Sunday, 21 June 2015

My Blue Sunday Tea Party

A few weeks ago I mentioned on twitter and instagram that I was having a Blue Sunday Tea Party.  My intention was to have a write up on here with a bit more information about the day and to announce the final total a few days afterwards. However unfortunately life (mainly chronic illness) got in the way, and it has taken me several weeks to do so!

The event was started by Anna Jones who had the first Tea Party 3 years ago.  Her initial idea was to have a Tea Party with friends and family where she asked them to pay what they would expect to spend on tea and coffee in a tea shop. She gave the money to the M.E. Association, and thus Blue Sunday was born! Since then the event has gradually gained popularity, and has been taken on by the M.E. Association as one of their official fundraisers. It is held on the Sunday of M.E. awareness week every year.

When me and my parents saw an article about the Tea Party in the M.E. Association magazine, we knew that it was something for us! We have held similar events in the past, and my Mum is known for making cakes. We invited our neighbours, friends and my parents colleagues. It was difficult to know what to plan for, as we didn't really know how many people would be coming. My Mum baked about 10 cakes just to be sure and Dad tidied up the garden and the front of the house. We decided to divide the Tea Party into a morning and an afternoon session, to give time  to tidy up, reset the tables and eat lunch.

In the lead up to the tea party my sleep pattern had become very late due to insomnia, a common M.E. symptom, so we planned for me to only come to the second half of the tea party.  Unfortunately due to all of the excitement and hearing people come into the house, I was actually awake unusually early, which made me too tired to participate in the fun!  I was resting in the bedroom above the front door though, so I could hear people come and go, and the house was full of laughter which I very much enjoyed! Looking back I felt part of the event, and realise that going downstairs would have been far more tiring than I had previously imagined. I would have unwittingly been the centre of attention, everyone asking me how I was and so on. Also the noise would have been too much for me as I suffer from sensory overload, a symptom of M.E. where the body is unable to tolerate loud noises and finds them painful to take in.

I have noticed that since the Blue Sunday Tea Party, friends and family (even those who weren't able to attend the event) have been exceptionally kind and understanding. One neighbour who couldn't come to the tea party not only gave a generous amount, but also out of the blue picked up an audio book form the library for me as she knows that my brain fog makes it very difficult to read, she also gave me a bar of chocolate, it is worth mentioning that audio books are not free to borrow!

Another friend of my parents after talking to my Mum about my hobbies brought around a HUGE  bag of the most lovely fabrics, beads and trimmings for me to experiment with.  Mum had just told her that I am now able to sit and sew for a few hours a week.

The kindness that has been shown from friends and family has really astounded me.  It shows that when given the information people really do care and are happy to help, they just need to know what to do.

Millionaire's shortbread from the tea party

The final donations have all come in, and I am happy to say that we made £506.00 not including gift aid! I couldn't be more pleased with this as my initial goal was £200, and I felt that the number was a bit of a lofty aspiration.

After the success of this year we have already begun to think about what we would like to do next year.  At the moment my sister is planning to run the Southampton half-marathon as long as her training goes to plan!

In the mean time I am thinking about what I can do to raise money, because I am very aware that I haven't actually done anything. All of the work has been done by my family members! I have a lot of free time since leaving university, and need something to do as I gradually get more energy. I am thinking about starting an Etsy shop selling the things that I have made such as knitted accessories and bags made on the sewing machine etc.  I am not sure how it is going to go though, watch this space and I will let you know if I do do anything.

I know that I have been quiet for a while, it's not because I have been especially ill, I just needed time to recover after a busy May. My health has been gradually improving since January, so I hope to be doing more as time goes on.


  1. Loving to read about your day and the kindness of those around you

  2. I am very lucky to have some lovely people in my life! :)

  3. What an amazing amount of money to raise! I'm so happy to hear about how kind people have been since too- sounds like the event was fantastic for raising awareness. I'm sorry you weren't able to join in but am delighted that in general you have been improvement- long may it continue xxx

  4. What a fantastic amount to raise. Well done! That's also amazing that people are being so kind and understanding, such a good way to raise awareness :)

  5. Thanks Donna, I really wasn't expecting that amount to be raised! The people in my life are lovely!

  6. I didn't really think about the awarenes raising aspect of it until afterwards, I'm so used to knowing all of the facts it is easy to forget that others don't know them. It was definitely an unexpected positive from the event! xxx


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