Home and Work Collide

I have a new job, which is very exciting news. Mum is so pleased for me. It has always been so important to her to see my sister and I in jobs we love doing; she didn’t have that experience until a few years ago, when she started working as a learning support assistant for students with learning difficulties – a job she will sadly never be able to return to.

That’s why I was so pleased to be able to tell her the news that I have a good job with a fancy title, doing exactly the sort of work I want to be doing – publicising books. I’m so excited to start in a couple of weeks, and I grateful to my new employers for understanding the difficulty of the situation. I’m sure it’s a lot for a HR manager to tackle at this very early stage, but they’ve been brilliant so far.

Knowing I now have a permanent contract is a huge weight off of my shoulders. Caring for someone with MND can, at times, be expensive. I have to travel regularly to be with my mum, and it costs a lot of money – rail fares are only expected to rise. I know now that I have a space to concentrate on something other than MND

The sad part is, I already am in a job I love doing. I have been working here for almost five months on a temporary contract, and it has been wonderful. I work in publishing, and the books I have worked on have appealed to my personal tastes. It’s been a fantastic experience, and I will miss everyone here.

When I received the news about Mum, I was at work. You can read about that in earlier posts (although they are rather emotional, so some of you may want to avoid them for now). Everyone on my floor stopped working and comforted me. They had no idea what exactly was wrong, just that my heart was breaking and I couldn’t control the emotion. They didn’t know what to say, so just let me cry until I could explain what was happening.

Despite the fact I was on a temporary contract, I received a full week’s paid compassionate leave (more than my sister, who has been in her job for almost two years, received). They assured me there was no hurry to return to work, and when I did they took into account that there were times I just needed a break, to get away from my desk and cry for a while, or call my family to get updates on the medical difficulties we initially faced.

I will always be grateful to everything they did when I had no idea what to do.

That’s why in one week we will be celebrating life, work and (more importantly) cake! It will be my first fundraising effort for the MND Association, and I everyone is so excited. We have talk of fudge, cookies, gin and tonic cake, Guinness and chocolate cake, Jack Daniels fudge cake, lemon syrup sponge, cupcakes – the lot! It’s going to be so delicious.

The MND Association fundraising team have been so quick in getting the BakeIt! kit and materials to me, ready for the two day bonanza. We have balloons and banners, napkins and a money box on their way to the office, ready for the baking kick-off in seven days’ time.

They also have brilliant ideas for making the BakeIt! even more awesome, including a cupcake sweepstake, a quiz and a competition. If you want to organise a fundraising event quickly, I would recommend organising a BakeIt! to help make MND history.

I am aiming to raise £50, which pays for lab equipment for one day. I would be especially delighted if I raised £110, which pays for the specialist communication app already helping my mum. However much I raise, though, will go to a good cause, and will be the start of any future fundraising I will undoubtedly undertake. I’m so excited!

And if you would like to support the bake sale and the MND Association, please text CAKE00 £5 to 70070.

Watch this space!

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