Back in September 2014 it felt like a good idea to try a 70.3 Ironman and take the opportunity to raise some more money for APP.
I injured my neck and shoulder in a race crash in Geneva and had made it worse by going into the ditch avoiding a tractor a week before Dublin.
If this report doesn't sound like I enjoyed most of the race then it's accurate – I'd been to a sports physio and an osteopath the week before but the level of pain I was getting from my neck and shoulder meant that at every stage of the race I was telling myself, “I'll just do this next bit and then drop out”.Read full news item
We would like to say a very big thank you for all the support we’ve received over the past month with our National Lottery Award campaigning.
Sadly, we came a very close 2nd to the winning project with just 106 votes between us. Despite this, we had an absolutely fantastic campaigning month and have reached a massive audience we wouldn't normally have had the opportunity to. The exposure given to Postpartum Psychosis among the general public, midwives, health visitors, GPs, psychiatrists worldwide and also on a more personal level among families has been an incredible success.Read full news item
VOTING ENDS AT MIDNIGHT!
Well here it is – the final update.
Unsurprisingly it’s been the busiest week of the campaign. It’s also been the wettest. Volunteers braved the downpours and over 500 people voted for APP at the Sheldon Countryside Festival, where the team also received support from the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. 130 people voted at Sacred Heart and Holy Souls church and families also voted at holiday events organised by the Pavilion Church at Bournville and at indoor play centres Tiny Terrorz and Funatticz.
Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our members we have had media coverage in the Londonist, the Yorkshire Post, the Birmingham Mail, and articles in the Exeter Express and Echo and the Sidmouth Herald (repeated in the Midweek Herald).
Social media has been remarkable. Just in the past week (to yesterday) our content has reached over 1.07 million individual Twitter accounts, with 2.7 million impressions (the total number of tweets that have appeared). The figures for the week before were 320k accounts and 642k impressions. The most retweeted was a tweet from the NSPCC and we’ve had more help from Denise Welch as well as tweets from Britmums and lots of Twitter activity around the Londonist piece.
Voting is open until midnight. Remember that everyone in your household can vote with their own email address or phone number.
We have done our very best and, win or lose, have made a massive step forward in raising awareness. When voting has finished and we’ve all had a chance to have a sit down and/or a meal without a laptop, phone, voting forms or leaflets in hand, we will be getting together to have a look over all that has been achieved in the past five weeks. Our task then will be to work out how best to build on the incredible work everyone has done. Thank you all.
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In June 2015 my sister-in-law joined me in a 10 mile charity walk through the Kent countryside. It was an exhausting but rewarding day, with the added bonus of plenty of sunshine and beautiful views. I selected APP as my chosen charity as the work they do for women and their families is so important. When I suffered postpartum psychosis myself 11 years ago there was very little user-friendly reliable information, and no access to peer support. It was a lonely and terrifying place to be, and the stigma surrounding mental illness really hindered me in properly engaging in the treatment and support that I was offered. I count myself very lucky to have achieved a good recovery. The information produced by APP, their anti-stigma work and online peer support forum provides amazing support for women who experience this distressing and dangerous illness. I hope that the £180 I raised will be a really worthwhile contribution to their work.
Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to Tracey for completing the walk and raising funds too!
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IT’S THE LAST WEEK OF VOTING!
We’ve come a long way but we really need a final push. APP’s volunteers, supporters and friends have been doing an amazing job. We’re tired, our fridges are empty and our laundry baskets are full, but we know that we’re making a difference, not just by getting votes but by reaching large numbers of people who’d never heard about PP before and increasing the understanding of maternal mental health issues.
On TV we’ve seen postpartum psychosis feature on the Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC Two on Monday, on Channel 4 news also on Monday and on ITV news on Tuesday (the news pieces in response to Healthwatch England’s report on unsafe discharge from hospital).
It’s been a busy week on Twitter - the NSPCC mentioned us to their 167k Twitter followers and we’ve had tweets and retweets from the Heart of England NHS Trust, Prof Louis Appleby, MGC Hayles, Mental Healthy, Mental Elf, and Love Brum. Many of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance organisations have also tweeted. Our first 50 tweets this week are at 48075 impressions, and still counting (as it goes Friday to Friday). Our #endPPmyths video was the main story in the Postpartum Post. Organisations who’ve supported us include the Institute of Health Visitors, PIP UK, PSI, Praeclarus Press, PNP Support New Zealand, National Centre for Mental Health and APPAH.
We’ve also been going out and about. We got a really positive response at the Good Hope Hospital Community Fete on Saturday. And a supporter simply knocked on doors around his local area and asked people to vote – and collected 250 votes! Amazing!
With a week to go please think what else you can do to help. Please share the message with friends, contacts, and colleagues and please email, tweet large organisations and post the link to vote on large and influential Facebook groups. Check your friends HAVE actually voted (not just said they WOULD!). Take a few paper voting forms and drum up face to face votes at whatever you’re going to – big family BBQ, village fete, car boot… We can send you forms (and official APP T shirts to wear!). We will be at Sheldon Countryside Festival on Sunday so come and say hello if you are there.
