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All posts in Charity

Here’s the wonderful Paula and her wonderful escapades! While other children were dreaming of becoming an astronaut, fireman or race car driver, Paula was suffering severe anxiety. By her own admission, she missed out on a childhood. It was only when a chance photo on her 30th birthday made her realise she was living life in hiding that something changed in her soul. With the support of her husband, Paula overcame her anxieties and started making up for lost time.

All those childhood dreams other kids had? Paula’s tried them all now. She’s a testament to what you can achieve when you refuse to let anything hold you back and she’s also an absolute dream to work with and write about.

If you’ve had some wild adventures, get in touch today, we love adventures here at Phoenix…

Paula is out in this week’s Best. An aptly named title for her new life!

Janine is one of the most wonderful people I have ever written about. I just wish that I wasn’t writing about the heartbreaking circumstances Janine finds herself in. We’ve worked together lots now and she is the funniest, warmest, most loveliest woman ever. Her daughters have inherited all those beautiful traits and also have a way with words that puts me to shame – check out the letter they wrote their mum in the attached article.

Janine has secondary incurable cancer. She has a hell of a fight on her hands but fight she does. Meanwhile, she’s also raising awareness of the importance of women (and men) checking their bodies for lumps and bumps regularly – making a boobie date once a month. Check out Janine’s website here. 

She’s also frantically raising money for her own treatment plan because the NHS is out of options for her. So if you can spare any pennies, click through to Janine’s site and donate.

Read Janine’s story in this week’s Woman Magazine. And here she is winning Mum Idol in the Sun on Mother’s Day. A most deserving accolade for this SuperMum!

That I get to write about extraordinary women like Memory fills my heart with pride. That extraordinary women like Memory exist, fills my heart with joy. Memory grew up determined to choose for herself when she would marry, despite her culture forcing children as young as ten to marry against their will, often after they’d experienced the horror of a sexual initiation camp, which is every bit as horrific as it sounds. Memory said no. Memory said no for herself and through her tenacity and determination, she said no for generations of women to follow her. She changed the law and she will change the culture.

Out in this week’s Reveal. Check out Plan International UK for more of their campaigns.

DANIELSrachelTAB (Large)Hello everyone! Happy World Down’s syndrome Day – a momentous global celebration uniting every corner of the world. You can read more about the events taking place here. 

Last year I wrote a blog charting all the stories I’d been lucky enough to write in the preceding 12 months, and I did the same the year before… Here I am again! I am so, so proud to have written so many life-affirming stories about extraordinary people in the Down’s syndrome community, who have kindly welcomed me into their fold. Together, we have championed Down’s syndrome and illustrated over and over again that Down’s syndrome is no impediment to a fulfilling, happy and rewarding life, that society need not fear Down’s syndrome, that we are, in fact, lucky to know these talented, charming, confident, gorgeous individuals.

NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) continues to gather pace and what I’d like to be writing about this time next year, is that the NHS retrained all medical professionals in the reality of Down’s syndrome, so that the inevitable increase in prenatal diagnoses is accompanied by a fresh and realistic portrayal of what life might have in store. To screen out Down’s syndrome would be to create a society lacking diversity and says more about society than it does about Down’s syndrome.

To the Down’s syndrome community I say I love you and I say thank you. Thank you for continuing to let me write about and celebrate you. Here’s this year’s collective of our stories: Read more

DSUOwoman (Medium)Super pleased with this three page extravaganza in Woman magazine this week! Down’s syndrome has been in the news a lot in the last few months because the NHS has approved a new antenatal test that will make diagnosis easier to detect. The Down’s syndrome community fear that the NHS approach to delivering this diagnosis is not up to date and realistic. It is, sadly, still delivered to parents in an outdated, often rude and terrifying way.

If prenatal diagnosis is going to become more common, the NHS needs to review the way the news is delivered. The old leaflets don’t portray a realistic future for children who have Down’s syndrome today. This has got to change. And that’s what we’re campaigning for here and across numerous media platforms. Tell it right, start it right.

I am so proud of my work writing about the Down’s syndrome community. If you would like to share your story, please get in touch today.

Well here’s a story to melt your heart. As if Boo hadn’t suffered enough when he lost the sight in one eye to cancer, he was then shot at point blank range by some teenagers and lost the sight in his other eye. Rescued by the wonderful team at Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Boo was given a paddock of his own, as a herd of horses would have been too overwhelming. But he needed a friend – horses like company, just like humans. Enter stage left, the wonderful Oliver, the most patient kind horse ever! Oliver was Boo’s guide and companion for years. But tragedy struck when Oliver fell ill. His final moments were spent with Boo by his side and even just writing this summary is making me weep all over again. We all need a friend like Oliver, a guide in the darkness, a friend when we’re in need.

Redwings work tirelessly to help over 40,000 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. They need our help continuing their good work so if you can donate, please do here.

nyresbest-largeA new year, a new beginning, a new you, right? We’ve all been there, making resolutions to be better versions of ourselves. Most of us fail after about 17 hours. (Just me?) But these three beauties took their resolutions right through the year and kept going!

Kell made a pact to try something new every week, Sarah ditched shopping and learned to sew her own clothes and Nikki vowed to give to the food bank every time she shopped – and all succeeded in seeing their resolutions turn into habits. Well done team!

If you’ve kept up your resolutions, let’s hear it! Get in touch today. This story is out in Best this week.

willcockwendybest-largeThis gorgeous open letter comes from mum Wendy to her beautiful daughter Abbie, who has autism and sees the world in a unique way. Worried that she is ‘different’ and longing to be ‘normal’, Abbie often confides in her mum that she wishes she didn’t have autism. But Wendy sees her daughter’s super-power. She sees Abbie’s view of the world as a beautiful rarity that the rest of us are missing out on and in this letter, you can really see the protective and adorable bond between mother and daughter.

Out in this week’s Best.

If you’d like to share a story about autism, please do get in touch. Thank you!

wrightheloisebest-largeHere’s my beautiful friend Heloise (story on the bottom right) and her angelic children in a story that celebrates the true spirit of Christmas. Heloise and I went to school together and I’m proud to know her and watch her bring up her children so wonderfully. When I wrote my own story about my darling sister Pip, it was Heloise’s boys who got a mention in the part about seeing Pip as a superhero… That’s because Heloise’s children are just like Heloise – kind, generous beings who are fun, hilarious and lovely to be around.

Christmas is well underway now, the mags are full of Christmas cheer! If you have a festive story get in touch today.

mavromoustakinatfab-largeFor an insider’s take on what is really happening at the continent’s many refugee camps, read Natalia’s memories from her time volunteering at Idomeni in Greece, on the border of Macedonia. She was there during the period that Macedonia closed their borders, leaving Idomeni to cope with 15,000 refugees. Natalia tells us what the press didn’t at the time – the moments of courage and kindness and compassion.

Her story reminds us all that refugees are our fellow humans, running from danger. They deserve our courage, kindness and compassion – something Natalia has in spades.

She appeared in this week’s Fabulous magazine. If you’d like to share a similar story, please get in touch today.