APP Charity of the Year for Bradford Midwifery Society 2017-18!

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APP are delighted to announce that we have been chosen to be University of Bradford Midwifery Society's Charity of the Year for 2017-18!

The University of Bradford Midwifery Society was established to support and unite midwifery students and professionals, and create a dynamic and energetic forum for shared learning and development. They say: 'The impact of the society continues to grow momentum, creating a global village that empowers its individuals. This strength and passion leads to greater advocacy for women; best practice and informed choice; and committed and compassionate care for all.

BradfordMidwiferySocietyEach year the Society support a different charity and for 2017-18 they have decided to support APP, they said:

'The charity we have chosen is Action on Postpartum Psychosis, an amazing charity who support women and their families who are affected by postpartum psychosis. Our committee would like to raise awareness and focus on perinatal mental health and for it to be the theme of many of our events that we have planned for this year.'

We are told the first event in the diary will be Freshers Week, where they recruit their newest cohort to the midwifery society - you can find out more via their website here, or on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

APP are really thrilled to have been chosen as their Charity of the Year and we can't wait to get involved with all their events and activities throughout the next twelve months...watch this space!

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Rik & Hannah running the Barns Green Half on 24 September!

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A big Thank You to Rik & Hannah who are preparing to run the Barns Green Half marathon on 24th September, in Horsham, West Sussex in aid of APP!

The Barns Green Half is run on closed roads through the beautiful West Sussex countryside, passing through the historic Christ’s Hospital school, where the School’s famous marching band will be playing.  They say 'we also have a jazz band at the start/finish and four other bands along the route, where there are water stations, distance markers, marshals and of course the support of all the locals and spectators.'  It sounds like quite a fun, music filled half marathon event!

Rik and Hannah are already busy fundraising and would be grateful for extra support, so, please dig deep if you can, and donate via their Just Giving page  - wishing you both the best of luck for 24th September, let's hope it stays sunny!

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Sally & Ruth's £3k for 3K at Big Welsh Swim!

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A very big congratulations and thank you to Sally and Ruth who completed the 3k Big Welsh Swim last Saturday, 22nd July! They lucked out with the weather, with a beautifully sunny day at Lake Padarn, North Wales.

They said:
'Thank-you so so much for all your support. We made it! What a great day, with gorgeous weather and amazing people! #£3kfor3k xxx'

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Some very happy smiley faces, after completing their 3k swim! 

They have already raised over £2,500 and their Just Giving page is still accepting donations - please support them and give what you can.

Congratulations to you both, a great achievement! Thank you from us all at APP.

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APP Quiz and Pop-Up Shop in 'The Leopard' Tutbury!

APP quiz winners win Comic Relief t-shirts
APP quiz winners win Comic Relief t-shirts

Wednesday 5th July saw some of APP’s volunteers suffer the indignity of coming last in yet another pub quiz! Whatever: the night went with a swing for APP in other ways. We are greatly indebted to The Leopard’s landlady, Karen (Kaz) Maclean and her big-hearted family for all the hard work which they put into such a successful and fun event - raising APP’s profile in the Midlands and £400 for our funds.

Kaz provided all the food for free, she set up a nearly-new pop up shop, contributed quiz and raffle prizes and hosted the entire night with aplomb. It was an unusual quiz. Picture each team trying to build a house with Bourbon biscuits and a large bar of chocolate or wandering around the pub looking for things beginning with “p”…. Hmmm, yes - rude in parts!
 

Trying to make chocolate houses
Trying to make chocolate houses

I should like to thank all those who provided items for the pop-up shop, quiz and raffle and all those who supported us, especially Elaine Williams who promoted us in Tutbury and did so much more besides.

If you are ever in Tutbury, visit "The Leopard"; a small but warm community pub, with a lovely family at its helm and a charitable core at its heart.

Heather x

APP volunteers at The Leopard
APP volunteers at The Leopard

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12 marathons in 12 months to celebrate Leo and his mum!

 At the start- Dave, Vicky, Me and Charlotte
At the start- Dave, Vicky, Me and Charlotte

Nov 5th, 2017 is little Leo's birthday. His aunt, Holly Haywood, has set herself a massive challenge: to run 12 marathons in 12 months. Holly reasons that if her sister can pull through the shock and heartache of PP then surely she, too, can climb this marathon "mountain" in aid of APP but also in celebration of her brave sister and little Leo.

Holly has already completed The Thames Marathon, The Brighton and The Exeter Marathon and has just completed her fourth marathon where she was joined along the way by some of her colleagues.

She said:

‘3 of us set off at 09:00 and the first half marathon was completed in 2 hours 30mins. We mainly ran on rural roads and along the beautiful Basingstoke canal.

The weather was perfect, overcast and cool.

The second half we were joined by two more colleagues, this half was more hilly and the legs were not enjoying it as much!

We finished the marathon in 5:39, equalling my PB from the Exeter marathon.’

At the half way point joined by Vicky and Tara.
At the half way point joined by Vicky and Tara.

Fortunately colleagues have offered to run with Holly for varying distances, on her next two local marathons (the next one taking place on 1st August), in order to support this valiant effort. Then she will be halfway there! No pressure!

It is truly tough to keep going at such a huge challenge - as well as tout for sponsors - so we at APP are putting a big shout-out to all of you out there. Please take a look at Holly's fundraising page and dig deep if you possibly can - www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Hollys-Marathon-challenge

Holly is hoping to complete all 12 marathons in time for Leo's birthday on 5th November, and here's hoping Holly's page receives the sponsorship it deserves by little Leo's next birthday!

A very big Thank You to Holly and all her supporters!

