Idea #1: Wiggley Bags for treating children with cancer (also, sock monkeys)
My son was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three. He had a Hickman line fitted (a central line that you put chemo through, take blood from, give drugs through and feed when they can no longer take food. It’s also used for blood transfusions and platelets) These lines carry a high risk of infection, can get caught easily and can be dangerous if yanked out, so some hospitals have a “wiggley bag” that you put the line in to keep it safe. But not many hospitals do this, and there are not many bags. So I decided to make a Facebook page and a few ladies joined me in making and sending these for free to all oncology children’s hospitals over the uk and also direct to families. We have made thousands and have even sent them to the USA and Canada. We do not ask for any money, and postage comes out of our pocket too as I know how hard it is when your child is on treatment. We also make sock monkeys with mini hickman line bags on that I supply to GOSH (Great Ordmond Street Hospital) and families when their child has their line fitted. We have also made gifts for terminally ill children and button covers (tummy tubes) This, as you can imagine, is costly and we all do this from our own money so all help is fantastic.
This idea is important because: It makes smiles for the children who are going through the worst time of their lives. We make the bags to order so if they like Mr Tumble we buy that material or ribbon, Disney princesses we do that too etc etc. All these little things are so important to not only the child but to the parents too as every smile is cherished as I know all too well.
How funding would help: It would help buy the fabric and help with postage and socks for the monkeys. The button covers need an expensive type of material to absorb the stomach acid and stop it burning the kids’ stomachs.
Six months from now: I would still be doing the same and making more smiles. As children are diagnosed every day and we send at least 5 to each child.
WINNER! Idea #2: Supporting people with mental health difficulties to articulate the way they feel.
Just Listening to You make available important space and confidentiality to talk about difficult matters. JLTY are providing counselling via art and dance; we would like to employ a key worker for a project to provide articulative creation.
This idea is important because: It is so important that people in difficulty manage to articulate how they feel on a regular basis, creative expression keeps suicide at bay.
How funding would help: With funding we would be able to payroll a support worker to provide this need to the mental health community.
Six months from now: We continue to search for funding, we will have an active charity with help from SAVs and other official offices, and we will continually grow providing support for those in the community that need it.
Idea #3: Spanish Circle – building community, sharing culture
I currently host a monthly Spanish Circle meeting in a local church hall. It is for all those wishing to practice Spanish and for native speakers who want to keep up with their culture. We rent a church hall a Friday evening of every month as this is the most cost effective means open to us but what we would like to do is have a meet at a more convenient time to allow children to attend as at the moment parental obligations prevent many people and their kids from attending.
This idea is important because: To keep and spread a sense of community within an ever growing section of the community and encourage the sharing of cultures and language through fun play and informative presentations
How funding would help: It would help with the cost of renting an appropriate venue at an appropriate time, the subsequent advertising for the events, refreshments, materials and extra costs.
Six months from now: I would hope that the existing ‘Spanish Circle’ has become bigger and includes more children, both native speakers and keen learners !