Ways to support APP this festive season

There's lots of ways you can show your support for APP this festive season:

  • Host a festive Big Bake event with friends and family – for more info visit bit.ly/APPBigBake
  • Sign up to Amazon Smile – it’s free, won’t cost you anything extra, but we’ll receive a donation worth 0.5% of everything you buy – go to https://smile.amazon.co.uk and select APP as your chosen charity.
  • Sign up to Give as You Live - visit: https://bit.ly/APPgiveasyoulive- if you register and make three purchases before the end of 2022, we’ll automatically receive a £10 donation. Plus we get a small percentage of every sale – and it doesn’t cost you a penny.
  • Buy your Christmas, Hannukah and other seasonal cards from Making a Difference Cards - All cards can be personalised with photos, names and messages, and you can buy them individually, in packs, as printed cards or as digital e-cards and there are options for businesses too. Browse the selection here: https://bit.ly/APPcards
  • Buy an APP voucher as a gift – struggling to think of present ideas for the person who has everything? Make a donation to APP in their name and we’ll send you a downloadable gift voucher for you to print and wrap for them for the big day.
  • Text APPXMAS to 70085 to donate £5. (Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message, and you’ll be opting into hearing more from us. If you would like to donate but don’t wish to hear more from us, please text APPXMASNOINFO instead.)
  • Share our social media posts – every share helps us reach more people.

Thank you so much for your support.

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APP selected to receive a share of CharityJob's annual giving

 

 

We're delighted to announce that APP has been selected as one of the recipients of CharityJob's annual charitable giving initiative.

More than 700 charities applied for a share of the £100,000 made available by CharityJob, and only seven were chosen, with APP being awarded £15,000. The donation will go towards supporting mothers and families affected by postpartum psychosis through our peer support projects; our work around awareness raising and combatting stigma; and through developing and disseminating high quality, reliable information and training on PP for families and healthcare professionals.

Dr Jess Heron, APP's CEO said: 'This donation will make a real difference to the lives of mums affected by PP and their families. We know our peer support work changes and saves lives, with around a third of respondents to our recent survey saying they may not be alive if they hadn't found APP. It can be difficult to find funding for projects supporting severe maternal mental health illness, so we're very grateful to CharityJob for choosing APP for this award.'

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How to send a card to a mum friend or family member who is staying in a Mother and Baby Unit

When a mum friend or family member is unwell, it can be hard to know how to be of most help and show that you care. Sending a card is something encouraging and cheerful that a mum can have in their hospital room. It can also be a lovely keepsake for a mum to come back to, sometimes months and years later in her recovery journey, and treasure your thoughtfulness at such a difficult time.

Soukaina Bennani works as an Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) peer support facilitator in the Chamomile Suite Mother and Baby Unit, part of the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Here she tells us how you can send a mental health get well soon card to a new mum in a Mother and Baby Unit. 

What is a Mother and Baby Unit?

A Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) is a specialist inpatient treatment unit where mothers with mental illness are admitted with their babies. In MBUs, mothers experiencing postpartum psychosis can be supported to care for their babies whilst having the specialist care and treatment they need.

At the Chamomile Suite Mother and Baby Unit, mums have their own bedrooms where they can put out their cards.

How can I find out the address to send the card to?

Find out the name of the Mother and Baby Unit they are staying at from a family member or friend. Search online for the address, for example, searching ‘Birmingham Mother and Baby Unit address’ to find the official NHS page for the unit.

All Mother and Baby Unit addresses are also available on the NHS WebBeds website: https://www.nhswebbeds.co.uk

Finding the right words

It can be difficult to find the right words to say when someone is unwell. Here are some example messages of encouragement you could add:

  • I’m sorry to hear that you are feeling unwell at the moment
  • I’m sorry you are having a tough time
  • I’m so sorry that you’ve had to have a stay in hospital
  • It's okay not to be okay
  • You will get better
  • We are thinking of you
  • Sending lots of love
  • Sending you a big hug
  • Hope you feel better soon
  • I hope you know I’m always here for you
  • Sending you lots of positive thoughts

Read the comments on this Facebook post for more ideas from our community:

You can also read the comments on the Instagram post for more ideas.

