Showing posts with label children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children. Show all posts

17 September 2018

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer is something that we have all had experience of; whether being diagnosed ourselves or having had a family member or loved one suffer.  Since 1960, an unbelievable 1 in 2 of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime.

If you are a family who has a child that has been diagnosed with cancer, the news is shattering.  The thought that your child is suffering this disease must be completely unbearable, devastating beyond belief.  

Just getting through each day, supporting and uplifting your child through the illness and the treatment that goes alongside takes superhuman strength.  But parents, every single day, find that strength to take care of their children, visiting them daily in hospital, spending hours, days and months and sometimes years by their bedside; providing a constant, positive and supportive outlook; no matter how bad it gets.

One thing that we forget is how much this all costs the family.  Not just the emotional cost of the heartache, not just the time spent away from work while you spend infinite hours at hospital with your child; not just the worry and maintaining that positive facade; but the practical, physical cost that can be crippling for families.

Children with cancer cannot simply go to their local hospital.  Studies show that on average, children and their families have to travel at least 60 miles to hospital and back for treatment.  Research carried out by Clic Sargent revealed that families are spending around £180 and more per month on their commute.

Children with cancer and their families get very little in way of support in relation to travel costs and this needs to change.  When you are using every ounce of your strength to support your child through their treatment, the very last thing you want to worry about is whether you have the money to visit them.  Families are often plunged into debt just for visiting their sick child.  This is wrong and has to change.

During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Clic Sargent have launched a petition asking the Government to create a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund so that families no longer need to worry about the costs of travel whilst visiting their child.

I ask today to sign the petition above which will be delivered to the Department of Health on the 26th September.  You can also download a petition sheet that can be signed by your work colleagues and friends which can add to the numbers (see the link on the petition page as linked above).  Every signature counts.

Please sign this petition for something so worthwhile which would help families with children suffering this terrible disease; taking some of the financial worry away from them at a time when all of their strength is focused on their child.  They are dealing with enough.

21 June 2018

Junior Styles

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the maternal type.  I do not coo over babies,  I do not yearn for a mini me (god help us all) or a child that I can teach the ways of the world and hopefully, make it a better place.

I do confess though, I am a little obsessed when it comes to children's clothing.  I long for the day when my best friend has a child so that I can buy them all the amazing clothing.  There are so many funky, interesting and fun pieces available for children now and I do have a hankering to buy some of them, I'm just waiting for a friend to have one!

I was having a look at the OD's Designer Clothing website the other day and found myself, once again, checking out what options are out their for children, in particular girls.  I tell you, when my friend does have a child, they are going to be the best dressed child, ever.

Hear are some of my favourites:

There are so many styles available now and many, I confess, I would wear myself!   That gingham playsuit is simply adorable and can we talk about how utterly cool the Moschino playsuit is?   I think that I may need to create a "Best Friend's Baby" shopping list!

All of the above pieces are available on the OD's Designer Clothing website under Junior Clothing

Now can someone please make me that duck print dress in my size?

25 July 2015

Home Start St Albans City and District

I spoke to you a couple of months ago about a new monthly feature that I wanted to implement on my blog.  I have had so much joy from this blog and I want to, in my own small way, give back some of that joy by helping others.

My idea is to promote those smaller charities that you have not necessarily heard about before.  The large charities, although very important, get a lot of press and donations whilst the smaller ones, which need help just as much, can sometimes be unnoticed.

Today I want to feature Home Start - St Albans City and District.
Home Start support families in need who have children under the age of 5 by way of volunteer visits.  All of the volunteers at Home Start have parenting experience and they assist families who need practical help and assurance, breaks for parents as well as practical support with local services.

I spoke to Home Start and asked them to share a paragraph with us:

"Being a parent can be hard at the best of times, but imagine parenting when you have a mental or physical illness, a child with a disability, no family or friends there for support; or when you are living in poverty or debt.  This is the reality for many parents.

The weekly support provided by Home Start's fully trained volunteers has been described by families as a "lifeline".  Our early intervention reduces family breakdown and crisis and helps parents five their children a positive and settled start start in life."

Home Start is a nationwide project but I wanted to promote the St Albans City and District Project in particular as I have learned that they have recently lost all of their Council funding and as a result they are in dire need of funds.  Home Start need to raise the sum of £40,000.00 over the next 5 months in order to continue with this much needed support for families.

Here is where you can donate to Home Start, either by a single or monthly donation

22 April 2013

Helping to Make Children's Parties Easier

One of the things I remember about my birthday parties as a child is the little touches that went into the party. The special invitations, the decorations, the party bags.  I always remember that it was like a bit of a competition, between both the children and also the parents, as to who could hold the best party.

These days children’s parties are becoming even more competitive and elaborate.  When you are working full time creating a full scale children’s party can be a daunting experience, not to mention costly but there are solutions if you know how to find them. 

A friend of mine holds the kind of birthday parties for her son that you would dream about when you were a child. Last year was a safari theme, complete with cut out animals and trees, party boxes and banners, and a themed invitation. I remember at the time all the parents asking where she had got everything from.

It turns out that my friend Wendy had quite a creative streak and had designed and made everything herself.

Wendy has now gone one step further and has created her own shop on Etsy, with printable designs for parties, with everything from full party packs including banners, party boxes, invitations etc to separate pieces. Everything is customisable to your specifications.

As everything is sent as a pdf design, you can buy these designs from anywhere in the world and no postage is involved.  You can simply print them out and put together at your leisure.

Take a look for your own children's parties. She is adding more designs every week and you can email with specifics requests.  Here are some examples of her work, with photographs sent in from people who have purchased for their child’s party.



17 January 2012

Shocking, Apparently

I am going to make a very shocking comment.  Apparently.  I do not want children.

I say “apparently” because I don’t find it a shocking statement.  But I am amazed at the amount of people who, when told (having asked), have reactions that range from scandalised to scathing and some who refuse to believe me.

The most irritating comment I get, on a frequent basis, is “You’ll change your mind”.  I’m sorry, but last time I checked I know my mind very well.  At 32 I’m quite able to make the big decisions.  Or the other classic “You just haven’t met the right man”.

People can, and do make the big decisions all the time.  Meat eater or vegetarian, gay or straight, religious or atheist, the list goes on and on.  All these choices are now socially acceptable.  You always get the idiots of course who will question these choices, but the majority of people will take what you say and that will be it.

But say that you don’t want children and people just don’t understand you. 

I would never dream of asking a parent why they wanted children.  Not just asking, but badgering, asking for detailed reasons.  But if you don’t want offspring, you find yourself under near interrogation sometimes, justifying your choice.

Personally, I am not a “child” person.  I have never had a maternal instinct.  In fact I would be the first person to admit that I am too self absorbed to have children.  I also couldn’t afford one either.  But my views on that particular point are a whole different blog.

So, to the “normal” people, as I have heard referred to as all those who want children as opposed to us “oddballs” who don’t want them, I say this.

I respect your decision to have children, please respect mine not to have them.  I work full time, I pay my taxes and in part, I am financially supporting you in your decision.  Please bear that in mind next time you question my decision.  

Mini rant over.