow suit. MBUs play a vital role in supporting partners and entire family units at this time and have expertise that general psychiatric units do not have.

“We have been working with partners for a long time at APP to support them with information and signposting about postpartum psychosis and getting help, but we are delighted that we now have a dedicated peer support team who can provide email, telephone, forum and video call support for dads and partners. We work closely with all UK MBUs to ensure that all who need it have access to peer support when postpartum psychosis impacts their family.

”We are so grateful for Simon’s commitment to raising awareness of the support needs of partners and we’ve all been cheering him on from the ‘virtual’ sidelines! We are all incredibly proud of what he has achieved.”

APP delivers award-winning peer support services working in partnership with NHS Trusts around the UK, manages a thriving online national peer support forum and facilitates impactful research into postpartum psychosis.

To find out more about Simon’s story, or to add to his fundraising efforts, visit his JustGiving Page 

To support the petition for an MBU in North Wales click here

 

APP fundraiser story: How cycling boosts my mental wellbeing

Our Partner Peer Support Co-ordinator,  Simon O’Mara, has been incredibly busy raising awareness of postpartum psychosis and raising lots of money for APP by cycling 851 virtual miles.

Here he talks about why cycling is so good for his mental health.

When I get on my mountain bike, riding through narrow tracks at speed, tree branches within an inch of each handlebar, I can’t afford to think of anything else. It’s impossible, in fact. Mountain biking for me, requires technical focus, care and attention, and to let my mind wander elsewhere would be dangerous.

It’s the same with motorcycling, another passion of mine. It’s so good for the soul because when you’re out on the road, you can’t focus on anything else. You need to be acutely aware of the conditions of the road, the weather, other traffic – and of course every move you’re making; it’s critical to keep you safe.

But this need for focus is also why it’s so good for my mental health. The escapism and mindfulness that cycling affords me is invaluable. The fact that it’s good for my physical fitness is merely a by-product for me because, first and foremost, I enjoy it – and that’s why it has such a positive impact on my life and my health – both mentally and physically.

Fifteen years ago, after the birth of our son, my wife was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis (PP) – a severe and debilitating postnatal mental illness. It was a frightening time for the whole family not least because, at the time, we had no real understanding as to what PP was.

It all started in the first couple of weeks after my wife gave birth, I had noticed subtle changes in her mood, but, as a first-time father, I didn’t really know what was ‘usual’ or ‘unusual’ after birth. A few weeks later and these changes took a sudden and dramatic turn for the worse, things became very scary, very quickly.

Over the next few days, she woke in the early hours ‘ghost like’, her mood had plummeted, she was anxious, confused, pacing around the house, having delusions and hallucinations, ultimately it all ended in a 999 call.  I found myself in complete turmoil and throughout our journey with PP, had times where I went through every emotion possible - from being terrified, to feeling isolated, worried about the future and even feeling guilt-ridden for decisions I’d had to take; with little sleep, the pressure I felt was enormous, however, the support we received from family, friends and eventually specialist health professionals treating my wife was vital.

Postpartum psychosis as a father or partner, feels very much like a journey with a number of possible stages, from the initial crisis, potential admission to hospital, returning home and recovery - all of which bring different feelings and concerns to the fore. Just holding it together, having to keep strong for your wife or family members can sometimes see you not considering or letting on how worried you are, which in turn can lead to fathers suffering with their own mental ill-health.

It goes without saying that, whilst in the midst of the illness, mountain biking wasn’t really an option. I did give it a go while my wife was in hospital, but I couldn’t concentrate and was too acutely aware of everything that was going on at that time, so I wasn’t able to give cycling all my attention and I wasn’t able to get the enjoyment and mental health benefits from it.

When my wife came home, as her partner, I still had real worries about whether she might relapse and how we would cope if she did. I wondered if things might be drastically different for us and how life might be in the future. So it wasn’t until she was firmly into her recovery journey that I was able to stop and think about how I was coping, how I was feeling. It was during this period of my wife’s recovery that mountain biking became a significant part of my own recovery from the stress and trauma that PP had on our family.

But it isn’t even just the time that I’m on my bike when I notice a change in how I’m feeling. Even when I’m putting the bike back on the car, ready to head home, I feel refreshed, ready to deal with anything that life throws at me. It not only gives me those moments of mindfulness, it re-sets everything and helps build longer-term resilience.