Which card could I send?

You can send any card, perhaps with a 'thinking of you' or 'get well soon message.

You could choose to send a printed card that includes some information about Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP), which may be helpful to your friend and their family.

We work with Making a Difference cards, which offer personalised cards for every occasion. Sending a card through this service will also help to raise funds for APP.

You can add names, photos and messages and they can be delivered directly to the recipient, or to you so you can add a handwritten message.

Find out more and select a card here: https://gb.makingadifference.cards/supporting/action-on-postpartum-psychosis 

Should I expect a response from the mum or family?

Mums can sometimes stay in a Mother and Baby Unit for a number of months as they recover. We also know that many mums find it difficult to remember too. So don't be disappointed if they don't say thank you personally. They will get better and be back in touch when they can.

Find out more about postpartum psychosis and APP’s peer support

If you'd like to find out more about recovery from postpartum psychosis, take a look at our guides and our information webpages.

APP’s peer support service connects you with people who have been there. We can support you if you’ve had postpartum psychosis, or experienced high mood or mania after the birth of your child, or if you are a partner or family member of someone who experienced postpartum psychosis. Find out more about peer support here.

If you live in the Birmingham area, or were treated at Chamomile Suite MBU (recently or many years ago), APP has a monthly café group which supports women and families affected by postpartum psychosis (PP) - no matter how long ago your experience was. To find out more, get in touch via email: birmingham@app-network.org

Learn more about our partnership projects with the NHS

Around the country we have monthly café groups, Peer Support Facilitators and volunteer teams based within some NHS services and Mother and Baby Units. Find out more about our regional projects in the NHS.

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How one family’s history inspired a theatrical exploration of postpartum psychosis

We spoke to Company Four founder Gemma Whiteley about how her ancestral research inspired a theatrical exploration of postpartum psychosis. Here’s what she told us:

My mum had watched a lot of Who Do You Think You Are? on TV and it sparked her interest in our own family history. One of the things she was really keen to find out more about was her grandad Jack, my great grandad, because she knew he had been raised by his grandmother rather than his mother. We’d heard that his mother, Mary (my great, great grandmother), had died of pneumonia when Jack was a young baby.

However, as we started to delve into our family history, we discovered that this wasn’t actually the truth…

My mum managed to get hold of some records relating to Jack’s mum and one of the files she managed to find was her death certificate. I remember being upstairs and my mum shouting up at me to come down and take a look because something didn’t add up.

My mum showed me the certificate and I remember she seemed confused and said ‘am I reading this right?’

 The certificate stated that the place of death was Cheddleton Asylum – so we obviously thought that was unusual because we didn’t believe people were put in an asylum for pneumonia – even back in 1900 when Mary passed away. So that led to us asking the asylum for the relevant records to find out more.

They unearthed three or four pages of information and documents which they sent on to us. When we read them we learned that Mary had what they then called ‘puerperal mania’ – which we now know as postpartum psychosis (PP).

The documents were quite detailed, telling us how Mary was behaving, what she was doing and saying. For example, it said she was throwing books out of her window and saying she could walk on water. And of course it mentioned Jack, and how Mary’s mother was the person who raised him after taking Mary to the asylum.

The notes also painted a picture of who Mary was as a person before she became unwell. She was a dressmaker, she had kicked her husband out for being a ‘ne’er do well’ and was often a naughty child who played truant from school. She worked in factories from the age of 13 and seemed to be full of life, somewhat ahead of her time and extremely strong-willed. Her mother painted a very vivid picture of how strong she was growing up.

In terms of her illness, however, it sounded as though her case was really acute and she wasn’t getting better at all, but the only treatment we read about was sedation.

An old picture of Jack seated in a chair taken before he joined the army
Jack before he joined the army

But even though we look back on these notes, wondering why the only treatment she was given was sedatives, it’s interesting to remember that, back in the day, that would have probably been considered the right treatment for her symptoms. In fact, the doctor who was looking after her became known as a leading expert in maternal mental health. Speaking with experts now, however, we know that the sedatives would have stopped her sores from healing, so they will have ultimately had a detrimental effect on her at the time. And of course sedatives alone do not tend to cure symptoms of psychosis.

