Autumn 2009 Newsletter
Hello everyone! Very sorry it has taken so long for our latest Newsletter that has seemed to be put on the backburner for a while because so much has been going on!!
First off there is a couple of congratulations! Bells rung out this summer for two of our Matthew’s Friends staff. First off being our Regional Co-ordinator for the Midlands Kate and her partner Jane tied the knot at the end of July and a few of us were able to go to celebrate with them.
Then at the end of August, our Fundraiser & Administration Support Michele Dudley got married to Trevor and is now Michele Lee! She looked absolutely beautiful and jetted for a week in the Maldives to which we are all extremely jealous about.
Congratulations to both partners and we wish them every happiness for the future.
I don’t know where this year has gone, already conference season seems to be upon us and last week Julie and I went over to Denmark to present the work of Matthew’s Friends and get together with parents to start building a parental support network in that country. The conference was held by Diana Lund (is that the correct spelling?) who have got a specialist Ketogenic centre there and what a wonderful place it was to visit.
Conferences & Meetings
We are now obviously making final preparations for the first Matthew’s Friends European Training Meeting which is being held in Harrogate at the end of September. So as you can imagine we have paperwork and Welcome Packs coming out of our ears at the moment!! It is our first European Meeting and we are delighted with the numbers and we look forward to welcoming dietitians, doctors and nurses from all over Europe. And our delegates are coming in from Poland, Greece, Malta, Norway, Sweden, Denmark to name a few and we are very much looking forward to this being a very exciting meeting with collaboration between all our colleges around Europe.
After that, Matthew’s Friends are at the European Paediatric Neurology Society meeting. Following that we are at the International League against Epilepsy and then obviously we go to America for the American Dietitian Training meeting and it also gives me a chance to catch up with my friend Jim Abrahams and start organising the Global meeting that we are bringing to Edinburgh next year.
New MF website
I do also have an apology to make. Those of you whom have been waiting for the new Matthew’s Friends site, must be tapping your feet with frustration at the moment. We have been promising this for quite a while now and it is coming, I promise you that, but the time it takes to get to put everything down is longer than we anticipated due to all the other projects that we have going on and the amount of e-mails and telephone calls that we deal with. Unfortunately this has been put on a back burner, but designs are in full swing now and I am chaining myself to the computer whenever I am here in order to try and get this done as soon as possible. My aim is to have this up and running before Christmas. There is so much new information coming and new sections together with information of our colleges around Europe that we are working with, so it will be worth the wait or at least I hope so!
Parental Files & Starter Packs
We are delighted with the way the Parental Files have been received and these are now being sent out to dietitians around the country. So if you are about to go on a Ketogenic Diet, either MCT or Classical make sure you ask your dietitian for your Parental File and this will be given to your free of charge. The Starter Packs are also available on site and you can order these through Matthew’s Friends, although I know some centres are ordering these in bulk and then giving them out to their families.
I promise you that there will be another newsletter before Christmas and we will bring you up to date with all the meetings we have attended. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to use the helpline if you should need it and if there is anything we can do, do not hesitate to contact us. I wish you all a wonderful Autumn and no doubt I will speak to some of you soon.
A huge thanks goes to The Pines School where they held a Rainbow Day. All the children wore their brightest clothes in exchange for a small donation and raised a wonderful £70.00 for Matthew’s Friends.
Facebook & Twitter
You can now follow what Matthew’s Friends is up to as we are on Facebook and Twitter! If you would like to follow Emma on Twitter, her Twitter name is Ketomum68.
Matty’s Mates Dart Team
Saturday 30th May saw this year’s 'Matty's Mates' team darts competition again being held at the 6-in-1 Club, Tonbridge, Kent.
Another great day was had by all and nearly £1,000 raised for Matthew's Friends! The winning team, pictured here, were 'Jones's Warriors', comprising l-r John Day, Rob Cross, Chris 'Whippy' Willard, Steve Brown and Bob Abbott (with John's son in foreground). Their team was named in memory of the late, great Brian Jones, sadly missed by his darting mates. A special thank you to Gary Ford of the London Trophy Co. for donating great trophies again and to Danny Russell of Brakes for donating foodstuff for the day for Emma & Co to cook!
Helping Dave on the day were Kathy Mant, Rob Barton and raffle ticket seller extraordinaire Jenny Eder (sister of Brian Jones) - huge thanks to them.
We look forward to another great day in 2010 - thank you EVERYONE for your support.
Sponsored Walk with our own Lesley Coyne
Our own Lesley Coyne, Scottish Regional co-ordinator for MF, was involved in a sponsored Walk in Drumpellier Country Park on 6 September 2009. They had over 60 adults and about 50 kids on the day. They walked around the loch twice and had a marquee up. All the kids were welcomed back by Monkey Mike (mascot of local kids play area, Cheeky Monkeys), received a Matthews Friends goodie bag and followed by a BBQ.
They had a great day. The amount raised is still going up, but at last count was approximately £2,200!! Well done to Lesley and all who took part!
Thank you and well done to Marcus Ineson who did a Snowden Trek and raised a wonderful £146.00 for MF. You can continue to donate on his just giving page, thank you.
Update from Dr Tandy
Dr Andrew Tandy, paediatric consultant at Taunton Hospital regularly runs to raise funds for Matthew's Friends.... please support him by donating via his just giving page, thank you.
As ever we are very grateful to Dr Tandy and to all those who support him - THANK YOU!!
Rachel Brittle planned to run the London Marathon for us this year, as her friend's daughter, who is on the ketogenic diet, has had her epilepsy much improved. Unfortunately Rachel was unwell leading up to the race so her boyfriend, David Daugirda, kindly stepped into the breach by running the Newham Classic 10k. He raised a magnificent £500!!! Thank you to both Rachel and David for thinking of Matthew's Friends. We hope Rachel makes a full and speedy recovery.
Hannah Chaffe (who is on the MF medical board) gave birth to Nicolas Joel on 12th September 2009 weighing a very healthy 7lbs 15oz. Congratulations Hannah, hope you do not get too many disturbed nights!
MF Quiz Night
On 12th September 2009, we held the 2nd MF Quiz Night at the Royal British Legion in Oxted and raised a wonderful £489.20. Thank you to everyone who came along, supported and helped at our fundraising evening. A special thank you to Cucina’s of Oxted who donated a £60 meal voucher as our main raffle prize and thanks to everyone else who donated a prize for that evening.
Matthew’s Friends is holding a family/parental conference on 28th November 2009 at the Effingham Park Hotel, Copthorne, Surrey. It is an opportunity to find more about all dietary treatments for epilepsy for children and adults. There is also cooking with KetoCal Sessions, complimentary therapies, question time and more. A crèche is also available for those whom need it.
Bookings are being taken now and as usual, for further information please check our website or contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday 17th October 2009, Emma did a Ketogenic Diet workshop with Professor Helen Cross at the NCYPE conference. Matthew’s sister Alice (front middle in picture) spoke in the main conference about what it was like to live with a brother who has severe epilepsy – not a dry eye left in the house! Well done Alice!
Matthew’s Friends also had a stand at the conference.