On the previous page you heard all about GetYourBellyOut and saw a snapshot of the different projects we undertake each year for people whose lives have been affected by Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
On this second page we have put together even more examples of the different social opportunities and subsidised activities we provide each year which provide a great benefit. There is a clear guide at the bottom of both pages of how we invest the funds we raise, which we hope showcases how our community is at the heart of everything we do.
Subsidised & the occasional free activity days
We do our utmost to provide subsidised activity days, as and when we can, which allow members of our community to partake in fun filled social opportunities without the fear of being judged for having a chronic illness. These days out challenge our attendees and help lessen their social anxieties, without the burden of having to find the finances. Many of our community members are on low income or have spent a great deal of time out of work due to long hospital stays, so we are proud to have been able to subsidise evenings of bowling and paid for places so members could join us at action packed days out across the country. We can only continue providing these important opportunities if the funding is available so please consider making a donation as these subsidised activity days make a huge difference to people’s confidence!
National social opportunities for hundreds of guests each year
If you’ve heard about GetYourBellyOut, the chances are one of our members has encouraged you to attend one of our GetYourBellyOut balls, which are a national celebratory event with hundreds of guests in attendance each year. These large events bring a wide variety of people and companies together for a unique opportunity to get to know one another in a comfortable environment which caters for everyone’s needs. Our advocacy efforts have enabled us to subsidise the cost of these party tickets, which gave even more members of our community the chance to join us. We have also been able to donate a handful of tickets each year thanks to the generosity of our members, who know first hand the impact attending an evening such as this can have and so want others to benefit from this event too. We are very proud of the way in which our community looks after one another.
Community lead, local social opportunities
#GetYourBellyOut understands the importance of a good support system and have seen first-hand what a difference it can make. As a result we actively encourage our community members to attend our local events as these provide a great platform for friendships to flourish, thus in turn reduces feelings of social anxiety and isolation. These events, often organised in a relaxed environment, in conjunction with our supporters are held to give people a better understanding, promote acceptance and provide an opportunity for open discussion with people who truly know what it’s like living with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
An evening of Trampolining & focus group fun with Respond Healthcare
Focus groups are always great fun, and even more so when surrounded by good company. Our evening at Bristol’s AirHop trampoline park started off with hours of giggling as we got to grips with all the action packed activities on offer, before settling down for refreshments and a focus group to discuss Respond’s new swimwear range. The insights gathered during this focus group were invaluable to the company designing this ostomy specific swimwear range and we’re grateful to them for their support as evenings such as these have in the past only been made possible due to kind sponsorship.
Providing advice & guidance to fellow IBD charities or causes
Creating strong communities is no easy feat as it takes a lot of time to nourish the bonds needed to collectively campaign for change. The Irish Society for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, Crohn’s and Colitis UK, A bear named Buttony, the Breakaway Foundation, Sepsis Trust New Zealand and Hospices of hope are just a handful of fellow IBD charities or causes which GetYourBellyOut promote, provide advice or guidance to each year so that their work can also flourish and bring substantial benefit to their communities too.
‘Can’t Wait’ Card information packs
Launched in 1987, the Crohn’s and Colitis UK ‘Can’t Wait Card’ has helped thousands of their members gain access to bathroom facilities in an emergency without the embarrassment of having to explain their urgent need in a public space.
With their blessing, #GetYourBellyOut created information packs, which outlined all one needed to know about the initiative as well as how retail outlets and businesses could get involved. A modern twist was later added by the inclusion of an easily recognisable window sticker in conjunction with the card which stores and restaurants could use to support this scheme. A scheme such as this is already underway in Canada and its hoped this initiative will have similar success here in the UK too.
Influencing practice & policy
The #GetYourBellyOut community was saddened to see this distasteful advertisement campaign being proposed by the Canadian Government as means to deter people from smoking.
GetYourBellyOut proudly stood shoulder to shoulder with the incredible men, women and children bravely tackling life (and other peoples’ judgements) with an ostomy to ask for a change. As a result the Canadian government took the IBD & Ostomy communities feedback on board and confirmed that an ostomy will NOT be used in their advertisement as means of deterring people from smoking!!
Lockdown Quiz nights during Covid-19
As the cold nights drew in and the impact of the Coronavirus rumbled on, our community, which is made up of a large proportion of people who fell into the vulnerable category and where advised to shield themselves at home, came together to host a virtual quiz night. Whilst the world was upside-down, every Friday these quiz nights gave everyone a focus and an hour or two where we could unwind knowing we were in contact with people who understood the importance of keeping one another safe by staying at home. These quiz nights were a roaring success and a creative way to continue the kind fundraising efforts whilst we ourselves were unable to get out into the community to generate funds to sustain our not-for-profit.
Setting a trend with GetYourBellyOut’s charitable calendar
Back in the day when GetYourBellyOut was barely a year old, we were keen to create a charitable calendar to raise awareness & funds for the IBD community. We invited our members to share their gorgeous GetYourBellyOut photos with us which made for a unique and inspiring way to put IBD in the forefront of peoples minds.
We are delighted to see how follow IBD & ostomy causes have since taken up the mantel of creating these yearly calendars showcasing so many amazing bellies along the way.
Surplus ostomy supplies Christmas appeal
We teamed up with Hospices of Hope to deliver surplus ostomy supplies to countries such as Albania, Moldova and Romania. Our aim was to raise £300 to ship a pallet FULL of surplus ostomy supplies that would otherwise be destined for landfill with any additional funds raised invested into the Crohn’s and Colitis community via GetYourBellyOut CIC.
The surplus ostomy supplies you sent us enabled us to fill 26 boxes and generous donations helped us cover these shipping costs. A BIG heartfelt THANK YOU for your incredible support. What a magical gift we were been able to give at Christmas!
Increased awareness & understanding of IBD by sharing stories
We have all been inspired by reading the stories on our social media, of how our members overcame their hardest times, found comfort by connecting with people who ‘get it’ or found comfort from those who understood what it takes to power on through the day. Your stories have been the motivation needed to keep each other pushing forward, to better advocate for yourselves and to push yourselves in ways one didn’t think were possible.
Sharing your stories has been so impactful in helping to raise awareness and create a better understanding of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which is why we jump at the opportunity to highlight these whenever we can. Sharing your stories with the world is definitely a highlight of what we do.
Click here for 13 ways you can support GetYourBellyOut
Click here to return to the first page of projects
Incase you missed out on or wanted to return back to the first page of GetYourBellyOut projects where we talked about the virtual ostomy clinics, motivational talks, interviews and conferences we attend simply click here.
A 2017 survey of 12,000 people living with IBD showed 48% of under 30’s felt isolated and lonely. Your donations are helping us tackle these alarming statistics as 97% of GetYourBellyOut members said they had seen a benefit from being a part of our community!
It’s always great to see how your support can enabled your favourite cause to deliver meaningful change. With this in mind we’ve created a summary of the difference GetYourBellyOut CIC has been able to make thanks to the amazing support received from donors like you!