Mary was just 27 at the time of her death.

A theatrical exploration of PP

Through my theatre company, Company Four, we do a lot of devising work, exploring new ideas and themes to take to the stage. My Company Four partner, Suzi, had mentioned mental health as a possible next topic and I shared our newly discovered family story. We were both equally intrigued and decided to take it further.

I had some pre-conceived ideas about what PP was, but finding out what happened to Mary made me realise that I hadn’t been well informed at all. Suzi agreed that she didn’t know much about PP or about maternal mental health generally so we were both really interested in learning more. And being able to tell a story about a different time – the 1900s and the asylums – was also an exciting concept, as we could explore the difference between then and now.

We did our own research and we also worked with APP to speak to women with lived experience.

What we discovered was that, while there were lots of differences all those years ago, for example the name of the illness and the types of treatment, some things haven’t changed. We found on speaking to women that far too many births are still difficult and traumatic. We also found that PP, particularly, seems to be something that people are worried about discussing due to the stigma that surrounds it. Many people seemed to react with fear or worry when we told them what we were making a show about.

Members of Company Four, seated and standing with a puppet between them representing baby Jack
A rehearsal picture with a puppet as baby Jack

Working with real experiences and voices of people from the APP network, we developed performance material and shared this with an invited audience for feedback. We used performance and audio recordings and puppetry, and we’re now looking at how to take the story further, so we are seeking a commitment from a venue to host a production, and funding to produce it as a full length piece. It can be a long process putting on a production, but it’s also been an exciting and life-changing process – I’ve really changed the way I feel about motherhood and speaking to the women and them sharing their stories with me is something I’ll always hold close to my heart.

We honestly had no idea just how emotional a journey it would be, but we’ve had lots of fun and laughter along the way too. Now we just need to get those funding bids in so we can continue to play our part in raising awareness of PP. And we really hope the audiences walked away from our initial sharing with more understanding and less fear.

To find out more about Company Four’s R&D process and to view more of the photography, visit the web page here

 

 

 

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Join us for 'No Bond So Strong' - a Leicester event including a free film screening and Q&A

No Bond So Strong
1.30 – 3pm, Saturday 12th November 2022
The City Retreat, 70-74 Church Gate, Leicester, LE1 4AL
Refreshments provided
Reserve your free place here

A mental health event raising awareness of illnesses following childbirth such as postpartum psychosis. The event includes a film screening/Q&A.

About this event

This event is brought to you by Sampad in collaboration with Action on Postpartum Psychosis.

This is a free event but please book tickets here. Refreshments are provided.

The film is brought to you by Sampad, South Asian Arts in partnership with Acacia Family Support. The film addresses perinatal mental health encompassing pre and postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis.

A mother, a relative, a doctor; three voices come together to paint an intimate portrait of the hopeful experiences and the hopeless feelings of being a new parent. No Bond So Strong is a film about reveling in the joys of parenthood but at the same time summoning every bit of energy not to fall apart for fear of losing it all. It’s about taking baby steps, as your baby sleeps, to open up and talk about the highs and lows of parenthood when all you want to do is lock the door, draw the curtains and never get out of bed again. This is one family’s story of postpartum psychosis.

Please note: the film deals with issues that some might find difficult, including postpartum psychosis and thoughts of suicide.
Not suitable for children under 14, however, babies in arms are fine.
The film has a running time of 40 minutes with a pre/post-show discussion and audience Q&A.

Comments from live show audiences in 2019:

“Just saw No Bond So Strong. Brilliantly written, brilliantly produced and brilliantly acted. Would highly recommend.”

“What a powerful and creative play, sensitively addressing stigma, stereotype and lack of awareness of postnatal depression and other mental health issues relating to women from South Asian communities.”

“A beautifully honest and much-needed exploration of perinatal mental health.”

About the film No Bond So Strong

Film written by Olivia Winteringham / Produced by Sampad
Directed by Mingyu Lin / Director of Photography: Bonny John
Composer: Archita Kumar / Sound Recordist: Iain Armstrong
Production Company: Horizon Collective
Cast: Relative – Promila Thomas / Mother – Kiren Jogi / Psychiatrist – Alex Kapila
Funding was provided by Birmingham City Council. The project was commissioned as part of BSMHFT’s BEDLAM Arts & Mental Health Festival in 2019.

