Tag Archives: fundraising

Lee embarks on year-long challenge to raise awareness of PP

This month, our incredible fundraiser Lee Smith of Washington, Tyne and Wear, will embark on the first of twelve physically demanding challenges to fundraise for APP and raise awareness of postpartum psychosis.

Sadly, almost exactly two years ago, Lee’s wife, Jess, developed postpartum psychosis and was admitted under section to Morpeth’s Mother and Baby Unit in Northumberland.

Two years on, now fully recovered and a happy and healthy family of four, Lee and Jess are doing all they can to raise awareness and much-needed funds - and for Lee this means taking on twelve difficult challenges starting on Sunday 11 December.

Read Lee’s story below. A link to his Just Giving page can also be found at the bottom of the article.

Continue reading Lee embarks on year-long challenge to raise awareness of PP

Listen to APP’s festive playlist - and find out why we chose these popular songs

This Christmas, we want to raise awareness of some of the challenges faced by families affected by postpartum psychosis, as well as the hope and inspiration they found, by giving new meaning to our favourite festive songs.

Check out and enjoy the playlist below, and read personal stories of hope, recovery and love that relate to each song.

Continue reading Listen to APP’s festive playlist - and find out why we chose these popular songs

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.

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

Laura and Helen complete their challenge!

two women wearing purple APP running vests and glitter on their faces, in a crowd of runners at the start of the GNR
 

Sisters Laura and Helen 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.

Following the sad news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, there was some last minute uncertainty about whether the run would go ahead, but organisers decided an event that brought people together and raises millions for charity would be a fitting tribute to the late Queen.

Laura and Helen wearing their GNR finisher and APP medalsLaura and Helen were really pleased that the run went ahead, and both completed it in brilliant times. Not only that, between them, they raised nearly £2,000 for APP - an amazing achievement - and definitely deserved their medals!

A huge thank you to both of you from all at APP.

 

Jenny and family's fundraising for APP 10 years on

Jenny Stevenson and a team of family members spent a month clocking up some ‘Miles for Mums and Babies’ 10 years after Jenny experienced postpartum psychosis (PP).

Jenny experienced PP after the birth of her first son, Toby, in 2012. Admission to the Brockington Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in Stafford, prompt specialist treatment, and good support from family and friends all aided a relatively quick recovery. Peer support, via APP’s online forum and reading personal experiences and stories on APP’s website, subsequently played a huge role in helping Jenny to come to terms with what had happened. Jenny attended an APP volunteer event the following year and trained as a peer support volunteer at the beginning of 2015. She is now working as one of APP’s National Peer Support Coordinators.

Jenny wanted to mark the 10 year milestone by raising some money and awareness for APP. She decided to take on a ‘Miles for Mums and Babies’ fundraising challenge between the dates she was an inpatient on the MBU (exactly one month) in 2012. The initial target was to jog and walk 37 miles during the month, the distance from her home to the MBU. With help from family members, the hope was to double this distance and cover the return journey.

Over the course of the month, Jenny’s team (Jenny, Toby, Jenny’s mum, sister and brother-in-law) jogged, walked and swum 375 miles between them. Each mile completed as part of this challenge reflects the journeys mums, babies, partners and families travel to be together, whilst mums receive care in Mother and Baby Units. 375 miles reflects five return journeys from Jenny’s home to the MBU in Stafford, a journey travelled by her husband every day during her stay.

The team raised £1275 for APP and by asking people to donate via the Big Give, which match-funded donations during the month of July, APP received double this amount – a total of over £2500.

JennJenny pictured with her mum, son, sister and brother in law, all wearing purple APP t shirtsy says, “I’m delighted to have raised so much money for APP and that the money raised via the Big Give will be used to help grow the peer support service. Peer support is vital to so many women and families affected by postpartum psychosis – I see first-hand the positive difference it makes.”

Jenny is pictured here with her mum Sharon, son Toby, sister Juliet and brother in law Stephen.

 

 

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 £5,000 in donations – which would mean a total of £10,000 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...

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

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

 

 

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.