Every year since 2013 I have held a tea party to raise funds and awareness of M.E.
This year is no different. On Sunday 21st May I’ll be doing it again. My friends and family meet up to drink tea and eat cake, each donating the price they’d expect to pay in a cafe. We raise hundreds each year in just a few hours.
As much of my support system is now found online, I also ask those who essentially ‘live in my computer’ to join in too. All from the comfort of their own home. So many of my friends are confined to their beds or are housebound and so travelling to my tea party is just not an option. Instead I post pictures and videos of my fundraiser online to try to give those stuck at home a taste of what it’s like to be there.
Those joining me online usually stock up of cake and biscuits ahead of time ready to stuff their faces on the tea party day. I ask that they send in pictures of their own mini tea parties so that others can see and feel a part of the action.
The idea of a tea party as a fundraiser came from one of my first Poorly Birthdays. I was too unwell to have many visitors or to go out celebrating with my friends and family. So I created a Facebook Event asking my friends if they’d send me a picture of them eating cake and toasting my birthday. Seeing their faces made it feel as if I really was celebrating my birthday with them. I have all of those precious photos printed off and in an album. That online birthday party allowed me to feel like I wasn’t as isolated at a time when I was missing out on so much and unable to spend much time with my loved ones because I was so poorly.
My health has dipped slightly so this year’s event may not be on the same scale as the last couple of years, but again I’m asking my friends and family to join me in person or online. I’ve also heard from a few of my online pals that they’re hoping to make the journey this year which will be so lovely!