Claire's half marathon in memory of her friend, Orlaith
Claire Tennyson is taking on the Hillsborough Castle & Gardens Half Marathon this July, in memory of her dear friend Orlaith Quinn.
'This October will mark five years since Orlaith left us.
Orlaith was charismatic, compassionate, fiercely loyal, full of sass and an absolute stunner. There are people in life you instantly connect with, and for me, she was one of them.
Orlaith’s passing was found by a court to be 'foreseeable and preventable' and at the time of the hearing the coroner also called for a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) to be established in Northern Ireland.
In the absence of a functioning Executive, the possibility of this being developed in the near future is very slim but APP are continuing to do all they can to push for reform.
In that context, I want to raise money in the interim for this very worthwhile charity to assist in the support they give mothers, mothers-to-be and mothers yet to come.
It is the biggest honour of my life to be a mother and for that privilege to have been so cruelly cut short for Orlaith, and her children, is heart breaking.
So please donate if you can, share to raise awareness, and most importantly of all spare a thought for Orlaith. She is missed.'
Also taking part in the Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Running Festival is APP volunteer Lucy who will be challenging herself to complete the 10K event on the day. Find out more and add your support for Lucy here.
Miles for Mums and Babies in Northern Ireland
We have two teams taking on our #MilesforMumsandBabies Challenge in Northern Ireland this year.
On the 13th May, Justine Lewis and a team of friends will be attempting to climb Cavehill - a challenging 1,207ft peak just outside Belfast.
Justine was diagnosed with PP after the birth of her baby in 2019, and due to the lack of MBU in NI, she was separated from her newborn for 12 days. She is undertaking this challenge to raise awareness of the need for an MBU in the area.
You can add your support for Justine here.
Then, later in the month, Shelley Browne and a group of friends will be running 5k at Stormont to highlight the fact that 1 in 5 women will experience some form of mental health issue in the postnatal period.
Shelley had PP in 2021 and really wants to raise awareness of the need for an MBU in NI. She says: 'I truly believe with this facility, my treatment would of been less traumatic and I would have not have needed to be separated from my baby so early on.'
Support Shelley and her team here.
Not only are our NI APP volunteers getting out and about fundraising for us this year, they're also helping to raise awareness of PP:
Tara helps to raise awareness in Garvargh
On Wednesday 22nd March, one of our Northern Ireland based APP volunteers arranged for an awareness-raising session at a local Women’s Group she attends. She didn’t want to talk about her own experiences with PP herself, as not everyone is comfortable or finds it helpful to do that, which is fine. So, working with APP's events and fundraising staff, she invited along another local APP volunteer who very bravely talked to the group about her experiences of PP.
Staff from APP HQ also zoomed in to the session to explain more generally about PP, the work of APP and the need for an MBU in Northern Ireland. The Women’s Group, which included both local women and health & social care professionals, were very interested and moved to hear the first-hand account of a real women’s experience of PP, as many were previously unaware of the condition.
Very positive feedback was received from the group:
“…she is a brave young woman, speaking out to help others. Thank you.”
“Very brave lady to be able to talk about everything she has been through. Can’t have been easy to do that”
“…she was lovely and very good at speaking about her experience.”
“…she definitely was very good and spoke well, and we got a lot of knowledge about this condition.”
“…it’s such a hard thing to talk about. It’s helped me understand a lot better and what to keep an eye out for.”
“…she is amazing and to be able to come and speak about her experiences so honestly will truly help women as there is still stigma around mental health.”
The local health visitor and social worker were invited to the session and already are asking if further sessions can be put on around the area for other teams of professionals and women around Northern Ireland.
If you'd like to find out more about raising awareness or fundraising in Northern Ireland, or accessing our peer support group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org