Archive | August, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby

28 Aug

The social media world has gone ice bucket challenge crazy. For those of you wise enough to avoid social media, the gist of the idea is that you tip a bucket of icy water over yourself, either in lieu of or in addition to making a donation to MND, and nominate friends/colleagues/enemies to do the same.

There’s been quite a lot of comment about the fact that something which, at least in the US, was predominantly promoting ALS (as MND is known there), is being adopted by quite a large number of charities here and diluting the MND message. I’m leaving that particular hot potato alone for the time being.

What I do want to comment on is this: as with any craze, there’s now a sense of ice bucket fatigue. People are pointing out it wastes water and that maybe there’s a bit of attention-seeking going on. I’m sure they’re right. But the campaign is raising awareness and significant additional funds for a disease which is still relatively poorly understood and incurable.

And I make no apology for the next bit, which is probably the wrong side of emotionally manipulative: plenty of you will probably wander off at some point during your working day to make yourself a cup of tea and maybe you’ll chat with your colleagues about how this ice bucket thing is getting rather out of hand. Just bear in mind that today, the following will also happen:
– there’ll be people being told they have MND. They’ll be scared. They’ll probably be directed towards their local MND branch, who will give them advice and support;
– there’ll be people hearing that their friend, partner or relative has MND. Their local branch can support them, too;
– there’ll be people caring for someone with MND who’ve reached the end of their tether. Their local branch carers’ group will offer them support, and someone who understands exactly what they’re going through;
– there’ll be people with MND who would kill for the chance to potter around making and drinking tea. And chatting.

Of course we haven’t all got endless pots of money and have to prioritise where we allocate our charitable donations, and I’m not going to criticise anyone for not having spare cash to make a donation to MND, but please don’t blame the charity for seeking some publicity.

My penultimate comment is this: a year ago today was the Reading & West Berks MNDA summer party.  I went along with Mum and Chris.  I was humbled by how many people came up to thank me personally for having Run Home For Christmas, the best part of 2 years on from the challenge, because it meant so much to them that someone had tried to help.

My final comment is this: if you’re still not sure about this whole ice bucket challenge thing, please read the first entry on this blog, the entry for 24.12.11 and the entry for 15.07.14.