Help share this event

Share our posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Share the flyer with your community. Email app@app-network.org for a copy of the digital flyer or save the flyer here.

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APP’s peer support forum is 10!

APP’s peer support forum, hosted on HealthUnlocked, went live 10 years ago today. It was set up to offer a safe and anonymous space for people affected by postpartum psychosis (PP) to connect and support one another through shared experiences. Over the last decade, the forum has continued to grow into the warm and welcoming community it is today.

We know that experiencing and recovering from PP can be extremely isolating, not only for the women going through it but also for their partners, family members and others involved. For many, the peer support forum is the first source of information and support people come across when going through, or starting to come out of, a very distressing time. The forum offers hope and support to those looking for others who can offer real empathy and understanding.

Today, the forum has over 3,250 members. People access the forum from all over the world, with thousands of page views each month. There have been around 29,500 posts and replies added since the forum went live.

Today, we want to say thank you to all of our peer support volunteers and staff, and all those within our APP community who help to offer support via the forum. Sharing our stories, and reading others, can be such an important step in recovery, most importantly in showing people who have experienced or been affected by PP, that they are not alone.

The following comments help to show how important the forum is:

“Finding the forum was a pivotal moment in my recovery because I no longer felt alone and like the only person in the world who had gone through this.”

“I can't thank you all enough for sharing your advice and kind thoughts. I appreciate the time you have taken to support an anonymous stranger, your personal experiences are so helpful.”

“I have felt so, so alone in my journey and although I still feel so bruised and broken after all this time, just knowing there are others out there who have shared my pain is so validating.”

“It's beyond helpful and comforting hearing from people who have lived through this and truly understand what we are going through.”

“Thank you for sharing your experience and for validating my feelings. It made me feel less lonely and much warmer.”

“You have all given me some hope that this isn't my forever. I need to hold on to that.”

Find out about APP peer support here.

 Access our peer support forum here.

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Support APP for FREE!

We know times are tough for many at the moment with bills going up and the cost of living increasing. We are very grateful to all our supporters for continuing to think of APP and donating to help us continue to support mums and families affected by postpartum psychosis.

We understand that not everyone may be in a position to donate right now, so we've come up with a list of ways to support APP that won't cost you a single penny. Please get involved if you can.

