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All posts in Charity

I absolutely loved working with Kristina on this feature. She had an idea to create an advent calendar with a charity twist – behind every door is a 50p contribution to a charity. The premise supports 24 incredible charities, all carefully selected by Kristina and covering good causes in various areas, from children in need to animals in need and everything in between. It is such a lovely idea and this year, she’s already reached £150k raised.

What an achievement – the calendars are stocked on Advent Of Change and also in John Lewis and Waitrose. So much better than chocolate!

You can read Kristina’s feature in Notebook here.

What happened to Natalie is unfathomable. You may have read about her in the papers back on that fateful day and in the weeks and months that followed. We were a nation unable to believe her own partner, the father of her unborn child, could have done what he did.
But, he did. And that’s something Natalie had to come to terms with and move on from. In her incredible book, Still Standing, she goes into more detail about the relationship, the attack and what happened next. It’s written with raw honesty and I highly recommend it.

Natalie is a powerhouse – since recovering from her injuries she has become something of a Wonder Woman, taking part in all sorts of challenges and adventures to raise money for the Midland Air Ambulance.

Here she is in Closer magazine, out today.

Ah, isn’t this gorgeous? Four daughters and one son who were adopted write open letters of thanks and adoration to the mums who adopted them and helped shape their lives for the better. I love adoption – it is not easy but it is incredible and these five families are testament to the rewards.

Out now in Take A Break.

The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes took a group of people with varying forms of dementia and gave them the opportunity to work in a restaurant – the results are on 4od now. It’s a great concept for a show and an experiment – incredible people have been written off as incapable of working but the show asks what happens if you give people responsibility again?

Lorayne was one of the participants and has early onset frontotemporal dementia. Here she tells her story in Best and it was wonderful to work with her. Lorayne has lost none of her wit, strength or courage.
The title refers to the film Still Alice, which is a devastating but poignant watch. Lorayne’s story is out now in Best.

This isn’t an easy read, but it’s poignant and beautiful and Jon’s attitude towards the double tragedy he and wife Vikki faced is utterly gorgeous. Because he’s glad he had the little time he had with his twin sons. He’s grateful to the medical team who tried to save their lives, the friends he made while living in the worst possible circumstances, the kindness of those who helped his family during their time of need. It’s these things he focuses on – what a wonderful man he is.

Daughter Cecily Hope was born just a few weeks ago, making this coming Father’s Day both a happy and a sad one for Jon. Read his story in Best now…

Jon was supported by Ronald McDonald House Charities, a home away from home for families in his position. Find out more at www.rmhc.org.uk

 

Donna shares her story of how she watched Parkinson’s disease overwhelm her grandmother and her mother. Now battling it herself, Donna is such a brave and courageous woman, determined to give her own daughter the best life she can. It’s too soon to know if Beau has inherited Parkinson’s too but Donna lives in fear that she has.

With donations, research into Parkinson’s will find a cure before Beau grows up. Please visit Parkinson’s UK to donate.

Donna’s story is out now in Bella.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house while I was working on this story – Jon’s love for his wife Rach shone through his words and it was an honour to write for him.

Over on my ‘charity’ page you can see the link for Jon’s fundraising campaign – he’s raising money for Breast Cancer Care to thank the charity for the support they gave his family during Rach’s cancer battle.

His story is out now in Bella.

Happy World Down’s syndrome Day 2019! It’s become my tradition to collate all the stories about all the legends of the Down’s syndrome community I’ve written about in the past year, to mark this wonderful, worldwide celebration. I have written about amazing children like Max, who I wrote about over Christmas for Best and Chat, who is just about the most gorgeous little elf in the world. I wrote a lovely feature for Best in the style of an open letter from mums Emma, Pippy and Vicky to themselves, offering advice on the day their children Corin, Leo and Audrey came into the world. Remember the Carpool Karaoke video that went mega-viral? We placed a story about a few of the mums involved, in Bella. And then there were a few stories about older people who had Down’s syndrome and are blazing trails – beauty queen Kate shared her story in the Sunday People and huge, happy congrats to Heidi, who shared her story in Best just recently, detailing the day her fiance proposed. I look forward to writing about your wedding, Heidi!

For more information about Down’s syndrome, visit www.futureofdowns.com an online community offering friendly support for parents and an up to date, balanced view of life with the condition.

Click ‘read more’ here to see all these fantastic stories in print! Read more

I mean – seriously. Could Willow be any cuter? My latest Christmas themed story is about a beautiful little lady called Willow, who came along and completed her family. Hers is the sort of story Christmas is made for, because Christmas is a time for love and gratitude for those we keep close.

For more information about Down’s syndrome, visit www.futureofdowns.com, an online community offering friendly support for parents and an up to date, balanced view of life with the condition.

Catch Willow in Bella – out now!

I mean… sometimes I just melt! Here’s Max and Cory, two beautiful souls brought together in tragic circumstances, now bringing Christmas cheer to children in hospital over the festive season, every year.

Such beautiful families who have been through so much, but keep smiling and making the world a better place. A very merry Christmas story indeed – out now in Pick Me Up.