Happy Christmas! And thank you to everyone who has supported us through our first full and very exciting year at Without Wings, the Manx Autoimmune Arthritis Trust, either through donations or with practical support. It is all very much appreciated. A special thank you too to anyone who has sent us a donation in lieu of Christmas card purchases! <3 It's been a great year, and the next is looking set to be fabulous too. 2018 already! As a reminder: Anyone who is a member at Ramsey Co-op can sign up to have Without Wings as your nominated charity. Here's the link: Co-op Community Funding

This means that 1% of the cost of your shopping will go towards Without Wings – a marvellous scheme that will make a huge difference to how well we are able to function. If you aren’t a member yet, it’s highly recommended. Not only will 1% of all your shopping costs go towards charity, but you also receive 5% back on your co-op card! The link to become a member can also be found on the link above.

Without Wings have a few fundraising events lined up over the next few days! First off, local trombonists will be meeting tomorrow between noon and 2pm outside Marks and Spencer’s to raise funds, whilst also heralding the arrival of the new website! However…. this will literally only be a ‘heralding’ and not quite a ‘launching’… as Christmas has got in the way of getting everything just perfect. Together with the lovely Jamie Clague, who is helping design the new website, we have therefore decided we would rather get it right and launch in January, than do a rush job and launch tomorrow. If you are out and about in Douglas tomorrow doing that last bit of Christmas shopping, please pop over and say hello. We would love to see you.

Regarding the website – as a quick report – Jamie, who has been working like crazy trying to get everything up and running for us, has done an amazing job and it is looking fantastic! Our intention is that a more professional site will make everything we aim to achieve and do much clearer and more accessible. Our new business cards have also arrived courtesy of Ramsey Press – another company who have been fantastically supportive this last year. These clearly state our services and all the new website contact details.

Other events! Thanks to the wonderful Lenny Conroy of Triskel Promotions, we have two exciting events taking place at the end of the year. First up – Davy Knowles, one of the Island’s most fantastic rhythm and blues guitar playing exports, will be in Port St Mary 28,29 and 30th December and there will be a bucket collection for Without Wings at the door. You can find out more info regarding this, here: Davy Knowles Gig

Secondly, Lenny has also organised the Southern New Year’s Day Dips, brrrr! as a fundraising event for Without Wings! You can obtain sponsorship forms if you think you’re hard enough and there will also be t-shirts available for £10 on the day. They are great! Lenny has done incredible work raising money for charity via the dips in the past so we are very grateful to have been chosen for these ventures this year. More info to be found here: Southern New Year’s Day Dips! BRRR!

Other News…

We will do a more in-depth calendar at the beginning of January, but just as a taster of mooted events for 2018…

January 1st : Southern New Year’s Day Dip in aid of Without Wings
Late March : Complementary Health Fair – tbc
May 14th, 7pm : Charles Linden Anxiety Recovery Skype session -venue tbc
July 5th : Tynwald Day tbc
July 22nd : Tales of the Unexpected Part II: Healing Against the Odds! VERY exciting event – speakers currently booked and confirmed include Katy Hoogemdam. Katy, aged 26, has lived with RA since only 10 months old and is hitting the illness with everything she can get via the low-fat, plant based, Paddison Programme for Rheumatoid Arthritis and bucketloads of bikram yoga. She is doing AMAZINGLY and is just a brilliant person. Look out for her ‘inspirational story’ COMING SOON!

Katy actually contacted us after hearing about the last event and has been saving her pennies to come all the way from America! Her story was so compelling and as she also gives talks regarding her illness, we decided to invite her to speak. She has videos of her story throughout her life and everything. She is just ace and we can’t wait to meet her in person! Other speakers to be confirmed, but we can definitely say this is looking to be a brilliant evening – possibly even a weekend as we’ve had so much international interest. Danny and Andy are also set to return in a helping capacity 🙂
October: 2nd Anniversary Variety Concert – tbc

Over 2018 Without Wings will also be tightening our relationship with the Lisa Lowe Centre, currently known as Manx Cancer Help. We were very kindly put in contact with this organisation by Dr Allinson, MHK, because our objectives regarding serious illness and mental and emotional health were so similar. We currently buy into their counselling programme which has been brilliant. We will feature more about this resource on our new website!

Manx Cancer Help are now branching out to cover the emotional needs of ALL chronic health problems on the Island in JANUARY! Their plans are vast and wonderful and exactly what the Island needs: ensuring people living with ANY life changing illness can receive the psychological and emotional support they need and deserve. We are therefore very excited to say that we have plans to partner up on one or two ventures. This will raise our profile and awareness of autoimmune arthritis, thereby enabling us to reach the people who need our services the most. Collaborations such as these are the way forward in the charity world, as they can help to ensure that the funds we receive from you, the public, are used efficiently and productively.

So Happy Christmas everyone and a here’s to a wonderful 2018! From the bottom of our hearts we wish everyone wellness and happiness.