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Deborah braves Lake Windermere for the Great North Swim!

2017DeborahPage1Congratulations to Deborah Page, Clinical Team Leader of Perinatal Mental Health at Leeds MBU, who braved the cold of Lake Windermere and successfully completed the Great North Swim on 9th June!

The weather over the weekend was challenging, but all the swimmer and supporters were all fantastic and kept smiling all day.

Deborah said:

'We did it - Sunday event was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. This resulted in an emergency child care cover Saturday morning, 2 hr drive up to Low Fell, quick jog t the event, quick change, swim the lake, out and change back, jog back to the car and 2 hrs drive back to Leeds. Today has been mainly PJ's. Thank you all for your donations and support. It kept me going through training and the swim. In memory of those women and babies who sadly lost their lives to the cruel illness that is postnatal mental illness. x'

 A big congratulations and thank you to Deborah from all of us at APP! (and you can still donate via her Just Giving page here)

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APP discuss Perinatal Mental Health services at the Welsh Assembly

19800629_1547921858614816_2427648579280450680_oAPP were invited to the Welsh Assembly this week to give evidence to the Children, Young People & Education Committee about Perinatal Mental Healthcare in Wales.

APP’s Director, Dr Jess Heron and North Wales Regional Rep, Sally Wilson attended for APP and Charlotte Harding (who is also APP’s S Wales Rep) attended with Barbara Cunningham on behalf of PMH Cymru.

The aim of the inquiry is to consider how Perinatal Mental Health services are currently provided and how the Welsh Government can improve services for mothers, babies, fathers and families. The Committee wanted to find out how services link together, including specialised perinatal mental health services, maternity services, general adult mental health services, inpatient mother and baby units, parent and infant mental health services, health visiting, clinical psychology, and midwifery services, GPs and the extended primary care team, role of the third sector and local support groups, and private providers of services.

Jess and Sally explained the critical need for a Mother & Baby Unit in Wales. They gave evidence about the importance of high quality training in PP for all health and social care professionals that come into contact with pregnant and postnatal women. They explained to the committee the importance of peer support to women and families affected by PP, and outlined how this could be provided in Wales.

You can read APP’s Wales report here and watch via Senedd TV here (around 2 hours in).

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APP Train New Peer Support Volunteers

19243321_1525222677551401_2333541685529317762_oIn June we were able to train 8 new Peer Support Volunteers. It is amazing to have the new volunteers up and running to ensure our Peer Support Service can continue meeting demand from mums and families affected by PP, both on the PPTalk forum, and in 1:1 messaging.

It was a wonderful day and really special to be together as women who have had PP and share our experiences. Three of our newly trained Peer Support Volunteers told us how they felt about the training day. 

Kat: Since the training, I’ve felt empowered and supported to provide responses on the online help forum, and to take on my very first “one to one” email support case. It’s not always easy. Sometimes peoples’ problems seem more complex than *just* PP. And of course everyone’s experience differs wildly. But there is always a way to empathise and reach out to others through our shared experience. And it is incredibly worthwhile and satisfying work. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to support others through this illness. When I was dreadfully ill myself my husband found the APP forum and received amazing support through it: practical, empathic, specialised and ongoing for many months. And now I can start doing the same for others - as a family, we have come “full circle”!

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Claire: It was really amazing to meet and spend a whole day training alongside other women who have suffered Postpartum Psychosis and to join an online community of peer supporters who are rallying together to transform their individual traumatic experiences into something positive for other people. I feel confident after the training that I know how to look after myself whilst being able to provide some lived experience advice and support to those who ask for it. I feel very honoured to have been given this training and I hope to provide the kind of help I needed at my worst point of the illness.

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Sabine: The reasons for my motivation in taking part in the ‘Peer Support Training’ I guess are multi-layered, unique and personal, - in a way signifying a milestone of where I have been and where I am today. 

I definitively wanted to feel more reassured and cushioned when responding to mums and family members on the forum. When joining the APP forum I did not feel on my own anymore; the numbness inside me had vanished, - the lid was opened and I was able to talk to compassionate and kind ladies on the forum.

Now there is a ‘SENSE OF BELONGING’, since meeting those very special women, not only the ones who organised the workshop, but the 7 other newcomers, who wanted to become volunteers. I feel happy, because my story is out there and shared by other females. I feel as if I have a voice. I have been able to tackle London and met some wonderful women, who were strangers to me.

I would like to thank APP and everybody involved for the location and choice of venue, the participation and contribution of workshop members, ‘the individual and special support’ before and during the event, enabling and creating a positive and relaxed atmosphere, but especially the superbly organised and very professionally-led workshop by Jess, Clare, Hannah, Ellie & Amy.

Our Peer Support Service is kindly supported by Comic Relief, The Allen Lane Foundation and the generosity of individual donors and fundraisers. 

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PPIMHS Team Complete the Great Newham Run!

NehaA very big thank you to Dr Neha Rawat and colleagues and family of PPIMHS (Perinatal Parent Infant Mental Health Service) at NELFT (North East London NHS Foundation Trust) who completed the 10k Great Newham London run which took place on Sunday 2nd July.

They said 'We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and am glad to report that we are still fundraising!'

They certainly look very happy on completing their run, a big congratulations and thank you from everyone at APP!

Please do continue to support their fundraising efforts; you can still donate via their Virgin Money Giving page here.

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Is this the most fun way to raise money?

Untitled designEven though she hates running, Jocelyn took part in the Manchester Color Run on 1 July to raise money for APP: donate here

It wasn't the first time. She enjoyed it so much last year she went back for more! 

It does look like a LOT of fun.

Who wants to sign up for next year

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