  • Are you a member of any clubs, societies or groups? Maybe a WI, Freemasons, Rotary Club, Inner Wheel, U3A or any other group or club (even a Zumba class, triathlon team or an art group)? Or perhaps you or someone you know is part of a University society – medicine, midwifery, psychology, fundraising/RAG, running, baking… Let us know! We’d love to make links with groups to help raise awareness and funds – drop us an email:  and we'll send you or them a free pack of info.
  • Sign up with Give as you Live – visit: https://bit.ly/APPgiveasyoulive - if you register and make three purchases using them before the end of 2022, we’ll automatically receive a £10 donation. Plus we get a small percentage of every sale – and it doesn’t cost you a penny. It's simple to use and there are more than 6,000 retailers signed up, including shops you probably use all the time – Boots, M&S, John Lewis, Wilkos, Sainsburys and thousands more. If you’re making a big purchase like renewing house insurance or buying a new fridge, the donations can be quite significant.
  • You can also sign up with Amazon Smile https://smile.amazon.co.uk and select APP as your chosen charity – again, we receive a % of each sale and it doesn’t cost you anything extra at all.  All that Amazon Christmas shopping could add up to a big donation for APP!
  • Got a birthday or anniversary coming up? Could you consider setting up a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser (https://bit.ly/fbbdayapp)?  It only takes a few minutes and it’s a lovely way to connect and mark the occasion with your friends near and far. Our wonderful supporters and their friends have raised more than £4,000 so far this year via Facebook fundraisers.
  • You could also set up a fundraiser on Instagram - super easy and free to do, just follow these steps:
    • On your profile or feed, tap '(+)' in the top right of your screen.
    • Select 'Post', choose an image and tap 'Next'.
    • Under your image, tap 'Add fundraiser'.
    • Choose ActiononPP from the menu.
    • Add details in the Fundraiser details Page, tap 'Add', then tap 'Share'.
    • The fundraiser will be visible in the post and you can find a link to the fundraiser in your profile bio.
  • Nominate us for a Movement for Good Award - it takes less than 1 minute and we might win £1000 – simply visit www.bit.ly/NominateAPP and complete the form – no obligation to sign up to any mailing lists or anything either.
  • Do you or anyone you know work for a company that has charity of the year awards/match funds donations/can nominate charities for funds? We have been successfully nominated by a few employees which has resulted in some significant donations. Get in touch if you need any more information about us for your employer.
  • Do you own or work in a shop or business that could host one of our loose change collectors? Pop it on the counter and help raise awareness as well as funds. Contact fundraising@app-network.org for more info.
  • Sell any unwanted goods on eBay – check out https://bit.ly/APPebay - you can chose to donate all or part of the proceeds to APP and there’s benefits for you too - donate 10% or more and your item will feature an attention-grabbing charity ribbon—it may even be listed in the Charity Shop. Plus, you reduce your seller fees and enjoy tax savings.
  • Donate old broken or unwanted jewellery and old banknotes for recycling - Working with Recycling for Good Causes, we can recycle any jewellery – gold, silver, costume jewellery, watches, broken and damaged items (like odd earrings, snapped chains or items with missing stones); any unwanted banknotes from ANY country of any age... Simply fill an A5 sized envelope, print off this freepost address, send it off and APP will receive a donation.
  • Recycle your inkjet printer cartridges and raise money for APP - it's really simple to do and we could receive up to £2 per eligible cartridge (plus less waste to landfill).
    If you work somewhere you get through a lot of ink, you can get a free collection box. Find out more and get your freepost label here: recycle4charity.co.uk
  • Share our posts on social media – simply retweet, repost, comment, like…. Every little helps us to reach more people, raise awareness of PP and can help generate funds. We're on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
  • Got any other ideas of ways you can help raise funds without spending a penny? We’d love to hear from you! Email us fundraising@app-network.org

Thank you for all your support for APP – we couldn’t do the work we do with mums and families without you.

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Help us campaign for a Mother and Baby Unit in Northern Ireland

It’s World Mental Health Day today (10th October) and this year’s theme is ‘make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority.’

For the 1,400 women in the UK and 140,000 around the world who develop postpartum psychosis (PP) each year, their experience of care varies hugely.

Northern Ireland (NI) is the only part of the UK that doesn’t have a Mother and Baby Unit. Mums with postpartum psychosis and other serious mental health issues are still being separated from their babies and admitted to general psychiatric wards.

Today, along with the Maternal Advocacy and Support Unit (MAS), and a coalition of over 40 charities and organisations, we will be presenting an open letter to the NI Health Minister Robin Swann to ask him to urgently prioritise setting up a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU). You can read the letter in full here.

The open letter is being presented alongside a petition from APP’s Regional Representative in Northern Ireland, Oorlagh Quinn, showing the strength of public support for an MBU.

In May 2022, an inquest into the tragic death of Orlaith Quinn, due to postpartum psychosis stated that her death was “both foreseeable and preventable”. Coroner Maria Dougan recommended that a specialist mental health Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) should be established in Northern Ireland as a matter of urgency.

The Northern Ireland Assembly has been discussing a unit for more than a decade. We want to make sure there are no more delays. There is a business case in development, but the coordinated action of charities, and sharing powerful stories with the media and public, will give the business case the best chance of success.

How you can help

Please follow and share our campaign posts on social media using the hashtag #MumBabyTogetherNI. You can find us on Twitter,  Instagram and Facebook - feel free to share any of our posts and graphics.

You could also write to your MLA encouraging them to back the campaign and sharing the details from our open letter. If you need help finding your MLA click here.

Thank you so much for your support.

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APP News October 2022: World Mental Health Day and Northern Ireland campaign | Marcé conference | PP webinar | 'after birth' award | Fundraisers

World Mental Health Day and Northern Ireland campaign

It’s World Mental Health Day on 10th October and this year’s theme is ‘make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority.’

