Foggy is on his way back from a spa retreat (AKA... teddy bear hospital being restuffed) and has enjoyed a thoroughly lazy summer.
Me? I have enjoyed taking my foot off the pedal with Foggy's social media, absence has given me a little bit more brain space to get other stuff done. I have definitely not been 'resting' since the beginning of July.
This blog is just a bit of an update about stuff that has happened since July and a little bit about future plans.
M.E Foggy Dog is now a social enterprise (sole trader format), any surplus (profit) we make will benefit the M.E community. I haven't worked out who the exact beneficiary will be yet though. Foggy's Followers probably won't notice any difference, our fun, advocacy, and shenanigans will remain the same. I have big plans for the 'brand', those plans are purely dependent on funding. We'll have to just wait and see!
I am in the process of setting up a Community Interest Company (C.I.C) social enterprise. Again, for the benefit of the M.E/C.F.S community. I have decided on the name, the domain name has been secured, I have 2 directors (EEEK) and the legal forms are winging their way to Companies House/HMRC as I type this Any surplus (profit) from this business (in year one initially) will go to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/ for M.E research. Some of Foggy's fundraising for the ME Association went to their biobank and Foggy and I will be visiting the LSHTM in a couple of weeks' time with one my new Directors for a tour and to talk about the new CIC with staff. I was gobsmacked that they knew who Foggy was...it made my day!
I had originally planned on turning Foggy into the C.I.C but was advised by business 'experts' that business/education/health professionals won't engage with a soft toy. So, a second social enterprise was needed. Oh, I love to make work for myself!
I had to deal with a very stressful situation recently. Over the past 9 months, I have been told by a range of people that a couple of people have been taking credit for my advocacy work with M.E Foggy Dog. This lead to a number of very stressful conversations that caused my M.E to flare dramatically. Let me make it 100% clear. I am M.E Foggy Dog, no-one else writes blogs/articles, posts on social media, pays out of their own pocket for marketing stuff, organises his itinerary, and all of the background stuff that no-one sees. I have to use energy I don't have to do what I love doing and it's upsetting when other people try to take credit for it. I am now going to be very hot on Intellectual Property/Copyright stuff. You may notice that Foggy's logo now has 2 little letters on it. I have had a few people who have done physical challenges for me to raise funds for Foggy's Fund/ME Association, have had a few volunteers to help with events, and obviously have had people volunteer to be Foggy-sitters. I am VERY grateful for their support but, in terms of running M.E Foggy Dog, it's just me. Just me sat at my small desk, exhausted, creating engaging content to help raise awareness of our condition. I hate having to get serious about stuff like this but enough is enough.
I am very aware that many of Foggy's Followers withdraw from social media from time to time as it gets too energy sapping. With that in mind, can I suggest signing up to receive my email newsletters? I will be sending emails once every month or so with the latest news etc. Make sure you don't miss out ☺ Sign up via mefoggydog.org.
Foggy won't be doing a globetrotting challenge again until summer 2019. He has a couple of one-off special trips booked in though. He is off to California in October.....it's a secret.....he WILL be meeting Goofy - shhhh Foggy doesn't know yet! His sitter Kat is determined to finally make that bucket list wish come true! Foggy will also be heading to Lapland at Christmas to meet Father Christmas...WOW! Thank you to the many people who have contacted me with offers of wonderful trips for Foggy within the next 6 month or so but we won't be booking any globetrotting in until early next year.
September is going to be a busy month. In addition to the above-mentioned trip to London (exhausting but necessary) I am also meeting up with the local C.F.S NHS patient support team to talk about how they can improve (if at all) and support patients better. I recently met up with my local MP, he has suggested a round-table meeting with 10 M.E/C.F.S patients from his constituency to see how local provision can be improved. I don't have information about that yet so can't comment further. I'll be selecting people from my Portsmouth support group to attend the meeting. If you live in Portsmouth (UK) and either have M.E/C.F.S or are a carer/family member of someone who has our condition please join the support group via this link.
That's it for now.
Sally (and Foggy OBVIOUSLY)