WEGO Health Awards Nomination 2018


Hi, my name is Beth Francis
And I’m Andy Clark, and together we’ve been
working on a project that we have called
“100 Days of Vitamin Sea”.
I was diagnosed with chronic migraine in 2017
and suddenly chronic illness became this huge
part of my identity and something which really
limited my life. I went from being really
active to being completely unable to do things,
and I found that really difficult to cope with
Chronic migraine is a horrible neurological
disease, and its something that’s really widely
misunderstood. A lot of people think that
its just a headache, or even worse, that it’s
a trend on social media and a silly pose,
and that is just not what it is at all.
It has a lot of different neurological symptoms
– not just headache, and its something that’s
really really scary and something that’s really
really difficult to live with. Its not just
a headache, or a hashtag.
From the start we wanted to be very proactive
with this, or at least as proactive as we
were able to be and we started doing lots
of research about the effects on wellbeing
of being in nature. We uncovered that there
is a lot knowledge out there, and a lot of
experience about how beneficial being in and
around nature can be, so we thought we’d give
it a go and have decided to document our experience
over the last year through a film.
We didn’t set out to be advocates for chronic
migraine or chronic illness at the start,
we just wanted to document our journey and
share what we were going through. But along
the way we have shared many clips and photos
on social media and amassed a following of
lovely people who have given us a platform
to really advocate for what migraine is like to live
with and what chronic illness is like, and
also the benefits of being in nature.
We’ve been so lucky that we’ve been invited
to give talks at a university; we’ve had news
articles written on BBC News; we’ve been interviewed
live at the beach for BBC Radio Wales and
appeared in front of millions of people live
on BBC Breakfast.
The huge and tremendous community of people
that we have been introduced to through this
project: fellow migraine sufferers, or wild
swimmers, or people whose eyes have been opened
by what we’ve been doing, has been one of
the most moving elements and we didn’t expect
it, but its been one of the most impactful
things to have come from this, the way that
we have connected with so many people and
been reaffirmed in what we are doing as well.
And the stories that people have shared with
us along the way – people who have seen what
we are doing and realised what migraine is
like to live with, or realised how beneficial
being out in the water can be for them – that’s
been incredible.
Being nominated for “Rookie of the Year” and
“Best Team Performance” is something that
means an awful lot to us. We are so passionate
about what we are doing and really excited
to share what we have learned with the wider
community, and we think that it can help a
lot of people.
I think that what we are showing is quite
unique. We’ve got the carers perspective,
the chronic illness sufferers perspective,
but also something really proactive that a
lot of people could engage with. I’m really
excited that we are now working with researchers
at universities in the UK to create a project
that can take some of what we have learned
and put it in to practice.
Finally, we would like to say a huge thank
you to everyone who has endorsed us so far,
it means the world.
And if you like what we are doing we’d be
really grateful if you could show us some
support.

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