A week today will be the final campaign update. We need a sprint to the finish line – and to know we have done all we can.
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This year I will be running the Leicester Half Marathon on Sunday 25th October. A complete turnaround for someone who hated running six months ago and couldn't run a mile. A 10k assault course for charity in April whetted my appetite and the next step beckoned.
I feel I really have to push myself this year, I'm not getting any younger, I want the physical challenge but the ultimate goal is to represent my heroic wife and the support APP have provided to both of us. Giving something back is of paramount importance to me.
My wife encountered PP in summer 2013 after the birth of our daughter and then suffered a particularly nasty relapse in summer 2014. I encountered the comforting arms of APP during and after the relapse. You were there when I needed you and when my wife was well enough, when she needed you. The chance to speak to volunteers and other families going through the same experiences was and still is invaluable as we try to make sense of it all; To learn that you are not alone, despite the apparent destruction of your 'world'.
APP has been incredibly supportive of me as a husband, the carer in the bad times. A mentor, a chat on the forum and a chance to shape future care with discussions and taking part in research with Cardiff Uni. If I could grade your support, A*, every time.
Thank you, Ollie.
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Three weeks down – two to go
We’re past halfway, and it feels like we are at a critical point. We’ve had re-tweets from Home-Start UK, Solihull Police, lots of Birmingham-based MPs and TV presenter (and mum) Professor Alice Roberts. And auctioneers Sotheby’s have asked all their staff to vote for us!
We’ve also had some unhelpful responses from a variety of organisations, from online sites for parents, to publications for GPs – who typically say ‘we have information on postnatal depression, so we don’t need it on postpartum psychosis’. To which we say – yes you do need it. It is so important that families and GPs are properly informed about maternal mental health.
Next week there should be some press coverage and a tiny bit of TV featuring APP. Monday’s episode of ‘Victoria Derbyshire’ on BBC Two/BBC News Channel 9.15 to 11am is all about mental health. Keep an eye on our social media for more info on our media coverage.
Please continue your support. Anyone you know you’ve not asked to vote yet – please ask! Do you work for an organisation with a large mailing list or a high circulation newsletter which could put something about voting for us in it? Please ask them. Might you take one of our ‘voting by paper’ forms along to your choir practice, sports team training or work coffee room? Do you have relatives overseas you could ask to vote (votes from abroad still count!). We need more votes and everyone voting is someone who may find out about PP who had never heard of it before – and that can only be a good thing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who are working so hard to achieve all we can before the 29th!Read full news item
Two weeks down – three to go
Work has continued apace to get the word out about the National Lottery Awards – and to get people voting! We’ve added another 500 likes on our Facebook voting page (and are now at 2400) and added 100 new likes on our Action on Postpartum Psychosis main Facebook page. Writer Jodi Picoult retweeted to 111 000 followers, and we had a retweet and support from Norman Lamb. We’ve had support from the South West Strategic Clinical Network and Postpartum Support International. We were mentioned in an article in the Telegraph online yesterday highlighting the need for better mental health services for women in pregnancy and after birth. We’ve also managed a huge mailout to 450 members, sending them our guides, information about our services and a letter about our lottery nomination, with voting information. Special thanks to volunteers who spent a very hot couple of days in the APP office stuffing envelopes.
Thank you to all the individuals working so hard – too many to name here – let’s keep on going.Read full news item
One week down – four weeks to go!
We’ve made an amazing start to the opportunity given to us by the National Lottery Awards by being nominated to become Health Project of the Year. In the first week of voting we’ve had 1.9 thousand Facebook likes registered on our National Lottery voting page, and been mentioned on Twitter by Ruby Wax, Fern Britton, Denise Welch and Marian Keys. We’ve had support from organisations such as The Marce Society, Bipolar UK, Time To Change, and the Royal College of Midwives. Organisations have tweeted directly to around 187,500 followers, and there are nearly 44,000 followers of organisations who have retweeted our tweets. And in the middle of a very busy week we had a wonderful Family Fun Day where families and friends got together to enjoy a fabulous picnic, play games, chat, raise money for APP and meet others to share experiences of and interests in postpartum psychosis. Oh and of course to vote!
Well done and thank you everyone for a tremendous start – let’s keep up this momentum over the next four weeks.
Make a difference in mental health - vote for Action on Postpartum Psychosis in the National Lottery Awards! http://bit.ly/voteforappRead full news item
Jo, who is an enthusiastic supporter of APP, is running the Worthing 10K in June and raising funds for APP.
"I hope that mothers, partners & families everywhere will sponsor me in order to enable APP to address the ignorance, stigma & lack of provision which it has already done so much to address."
Running 10k will not be easy for Jo (is it ever?) so please spur her on by sponsoring her if you can. Let us try together to exceed her target!
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