ME Awareness Week (7th to 13th May 2018) was our busiest ever!
This page celebrates all events, large and small, that took place in that crazy week.
Thank you to everyone who did something, anything, to raise awareness of M.E. during our special week.
Blue monuments and local buildings…
Monuments known to have gone BLUE on May 12th included the Blackpool Tower, Greystone bridge in Merseyside, Royal Border Bridge in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, Tyne and Gateshead Millennium Bridges and York Bar Walls and the Council’s West Offices HQ.
Sadly, our application for the Scotland’s iconic Kelpies to be Scotland’s BLUE symbol was unsuccessful, but we’ll try again next year.
Physical Challenges for M.E…
Just Walk – Goodwood Racecourse
This was the year that the ME Association’s largest team of walkers took to the paths and tracks around Goodwood Racecourse in the Just Walk event.
ME Association Chairman, Neil Riley (pictured far right), was delighted to meet everyone including Susan and Adrian Vaughan, Isabel Gillis, Kayleigh Rivett and Anthony Munn (walking for ME Foggy Dog), Jonathan White and extended family, Tom Maddocks, Veronica Wright, Leah Oates and her mother Wendy, and Meg Everitt and Micheal Leeming.
Other Physical Challenges…
1. Keri Johnstone and friends organised their own sponsored walk in Victoria Country Park in Netley in Hampshire. Later in the week, Keri was a finalist in the Miss Teen Continental competition with the ME Association being her adopted charity.
2. Claire Carter and friends returned for more action and walked from East Finchley to Millions Missing Protest in London.
3. Claire’s friend Rachel Pryke, not to be outdone, took part in the Park Run in Divonne-les-Bains, France on 12th May.
4 & 5. We had five entrants in the London 10 Mile Race – Harry Wood and his friends, James, Alex and Louis ran because Harry’s girlfriend, Jessie, has M.E. And then Louisa Udall managed to get around with the support of her “better half”.
6. Steven Wilson had a ‘Dirty Weekend’ with the full permission and blessing of his wife Catherine. He ran a 20 mile obstacle course known as a ‘Full Mucker‘.
7. Becky Pardoe, Lee and Jessica ran 10 miles around Great Baddow to raise awareness of M.E. and in support of their friend Hannah.
8. 2018 also saw the welcome return of Kat Gower and her team. This time they embarked on 2 x 12-hour Static Bike Ride for M.E. as part of Team Foggy at Moat House Inn, Lon-Y Lyn, Caerphilly.
9. Viv Oliver and her family and friends walked 12 miles (one mile for every month that her brother Shaun has been bedridden with M.E) on 12th May in Egerton, Kent.
10. Elthorne Netball Team wore their blue strips as part of their raising awareness of M.E. for the cousins of two of their players, Ella and Izzy.
11. Antje Rook walked all around the Isle of Portland with her two collie dogs.
12. Meryl Tyers undertook a step-count challenge – at her own pace…
And even more events like, for example: Lubi Dicerova and Iiona Tarvide’s ascent of Ben Nevis – the hard way – on 12th May, and Gabriel Coles who ran the Bristol 10k Great Run.
Employers for M.E…
Joy Patel galvanised 36 Subway ‘Resso’ branches, mainly in the East Midlands, back into action to organise BLUE events throughout ME Awareness Week. One of these events was a 2-hour Impact Fit-A-Thon by former colleague Tania Lockhart.
Jacqualine Collins organised an Awareness and Cake Sale Day at Barclays in Stevenage.
Lauren Nelder organised a Walk for M.E. from Roker Pier to South Shields Pier as well as hosting a bake sale at work at Winn Solicitors in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Louise Wildish and the team at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester held an awareness day.
Claire Jenkins hosted a bake sale for her colleagues at CGI in London.
And Michelle Gosney organised an awareness day at Bowes Lyon Court, in Dorchester.
Arts and Crafts for M.E…
1. The All About M.E. Knitathon exhibited a massive number of knitted squares donated by people with M.E. from all around the world in the tremendous setting of Coventry Cathedral.
The campaign was organised by Lauren Childs who turned these squares into blankets. We hope that these that will be auctioned to raise (more) funds for the ME Association later this year.
