10 October 2011

Carole and Clive's Morrisons Collection - 30/9/11

Clive Carrick, Richard Hutton (Berwick Upon Tweed Store Manager), and Carole Carrick.

On the 30th of September Carole and Clive Carrick kindly organised a Morrisons collection in support of Invest in ME and Let's do it for ME! They raised £265.94 on the day for the biomedical research centre, and have another collection planned for the 17th of December. 

We are also pleased they have shared this photo of the event with us, which has been entered into our Show Us Your Best Side photo competition - an initiative aimed to generate photos for our website, which we hope will increase awareness of ME, the need for biomedical research, and our campaign for a centre. 

Carole has also kindly done the following write-up of the days events.

"Clive and I arranged to do our first collection for Invest in ME today at Morrisons Supermarket in Berwick Upon Tweed, Northumberland.

We arrived at 10am at the Morrison's store and set up the stall fairly quickly with a wonderful array of posters, leaflets and information provided to us by Invest in ME.

No sooner were the collection boxes in our hands, we were pounced on by folk wanting to pop their hard earned cash in and it never stopped for the five and a half hours we were there. Everyone was extremely friendly and generous...resulting in a great total of £265.94 towards Invest in ME's Biomedical Centre as part of the Let's Do It For ME campaign.

During our collection the Store Manager Richard Hutton kindly joined us for a photograph and was only too happy to hold one of the 'I Support Let's Do It For ME' posters. Throughout the day we had over twenty people comment on the fact they either had ME themselves, had a relative or close friend with ME or knew a neighbour, work colleague or student with ME. We handed out a great deal of information to not only these people but several others who had a genuine interest in learning something about ME.

Clive and I used to do charity collections for our local ME group sometimes once a week, but more often once a month. This was around two years ago but for other health reasons I had to stop. I mention this because we would regularly have around 3 people approach us on each collection stating that they had ME or knew someone who did.

Now something has definately shifted in this equation...either folk are a lot less reluctant to talk about ME and feel more comfortable telling a complete stranger about this misunderstood illness that they suffer from or know a friend has or there are a lot more people with ME out there two years on! As I said there were over twenty people...that told us...who knows how many more remained silent!

I actually made a list of these people.

There was one young girl who said her mother had contracted ME 9 years ago after the birth of her second child. She had a pulmonary embolism on her lung and was very ill and never really recovered. The girl said that she can still remember how bad her mum was as she, as a child, had to help with the care of her baby brother as her mother was very sick and couldn't manage.

There was a man in his late fifties who said he'd had ME 'a very long time' and couldn't 'imagine ever being well again'.

There was a gentleman in his 90's who has had ME for over 45 years and he manages to control it with supplements, although he had just recovered from a major relapse which lasted over a year six weeks ago. he had been bedbound all that time.

There was an elderly couple who were elated to see us collecting for ME and said they had never seen anyone collecting before. Her daughter has had ME for 16 years and the lady got quite emotional right there in the store and set me off with a few tears to be honest!

There was a woman who's sister had been diagnosed with ME five years ago but just in the past six months had been found to have MS.

There was a lady whose sister has ME and lives in New Zealand...she said she get's quite good medical care out there and it seems to be much better understood.

There was a woman in her thirties who said her father has had ME for many years.

There were several people who had 'worked with' and been support workers or teachers to adults and children with ME.

There was a woman who'd had ME for 8 years but felt that she was much better now and able to manage the illness.

There was a woman who had a friend who'd had ME for many years.

There was a woman whose daughter had just been diagnosed with ME six months ago at the clinic in Edinburgh...I asked if they had offered her any good advice or care and she stated that they told her push herself and not to give in to ME...I advised her that this was completely the wrong thing to do and urged her to visit the Invest in ME website to get more acurate advice on how to manage ME.

There was woman who's friend has had ME for over twenty years and is very severely affected.

There was a man who said his sister had ME.

There were numerous people who stated that a neighbour or a person where they work had ME.

There were too many of these people, this really opened my eyes to the fact that ME is becoming more prevalent...it actually scared me more than ever before!

But...All in all...today was a good day and the first of several collections we have planned.

Our next one is 17th December in Asda Store Berwick...I think I'll have to dress Clive as a Santa and maybe I can be his little (well large) helper! haha!

Carole x"

A big thank you to Carole, Clive, and the the manager of the Berwick Upon Tweed branch of Morrisons, Richard Hutton.

Carol has now produced an easy guide to doing a collection for Invest in ME in supermarkets or other stores.   

If you would like to plan a collection in your local supermarket, or have other fund-raising ideas you would like to organise contact us at fundraising4me@gmail.com