This is why I was so keen to combine my learnings from our family’s experience with my love of cycling to raise awareness and funds, and to campaign for specialist services for postpartum psychosis. Since October, I’ve been cycling a virtual route of 851 miles to demonstrate the gaps in service provision around the UK and the miles many families have to travel to access this care.

 

I’m cycling on behalf of APP. If you’d like to sponsor me, visit my JustGiving page for more information.

APP ambassador Laura Dockrill edits special edition of Mum Poet Club zine

Front over image from the Mum Poet Club ZineThe Mum Poet Club, which publishes a regular zine, is a supportive writing group for parents who write poetry.

"And How Is Mum" is Issue 5 of the Mum Poet Club zine and features beautiful illustrated poems on the theme of identity in motherhood. It was published on 19 November 2021.

These poems will make you cry, bring you comfort and bring you hope.

Each poem has been personally selected by APP Ambassador, award-winning writer and author of “What Have I Done”, Laura Dockrill.

On editing the collection Laura said:

“Guest editing this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Why? Because not only is the standard exceptional; the writing is extraordinary, the courage is breath-taking – there is humour, there is real-talk and there is love by the bucketload- but truly because it was so hard to read poetry with so many tears in my eyes. I very quickly found myself sobbing and snotting over my marmite on toast, reading lines down the phone to my sister.

“These poems are a safe space. Reading this is a safe space that could open a conversation, a conversation that could even go on to save someone’s life.”

This zine is made with love by the Mum Poem Club and features a beautiful gold foiled cover by Ellamae Statham.

Watch this short film from Laura Dockrill about "And How Is Mum".

 

The Mum Poet Club kindly donated 22 copies of the zine to send onto each of the UKs 22 Mother and Baby Units.

APPs Chief Executive Dr Jess Heron, and Jessie Hunt APPs Marketing and Digital Communications Coordinator attended the official Launch Party for "And How Is Mum?" which was held online on Tuesday 14th December. Jessie said “I loved attending the poetry night. It was so moving and a really special experience. Thank you so much for inviting us to be part of it.”

The Mum Poet Club has donated all profits made from this issue to APP and has raised more than £1,000. We would like to say a huge thank you to The Mum Poet Club for supporting APP and to all who have bought copies of the zine.

If you have been inspired by the Mum Poet Club, we would love to support any fundraising ideas you have. Get in touch here.

Abi runs the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon for APP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abi France ran the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on Sunday 24th October 2021 to raise awareness and money to support APP’s work. Abi’s sister had postpartum psychosis two and a half years ago and has recently had her second baby.

Abi says: “APP has helped my family and provided us with much needed information and I hope that my fundraiser will help APP to continue supporting other families”.

Abi’s fundraiser has raised more than £1,202. We would like to say a huge thank you to Abi for supporting APP and to all who have donated.

You can visit and donate to her fundraising page here.

If you have been inspired by Abi, we would love to support any fundraising ideas you have. Get in touch here.

Dellasposa Gallery silent art auction in support of APP

Dellasposa Gallery held a silent art auction in support of Action on Postpartum Psychosis on Thursday 4th November, in memory of Alice Gibson-Watt (née Montagu-Douglas-Scott), who passed away in 2012 due to complications resulting from postpartum psychosis. Alice is the cousin of Julian Phillimore, the Founder and Director of Dellasposa.

The silent auction was hosted by BBC Antiques Roadshow's Jonty Hearnden, with a brilliant selection of artworks by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Sir Peter Blake, Michael Craig Martin, Ben Eine, David Shrigley, Sara Pope, Quentin Blake, among many others.

To view the auction catalogue follow the link here.

We would like to say a huge thank you Dellasposa for supporting APP.

 

Dr Jessica Heron, Chief Executive of APP, says 'We have been so grateful for the support that Alice's friends, family, colleagues at Sotheby's and the Antiques Roadshow have given us over the past 10 years. Their support has made an enormous difference to the growth and reach of our charity, and meant that we have been able to provide life-saving support to women and families, train health professionals throughout the UK, and campaign for appropriate services for those who suffer postpartum psychosis. We are delighted that Jonty Hearnden will be the celebrity Auctioneer and for the impressive pieces being sold to support our charity.'

For further information on the silent auction and related exhibition, you can write to info@dellasposa.com