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I have written endless posts on how much I think hobbies are an essential tool to have when you are suffering from chronic pain.

It gives you something to get up for, something to think about and it can boost your self-esteem no end when you finish a project.

Some easy hobbies to have a go at are:

  1. Blogging – this has to be my number one hobby. It has helped me over the years through some difficult times. I started writing this blog back in 2007 and how have friends all over the world who give words of encouragement and love when you need it. WordPress show you in six easy steps how to start a blog here.
  2. Candle-Making – there are lots of classes you can access for this online or local groups. The therapeutic scents from making candles can give you health benefits while making them and make great gifts. The Candle Academy have courses on Candle Making.
  3. Painting and drawing – another easy one to access from home and online. You can simply try painting by numbers which has become very fashionable or just colouring books or join an art class online like Art-k.co.uk who hold classes for adults all over the country.
  4. Bird watching – this is another favourite of mine or it was from my old house in the middle of a forest as I was surrounded by beautiful birds but since moving South into a new house I do not have my visitors anymore. I have spent a lot of time and energy this year putting things in the garden to attract birds so I am keeping my fingers crossed they soon start arriving. Amazon have a great Bird Watching Journal.
  5. Photography – this is one I would like to study as now that we live in the country surrounded by the beautiful South Downs there are lots of views I could take pictures of. Another one which has online courses. Tutorful have online classes on Photography.
  6. Baking – I used to bake a bit before but really got into in lockdown and completely changed my baking equipment to all silicone which are amazing and put all my equipment in two baskets so that I just get the baskets out and I am good to go. My book ‘A Little Book on Tea Cake and Chocolate‘ is also available on Amazon.
  7. Needlework – lots of classes online for these, or local groups and an abundance of kits you can buy online. I asked for some for Christmas last year but I must admit I do suffer with my neck a bit after sewing so maybe pass on this one if you have a neck problem. The Royal School of Needlework have online classes.
  8. Knitting/Crochet – when we first moved here I joined a crochet class but really struggled to get my head around it whereas knitting is something I have always done. Unfortunately due to lockdown etc no classes nearby were available but I still managed to knit quite a bit for my grandchildren. Knitting groups can be found here.
  9. Reading/Reading Group – joining a book club nearby or online just makes you read a bit more and makes the books much more enjoyable and you will find books you would never have thought of reading before being very interesting. Reading Group Network.
  10. Scrapbooking – another hobby I would like to start as I have a suitcase of photos and would love to put them together for the family. Lots of books and classes and products you can buy online for this so its an easy one to start from home. Scrapbook.Com have everything you need to start making your scrapbooks.
  11. Handmade Cards– I only make handmade cards, I hardly ever buy them. My friends and family seem to expect them from me now so I try to change the theme as often as possible and will be starting on my Christmas range soon. A ton of ideas, books and supplies online. I never need to leave home for anything I need for this hobby. Crafty Arts for all your supply needs.
  12. Writing – well if you love blogging then you will probably be someone who loves writing. I have self-published quite a few books including a book for both my children of their life and their family down the line up to the age of them being 30, I have written a health book and a baking book and I have just finished my second book for my 2 year old granddaughter. Lulu is a great site to start your first self published book.

Check out some of my previous posts on hobbies to find out other things you can enjoy from home.

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I was delighted to hear that Back Pain Blog UK was chosen to go in at number 8 of the 100 Best Blogs for Disabled People and Carers by Aid Excel Support Parents/Carers of Children/Young People with Disabilities/Additional Needs.

Having people really appreciating what you write about and then being added to a best blogs list is always something all us bloggers will feel really grateful for. We write for our readers and hope our posts will help or support someone with health problems.

Aid Excel Support Parents/Carers of Children/Young People with Disabilities/Additional Needs, works is a parent led organisation staffed by volunteers who are trained to provide information and advice on a range of issues faced by families with disabled children.  These include accessing benefits, finding services and developing skills. Sometimes it can just be a matter of helping with form filling – all that jargon can be so confusing. Or it could involve putting parents in touch with one another to share their experiences. Other times it could be supporting a parent at a meeting with their child’s school.

AidExcel also work with local organizations to make sure that the needs of parents from minority groups are understood and considered when new services are planned, or when the local authority want to know what parents think. Their vision and objectives are to ensure that all children and young people with special educational needs and all disabled children have equal opportunity within their schools and community, for their needs to be met for them to be included fully in their schools and community.

If you have any spare time you can support them by telling people about them. As a volunteer led organisation they are dependent on the time, talents and money that they can attract.

They have leaflets and newsletters available, so if there is someone you know who would benefit from their services then please pass the message on.

You can also donate, share or volunteer. You can find out lots more on the AidExcel website.

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British Red Cross Week May 4th-9th – The BRC have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone all planned public collections activity this year.

This comes after carefully considering the risks of Covid-19 (coronavirus) on the health, safety and wellbeing of our amazing volunteer collectors and generous donors.

However you can still help raise awareness by becoming a virtual bucket shaker means that you can still collect donations, bring your community together and raise vital funds for people in crisis. It’s quick and easy, just click the ‘Become a Virtual Bucket Shaker’ link and register for your online fundraising page now!

The principles in action today

A flash of hope

Around the world, whenever a humanitarian crisis occurs, the Red Cross or Red Crescent is always one of the first organisations on the scene thanks to their kind volunteers.

Today, the challenges posed by an unpredictable and often changing global landscape have never been greater. But their principles still ring true.

They still guide us through adversity. They still command respect. They still make the Red Cross unique.

Protection at all costs

They recognise they are only able to work in conflict zones such as Yemen, Syria and South Sudan because they are neutral, impartial and independent, and because the red cross and red crescent emblems reflect these principles.

This is why it is important they celebrate the principles and make as much noise as possible about why they matter.

Principles in action project

Their Principles in action project explores how the fundamental principles help the Red Cross across the world.

Using real-life examples, the project shows how the principles help staff and volunteers gain access to, and help, people in need.

From hiring a wheelchair or dealing with loneliness, to adjusting to life in a new country – the Red Cross are there when you need them. Connecting human kindness with human crisis.

For more details or to donate head to the Red Cross website here.