Friday, 24 March 2017

The 40 Fortycubed charities

It sounded like a lot of charities when I started but it has been a real struggle to limit myself to 40 charities.  I apologise now to friends and family who feel I have missed their preferred charity off the list.  

The total raised so far is £2488.98 and the Fortycubed fundraising challenge does not officially launch until October!

I have chosen charities which mean something to me or mean something to a friend or member of my family.  The 40 charities are listed below.  Please click on the name to be directed to the charity's website if you wish to find out more about their work. 

As I write blog posts on the individual charities I will be setting up a dedicated Fortycubed JustGiving page for each charity if you wish to donate directly but there will be lots of opportunities to donate via events and activities over the next 18 months.

If you prefer to manage your blog reading via Bloglovin' I have now registered my blog on the site. 

Thanks to all those who have already shown massive enthusiasm and support for this project.  You know who you are and I am very grateful.

Saturday, 18 March 2017


My first miscarriage began on Mother's Day as my daughter and husband were downstairs preparing breakfast for me. I had sailed through my first pregnancy and was so excited for baby number 2 to join our little family.  I was fully aware of the risk of miscarriage and as a result we had cancelled a family holiday as I didn't want to fly in the early weeks of pregnancy. 

On that morning I jumped out of bed to use the bathroom before my then 2 year old arrived proudly with her tray of goodies for me.  I was bleeding.  By the evening I had been admitted to hospital overnight as they monitored my bleeding and waited to give me a scan in the morning.  Sadly, this wasn't the only scan that gave unwanted results.  I went on to have a further two miscarriages over the next 18 months including one that I lost intact in the amniotic sac in the toilets of the local theatre during the interval at the panto.  I conceived twins in the Autumn of 2007.  One of the twins didn't make it to the 12 week scan.  One of the twins made it to full term (and a bit extra) and I was blessed with the safe arrival of another daughter.  18 months later my little boy was born despite heavy bleeding undermining my confidence throughout the pregnancy.



This period was one of turmoil and deep sadness.  I have come to the conclusion that there are no 'right' words to say to someone dealing with a miscarriage.  From the moment you get a positive result you have dreamed of a life.  As with all grief, everyone deals with miscarriage differently.  Each time I started bleeding I would search the Internet for stories of people who had bled and gone on to have a successful pregnancy.  There was a whole world of people trying to support each other through the pain and the uncertainty of the future.

For the record, it was not 'for the best' and it was not because I am a vegetarian/stressed/tired/anxious/overweight/any other blame you want to lay at my door.  It may have been inevitable at conception but each one of them was very much wanted and I was ready to love.

Seeking Support


There have been few advances in preventing miscarriage and it is very common but still remains a taboo subject.  Doctors may appear unsympathetic because in reality there is very little they can do to help you.  Like with infertility your life becomes a constant countdown from ovulation, to the first day you can take a pregnancy test and, if it is positive, you then countdown to the 12 week scan; then to the 20 week scan or when you feel the baby move (whichever comes first) and then you wait for a safe delivery before you dare to believe you will be able to look forward to a future again.

I have chosen The Miscarriage Association as one of the 40 fortycubed charities this year because we need to talk about the immense pain that many men and women are carrying in their daily lives.  The Miscarriage Association supports people through the fear of loss, the experience of loss, the after effects of loss and daring to dream for the future.  If you would like to donate to The Miscarriage Association please do so by following this link. We will be fundraising for The Miscarriage Association and the 39 other fortycubed charities at the Gala Dinner in October.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Sanitary Towels and Easter Eggs!

The tickets have arrived and today I took my creative friend who designed them over to the venue for the charity dinner so she could get some ideas for decoration at the event.   

On the way back I tried my first ever (vegetarian) meatballs at Ikea and as if that wasn't enough fun for one day, we then headed to pick up some Click and Collect items from the supermarket.

This Sunday our local church is organising a community action day including a litter pick, a knitting bee and a collection for mother and baby items for Syrian refugees.  I have supported Bloody Good Period for a while now and this week I read the devastating reports of young women in the UK  missing school because they are unable to afford sanitary towels.  Looking at the items listed as requested donations I felt that sanitary towels were the natural choice.

The young man at the supermarket who was collecting my purchases for me shouted casually across the car park 'what is it you are picking up?'  I stood tall and shouted back just as casually and twice as loudly, 'sanitary towels and Easter eggs!' That young man never made it back into the loading area but sent his colleague out with the goodies instead!

So forty packs of sanitary towels will be donated this weekend by the fortycubed family and one young man will be reflecting on the benefits of bulk buying items that will always be essential on the shopping list.

Friday, 10 March 2017

What a week!


Last Sunday my big sister took on her first half marathon and raised £155 for MIND in the process.    She is fairly new to this running lark and I am very proud of her achievement.  She has obviously caught the running bug as she is already talking about shaving minutes off her time at the next half marathon.    She is also very competitive about fundraising and as the fortycubed 'champion' for MIND over the coming year she is asking for regular reports of the running total raised specifically for this charity (which currently stands at £540). 

In other news

My Facebook and Twitter timelines were full of inspirational stories and quotes as we celebrated International Women's Day this week and one of my fortycubed chosen charities had a special reason to celebrate.  Freedom from Fistula UK announced the safe arrival of their first quadruplets born at AWC in Sierra Leone.  What a great day for four new members of the global sisterhood to be born.

Closer to home

Fortycubed launches officially in October with a Charity Gala Dinner.  My creative friend has been diligently designing the tickets and today, the designs were sent to the printers which called for a silly photo shoot to celebrate.