For the 1,400 women in the UK and 140,000 around the world who develop postpartum psychosis (PP) each year, their experience of care varies hugely. 

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that doesn’t have a Mother and Baby Unit. Mums with postpartum psychosis and other serious mental health issues are still being separated from their babies and admitted to general psychiatric wards. 

On World Mental Health Day, along with the Maternal Advocacy and Support Unit (MAS), and a coalition of nearly 40 charities and organisations, we will be presenting an open letter to the NI Health Minister Robin Swann to ask him to urgently prioritise setting up a unit. 

The open letter will be presented alongside a petition from APP’s Regional Representative in Northern Ireland, Oorlagh Quinn, showing the strength of public support for an MBU. 

More than 4,500 signatures have been added so far but we’d like your help to reach 5,000. Please share the petition with colleagues, friends and family. Wherever you are in the UK, you can help us gain equality for NI mums. You can sign and find out more here.

The Northern Ireland Assembly has been discussing a unit for more than a decade. We want to make sure there are no more delays. There is a business case in development, but the coordinated action of charities, and sharing powerful stories with the media and public, will give the business case the best chance of success. 

Thank you so much to all those who have shared stories and developed social media quotes for our campaign. If you live in Northern Ireland, and would like to join us in delivering the petition to Stormont, or to share your story or quotes, please get in touch. 

#MumBabyTogetherNI

International Marcé Society conference

In September, APP attended the International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health conference.

The conference brings together researchers, clinicians and those with lived experience of perinatal mental illness from around the world to share research and learning.

APP was involved in two symposiums:

What do women and families need from perinatal mental health services? This session was chaired by Dr Clare Dolman (APP trustee) and featured our brilliant ambassador Laura Dockrill, who powerfully and beautifully shared her personal experience of PP, as well as our National NHS Contracts Coordinator, Hannah Bissett, speaking about the value of peer support in perinatal services. They were joined by Dr Henry Fay on video– a former GP with experience of PP as a partner, and trustee of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.

Postpartum psychosis: strategies and collaborations to increase knowledge, address stigma and improve care globally. This session was chaired by our CEO Dr Jess Heron and featured discussion from Hannah Bissett as well as Dr Sally Wilson, APP’s National Training and Research Coordinator. We shared APP evaluations showing: that care for PP has improved considerably in 10 years; that women admitted to MBUs have better outcomes than those separated from their baby in General Psychiatric Units; that peer support is essential and life-saving during recovery; and the impact of our co-produced and co-delivered health professional training on clinical practice, empathy and knowledge. We discussed the impact of each project, exploring the ingredients for lasting impact, lessons learned, and how this learning might be used to influence care for women and families affected by PP globally.

Dr Heron said: “It was great to be at conferences again, raising the profile of postpartum psychosis in the perinatal research community. The week long academic conference is a valuable opportunity for us to hear from world leading experts about their cutting edge work. The voices and values of the Third Sector and lived experience play an important role in scientific conferences, helping translate the evidence base into practice, reducing stigma, and influencing research of importance to women and families."

You can read more here.

The picture above shows (L-R) Hannah Bissett, Clare Dolman, Laura Dockrill, Sally Wilson, Jess Heron.

Postpartum psychosis webinar

APP’s Dr Jess Heron and Dr Sally Wilson took part in a webinar organised by the University of Cardiff on 3rd October alongside Professor Ian Jones, Professor Arianna Di Florio, Dr Marissa Dias, and Dr Angelika Wieck. This free online webinar on postpartum psychosis was part of the Women’s Mental Health Webinar Series for European Psychiatrists and was attended by 150 people.

The event aimed to increase awareness and understanding of new research into PP and its consequences for the way in which PP is classified, as well as of the risks and challenges created by the development of PP and how they can be best managed.

A recording of the event will be made publicly available.

'after birth' award

Congratulations to the team behind ‘after birth’ which has been highly commended in the University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor's Innovation and Engagement Awards. 

‘after birth’ is a play set in a Mother and Baby Unit: the main character, Ann, has a bipolar diagnosis and is experiencing postpartum psychosis. The play has been supported by APP – members of our staff and volunteer team with lived experience worked with the writer, Zena Forster, as part of her research. ‘after birth’ depicts the main character’s slow journey to recovery, her growing trust of the professionals helping her and her relationships with her mother and partner.  

