When you're seriously ill, or you're caring for a family member, it can be hard to communicate with family and friends. It can be even harder to ask for help! All that is about to change with the introduction of No More Grapes!
(Callum in hospital at 8 weeks old with a severe allergic reaction)
In the early days of Callum suffering with allergies, we used to spend quite a lot of time in and out of hospital.
Initially it would be trips to day clinics for eczema, or another trip to A&E for help with his ongoing symptoms, but then came the times when we would be there for longer. Such as the time when he was battling staph due to severely infected eczema triggered by an allergic reaction. When this happened, it would usually mean a 3 – 4 day stay in hospital for treatment such as intravenous antibiotics, nebulisers, and regular monitoring to ensure Callum didn’t get any worse. There have been 3 occasions where the reaction has been so bad we weren’t sure what the outcome would be.
Friends and family would understandably be worried and wanting to be kept up to date with what was happening, but I’m sure as many of you will agree, signal in hospitals isn’t exactly the best. So, it was quite hard to stay in contact.
Now, a few weeks ago, I was introduced to the newly launched ‘No More Grapes’ and I wish it had been around sooner and also that I’d been able to use it all those times Callum was in hospital. It would have been so much help to us!
‘No More Grapes’ was set up by Nicky and her close friends and family to help connect with family and friends of people who are ill, in care or recovery. It’s essentially an online, safe and importantly, secure area where you can connect with friends and family and support them too.
On their website they state ‘Our mission is to improve the lives of those with illness by making it easier for friends and family to provide support’
Following a diagnosis of cancer, Nicky lived with cancer for 7 years, and she realised that whilst her friends and family wanted to help and support her, there was no immediate way to stay in touch with them or even request support in ways that would help her and the family.
As recognised on their website, ‘realising Nicky was slightly weary of traditional gifts of fruit and flowers, her family and friends adopted a new and different approach to help support her from near and far’.
As a result, ‘No More Grapes’ was born. It provides a modern, up to date and practical form of help to make life easier for the whole family during the tough times.
So how does it work?
Basically, you create your own profile, and then invite friends and family to your ‘circle’. They will then receive an email inviting them to join. You can’t search for anyone as it is a private network, so privacy is fully protected, important when you’re going through a difficult time and not wanting intrusion.
It includes a calendar so you can advise of important dates, such as treatment start dates and also notifications to those within the circle to be able to provide support when it’s needed most!
In addition, there’s the ability to create a wish list of things that you might want or need, that your ‘circle’ can purchase for you without the need to ask what you need. It’s that extra security of knowing others have your back!
Why is this so good?
I know many struggle with how to communicate with people who are poorly, or are caring for those who are poorly. What’s the ‘right’ thing to say? What’s the ‘right’ thing to do? How often should you get in contact? How do you show that you want to help without bombarding them or even the other way, and staying too quiet? It can be hard to find a good balance. This clever website takes the guess work away!
I think you can probably guess that I absolutely love this website, and think it is a stroke of pure genius!
It takes away the fear of not knowing how to ask for help!
Sometimes it's hard to answer the well meaning questions of loved ones, and this can share all the necessary details on your behalf.
But above all, it can show you the amount of support you have from loved ones, when you need it the most. It's a constant reminder that you are not alone, and that you have your own community, or rather 'circle' that have your back every step of the way!
For more details and to set up your own circle, simply visit www.nomoregrapes.org
(Photo credit: No More Grapes)
(NB: This is a post in collaboration with No More Grapes but all views and comments are my own)