2. This painting – entitled Ball and Chain – is just one of many pieces of original artwork by Anne Nicholls that was shown at the Invisible Exhibition – A new look at M.E – in Bromsgrove.
Anne says that her aim in this exhibition of art and verse was to enlighten cynics and give a voice to those who feel they’ve been shouting into a well.
3. Yasmin Crawford hosted a showing of Unrest AND a photographic exhibition of her own work in Ashburton, Devon.
4. Louise McAllan and her Chronic Creatives friends exhibited mainly BLUE knitted creatures in the Woollen Wood exhibition as part of the Belper Arts Festival.
Tea and Cake for M.E…
Chrissie Russell hosted a coffee morning which also included a clothes swap and cat toy sale at the Emmanuel Baptist Church Hall, in Eastleigh, Hampshire. She also spoke to her local newspaper and was interviewed for That’s Solent TV.
Catherine de Zwaan and her husband Joel organised a Tea Party. Catherine made these lovely blue ribbons to sell there too. Alison Joyce hosted a garden tea party. And, Sarah McDonnell also held a coffee morning.
Music for M.E…
ME Association supporters Nigel Henshaw, Andy Beaumont, and Keiran Moon were closely involved in the production of a new music album – Music 4 M.E – which was launched in ME Awareness Week.
Proceeds of the album will go towards biomedical research including the ME Association’s Ramsay Research Fund.
The InTune Choir performed at the atrium of Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum, Carthew, St Austell, PL26 8XG in Cornwall. This was organised and promoted by Olivia Rowe.
While, in London, Rosie Millen hosted her first ever classical piano recital in The Steinway Hall – An evening of Chopin. She was joined by professional musicians Vivi Cahyadi, Stanislaw Klajn and Tim Norman.
Going BLUE for M.E…
Online Events for M.E…
An online Pyjama Party was hosted by Alisha Whittam on 12th May 2018 and Chloe Stickings ran a Blue Sunday tea party.
Anna Redshaw (pictured with her husband Brett) was the creator of the Blue Sunday virtual events some years ago. This year, she ran an actual Tea Party but was unable to take it online. Katie Brook – a virtual friend of previous events – attended Anna’s party in person and made this wonderful cake!
Birthdays and Weddings for M.E…
Amy Baker and Nikki Doughty celebrated their birthdays on ME Awareness Day, and invited donations to her JustGiving page in lieu of birthday cards.
Emma Slack also celebrated her birthday and asked for donations. Andy Rhodes and Kate Gowland went one better and asked friends and relations for donations to the ME Association at their wedding on 12th May.
Sally Callow and ME Foggy Dog were hugely busy during ME Awareness Week, and have been champions for the ME Association in recent years.
In addition to hosting two awareness events, Sally also took time to raise awareness in her local press in Portsmouth. She reached an audience of well over 180,000 people online with her articles.
1. Liz and Helen Wood undertook their annual shopping centre collection at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol.
2. A Monster Family Fun Day was organised by Clare McCarthy and Broken Puppet Theatre Company on 12th May at The Waterfront, in Plymouth, to raise awareness and funds for the Ramsay Research Fund.
3. An ME Awareness Day display included a ‘Blue Rose’ Memorial stand (the Blue Rose, is an international symbol of remembrance for those who have lost their lives to M.E.).
Later in the week, Clare McCarthy and ME friends in Plymouth hosted an information stand at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and signed up a good number of doctors and health professionals to receive the ME Association guide to clinical and research issues (the ‘Purple Book’).
4. Karen Greenslade turned her shop window BLUE (Humbug Giftshop, in Fore Street, Sidmouth, Devon). She also organised an exhibition at her local library (pictured).
Lottie Jakes organised an Awareness Day at “The Street” at South Devon College.
5. Andrea Hewes designed and sold car stickers.
6. Anthea McLaughan tied blue balloons to her garden gate.
7. Lee Stammers, the ‘poster boy’ for this year’s fundraising campaign, supported us whilst on holiday abroad.
8. Marion Michell tweeted from her bed.
Ellen Adby planned a week-long social media campaign from her bedside, Claire Bentley and the Bentley family aimed to organise a BLUE activity every day in May and Carrie-Louise Morton organised an Awareness Day at the University of Winchester.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who took part. We are very grateful for all you did to help raise funds and awareness of M.E. during ME Awareness Week 2018.