‘after birth’ was recognised by the awards for its work to engage with maternal mental health through theatre. The play aims to increase awareness, reduce stigma, encourage women to talk about their concerns and find support. The team received their award at a ceremony in September. You can read more here.

Media and books

APP Storyteller, Lobeh Osagie-Asiah shared her experience of PP with Yahoo Life in September to highlight issues around access to the right type of care among Black women for Black Maternal Mental Health Week which is organised by The Motherhood Group.  

Danielle Thomas, APP Wales Assistant Coordinator (pictured top right), shared her PP story with BBC investigative journalist Stacey Dooley for her latest book, Are You Really OK? published by BBC books. Danielle’s story forms part of a wider collection of first-person stories about mental health. It includes positive stories of recovery to inspire and offer hope. You can read more here.

APP Ambassador, Catherine Cho, is taking part in a group reading of her book ‘Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness.’ The reading, on 13th October, is being led by The Feminist Duration Reading Group. Group members will collectively read out loud selected pages from the book, one person and one paragraph at a time, with Catherine introducing her work. There’s more information and details of how to book a free place here.

Fundraising news

We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of all our fundraisers. as well as to everyone who has donated; your support really is appreciated and makes a real difference. Our supporters and donors were busy over the summer this year – read on to find out more.

Big Give – a big thank you! Thank you to everyone who supported our Big Give campaign earlier this summer – whether with a direct donation, organising a Big Bake event, jumping out of a plane, co-ordinating a collection or simply sharing our social media posts – the Big Give was a big success - we smashed our £5,000 fundraising target, all donations were matched by the DCMS, meaning overall our campaign raised more than £11,200. These funds will make a huge difference to the work we can do supporting mums and families affected by PP. 

A special mention must go to Jenny Stevenson and her team of Miles for Mums runners – together they covered 375 miles and raised over £1,275 – match funding meant they raised a huge £2,550.

Are you a member of a service or membership organisation - maybe a WI, Inner Wheel, U3A, Rotary, Freemasons or Soroptimist Club? Or do you know someone who is?  We’d love to hear from you if so.  We’re keen to make friendly links with organisations across the country to discuss awareness and fundraising opportunities. We have a network of volunteers with lived experience of PP who would be happy to speak at events or groups to help spread the word and raise awareness of PP and APP.  We have a pack of info we can send to any groups who might be interested in finding out more. Please get in touch via fundraising@app-network.org to discuss. 

Sisters Laura and Helen (pictured above, far left, top) have taken part in various events this year to raise funds for APP culminating in the Great North Run, which took place on Sunday 11th September. There was some last minute uncertainty about whether the run would go ahead following the sad news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but organisers decided an event that brought people together and raises millions for charity would be a fitting tribute. Laura and Helen raised nearly £2,000 for APP - an amazing achievement. A huge thank you to both of them. Read more about why they chose to fundraise for APP here.

A virtual high five to APP fundraiser Trichana Rai (pictured above, far left, bottom) who is more than halfway through her Miles for Mums challenge – running 300km in six months. She is out getting her miles in nearly every day and posts regular updates to her fundraising page. We’re so grateful to you Trichana. Find out more and offer her some virtual encouragement here. 

Our October runners. We're lucky enough to have a fab team of runners taking part in big events during October. Vanessa Gutteridge (pictured above with her family, far right) and Debbie Sells (pictured above, centre) took on the world famous London Marathon on 2nd October, while Sara Fernandes completed the virtual version of the event in her hometown of Anglesey. They all did amazingly well and between them raised nearly £5,000 for APP. Find out more about their stories and add your support for them: Vanessa, Debbie, Sara.

This weekend - 9th October - Jamie , Steve and Sarah will be lining up for the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London. Read about their journeys and support them here: Jamie, Steve, Sarah.

We are so grateful to all our runners and to everyone who has donated to them – we know your donations really help to keep them going on difficult training days.

The Big Bake. Thank you to everyone who organised a Big Bake event for us this summer – there were some very tasty looking treats on offer at events all over the country. Get in touch if you’d like to hold an autumnal Big Bake event and we’ll send you a free fundraising pack – and watch this space for news of The Big Christmas Bake coming very soon.

