Turning Sufferers into Supporters - Guest Post
As the Pregnancy Sickness Support Volunteer Conference gets closer we are confirming the details of the day and getting the word out to as many current and future volunteers as possible.
The charity is lucky to be supported by a wonderful PR expert Jo Crosby who has suffered with the condition herself and will presenting at the conference. Jo has put together a fantastic press release about the event.
BRISTOL TO HOST PREGNANCY SICKNESS SUPPORT CONFERENCE ON 14th MAY
Conference Follows Opening of Pregnancy Sickness Unit at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol and
Aims to Turn Sufferers into Supporters and Recruit More Volunteers in the South West & Wales
CORNWALL, 28th April 2016: On Saturday 14th May, Bristol will host the third conference for volunteers and supporters of the charity Pregnancy Sickness Support. The conference is a hands on training day for volunteers, enabling skills and knowledge development alongside networking and sharing opportunities. Attendees can meet the Patrons and Trustees and have the opportunity to learn more about getting involved with the international research agenda for Hyperemesis Gravidarum and to find out about volunteering for the charity.
The conference follows on from the opening of a new hyperemesis unit for pregnant women at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol, which aims to improve the treatment of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Pregnancy Sickness Support welcomed news of the new unit at St Michael’s, although it is one of only 17 in the UK and Ireland and the charity continues to campaign for more units plus better treatment and support for women with the condition.
“We have previously hosted conferences in Nuneaton and Birmingham and these have been a tremendous success in raising awareness of the condition, educating our supporters and helping to build a bigger network of volunteers,” said Caitlin Dean, Chairwoman of Pregnancy Sickness Support. “We will have some inspiring speakers join us at the conference and it is also great opportunity for the speakers to also learn more by meeting with those who have directly suffered from the condition.
“We now have a network of over 200 volunteers across the UK, but we are looking for more people to join us and help support women with this debilitating condition. We currently have a shortage of volunteers in Wales and at this very time we are supporting a number of women in the South West in their pregnancies. We would be delighted to welcome current volunteers, those interested in volunteering or finding out more and Midwives and Medical Professionals to the conference so we can ensure that women suffering with this condition get the very best care and support during their pregnancy.”
Founded as a Charitable Trust in 2002, Pregnancy Sickness Support is a registered UK charity working to improve care, treatment and support for women suffering from Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy and the severe form of the condition; Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Pregnancy Sickness Support is a small charity, relying heavily on donations and fund-raising from sufferers and the work of volunteers.
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy affects 70-80% of pregnant women to a greater or lesser extent. Over 30% of women in paid employment need time off work and 1 in 100-150 women will be admitted to hospital due to the severity of their condition. This extreme end of the nausea and vomiting spectrum is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which is a severe and potentially life threatening condition which can have a profound effect on the sufferer’s health and wellbeing.
Volunteers can support the charity in a number of ways, including fundraising, awareness raising and peer supporting enabling them to develop and use their knowledge and skills to gain positive outcomes from their experience of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Volunteers had this to say about their work for the charity:
- “As volunteers we may not be able to find the cause and cure for HG, but one thing we can do is lessen that feeling of isolation and not being understood. I longed for such support during my first pregnancy... and vowed to myself at that point I would try to find fellow sufferers and give them the help I never got. Second time round I was bombarded with love, information and support thanks to Pregnancy Sickness Support and also Beyond Morning Sickness. The difference these people made was indescribable and I feel so privileged to be able to support others in the same way. To offer them hope, give them information at critical times, and keep shining a torch through their dark tunnel is such a rewarding, and also therapeutic, thing to do. In some cases I have been told the support has made the difference between life and death. Volunteers are crucial and I feel so privileged to be one,” - Heather Miranda.
- “It helped me feel useful again. Sharing a common knowledge and experience has been healing in many ways,” - Katy Roberts-Dempsey.
- “A Pregnancy Sickness Support volunteer helped me get survive Hyperemesis Gravidarum and, without a doubt, I couldn't have done it without their support. Volunteering means I might be able to support someone else going through hell and, hopefully help them cope even just a little bit, until it's over,” – Lisa Lee.
- “It's great to be able to give something back to a charity that helped me through my pregnancy. It's rewarding supporting a fellow sufferer,” - Amy Seemore.
The conference will take place at the Engine Shed, Station Approach, Bristol, BS1 6QH, starting at 9am on Saturday 14th May and concluding at 4pm. The conference will be opened by Pregnancy Sickness Support Patron Lady Cumberledge (NHS Maternity Review Chair).
Tickets for the conference are priced at £20 each and are available online here. Bursaries are available if cost is an issue to attending and further information is available on the Pregnancy Sickness Support website here. There are only 50 tickets remaining and booking in advance is required.
Full information about the conference can be found online here.
For further information please contact:
East West Communications Ltd
T: 07131 85975
Jo Crosby is a freelance public relations consultant and writer. She has worked for Reuters, Getty Images, A1GP, Financial Times and Time magazine. She can be found tweeting @jocrosbypr
TICKETS / CONFERENCE ENQUIRIES:
Pregnancy Sickness Support