There’s still time to nominate us for a £1,000 Movement for Good Award – it takes less than a minute - simply click here and choose APP – the more nominations we receive, the more chance we have to win the award. Thank you.

If you have any fundraising ideas or would like to get involved, contact fundraising@app-network.org for more information. We would love to support you. To keep up to date and support our fundraisers click here.

Dates for your diary

APP Grandparents virtual café group meet up, Thursday 6th October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

Baby Loss Awareness Week, Sunday 9th to Saturday 15th October www.babyloss-awareness.org

World Mental Health Day 2022, Monday 10th October

APP Lancashire and South Cumbria virtual café group meet up, Monday 10th October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

APP Yorkshire virtual café group meet up, Thursday 13th October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

APP Northern Ireland virtual café group meet up, Friday 14th October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

APP London face to face café group meet up, Saturday 15th October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

APP North East and North Cumbria face to face café group meet up, Monday 17th October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

APP Wales virtual café group meet up, Monday 17th October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

APP Lancashire and South Cumbria face to face café group meet up in Blackpool, Monday 17th October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

World Menopause Day, Tuesday 18th October www.imsociety.org

APP Partners virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 19th October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

Global Peer Support Celebration Day, Thursday 20th October www.peersupportworks.org

APP Lancashire and South Cumbria face to face café group meet up in Preston, Friday 21st October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

APP Sussex and Hampshire face to face café group meet up, Saturday 22nd October: APP Regional café groups webpage 

World Kindness Day, Sunday 13th November 

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Saturday 19th November www.afsp.org

Upcoming conferences and events

Improving Maternity Services post Ockenden Report, Wednesday 12th October

Virtual conference focussing on a multidisciplinary approach to improving safety in maternity services – learning and implementing recommendations from the Ockenden Review and Final Report 2022. Book tickets here. A 20% discount is available with code hcuk20mmha.

The Conference for Childbirth Educators, Wednesday 9th November

In-person conference at the University of Worcester examining the challenges for today’s childbirth educators. Book here.

Perinatal Mental Health Services: Improving access and support, Thursday 19th January 2023

Virtual conference focusing on improving perinatal mental health services as well as access and support during and beyond Covid-19. Book tickets here. Members of the APP network will receive a 20% discount with code: hcuk20app.

If you would like to advertise your event here, please get in touch: app@app-network.org.

 

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Gift Aid Awareness Day #TickTheBox

pink gift aid awareness day logo

6th October is Gift Aid Awareness Day

What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is a tax relief for charities in the UK to increase donations – at no extra cost to the donor. When a
charity receives a donation from a UK taxpayer, the organisation is entitled to claim an extra 25% paid on
that donation.

A £10 donation processed with Gift Aid becomes a £12.50 donation.

What do donors need to do?
Donors need to #tickthebox on our Gift Aid declaration form and provide some basic personal details, return it to us and then we can claim 25p for every £1 given.
Once a donor has given their permission by filling in the Gift Aid declaration form, there is no need for them to do anything else.

Who qualifies to donate through Gift Aid?
For charities to claim Gift Aid on a donation, the donor must have paid UK income tax or capital gains tax that tax year, at least equal to the tax that the organisation will reclaim on the individual’s donations.
Even if the donor is not currently employed they are eligible to make Gift Aid payments so long as, at some point in the tax year in which they make the donation, they pay enough tax on any of the following:
• Personal or occupational pension
• Stocks or shares
• Bank or building society savings accounts
• Rental income
• Overseas or UK investment dividends

Higher rate tax payers
Higher rate tax payers are entitled to claim the difference between the top rate of tax they pay, and the basic rate on the total value of the donation. Individuals can claim the additional tax relief through their self-assessment tax return or by asking HMRC to amend their tax code.

Example for higher rate tax payer
You donate £100 to charity – they claim Gift Aid to make your donation £125. You pay 40% tax so you can personally claim back £25.00 (£125 x 20%).

For more on Gift Aid visit cfg.org.uk/tickthebox

If you'd like any more info, email fundraising@app-network.org

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