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700 miles by bus for Maytree & FMA

£1,307 of £2,000 goal

Raised by 62 people in 5 months
What?
I’m going to be taking to the roads from the 1st to the 7th July, travelling from Northampton to the Scottish Border and back using nothing but local bus services. No trains… no coaches… no shortcuts!

How?
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the autumn of 2016, and after battling with local councils for a bit, I was lucky enough to find myself in possession of a disabled bus pass which allows me free travel on bus services throughout the UK. With a lot of careful planning, mapping, and scheduling, I’ve plotted a route to the Scottish border and back which will take 7 days, and cover approximately 700 miles. Each day will involve multiple changes and in total I’ll be spending around 36 hours on public transport… not for the faint hearted! I’ve been lucky enough to find sponsorship for overnight accommodation when I don’t have access to crash space with friends.

Why?
I was diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety at 18, and with borderline/emotionally unstable personality disorder when I was 26. In the spring of 2016, I had a serious mental health crisis and had the extraordinary luck of being taken in by Maytree Suicide Respite Centre - they pretty much saved my life and sent me on a new direction in my life, which has re-written my future for the better.

As well as living with mental health difficulties my entire life, I was diagnosed with fibromylagia in 2016. Fibromyalgia is a ways off being fully understood and people like me suffer daily in the face of there being few treatment options when it comes to managing the symptoms - Fibromyalgia Action UK provides essential information and support to sufferers, carers, and medical professionals alike.

I have received a great deal of essential help over the years from charities like these, and I desperately want to give something back.

What I’m doing isn’t just about raising money - it’s about raising awareness. This trip will be gruelling and painful and I don’t expect to get through it without a lot of hardship and heartache, but I want to use that struggle to highlight the fact that these illnesses aren’t “all or nothing” afflictions. Just because I’m ill doesn’t mean I can’t achieve great things, but equally, just because I can achieve great things doesn’t mean I’m not ill. I think it’s very important for society to recognise that.

So..?
Please take a moment to donate what you can to my fundraising efforts, and I will do my best to keep you informed and entertained in the run up to my adventure, and along the way. I will be filming the trip itself and if I have enough internet access on my travels, I'll be uploading footage as I go along. Those videos will be published to the social media mentioned below.

You can like my Facebook Page for more formal updates, and you can also join the Sal Headsquirrels’ Adventure Army group where I hope to gather together a great gang of new friends to cheer me along the way (both online and in person) and give hour by hour updates as I make my way north and back! Any updates, whether on Facebook, Youtube, or to this campaign will be highlighted on this page as I go along so please do come back and check out my progress over the next few months. And please share this campaign and encourage your friends and family to donate too. These are such important and overlooked charities and I want to do everything to help them out.

Thanks for donating, and I’ll see you on the road!
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IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!

Maaaaan the reality of this has hit me like a tonne of bricks in the past 12-ish hours. Had my first cry last night, and today my stomach is full of vultures. But my loins are in the process of girding, and I know I can do this.

Once I've headed out tomorrow morning I'll be posting updates, commentary, photos, and videos (some live) from Sal Headsquirrels' Adventure Army group on Facebook, so if you'd like to follow me on my journey you can join up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/salheadsquirrels/ - and make sure notifications are on, otherwise you'll miss the fun!
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Huge milestone! I've now passed the £1,000 mark on donations! Thank you to everyone who has donated so far, and remember... IT'S PAYDAY and there's plenty of time to give a little or nudge your friends and family to do so.

To celebrate this moment, I've uploaded a new video to my Youtube channel (you can see my previous ones there too), which you can check out at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkaZgQPxcbH3B8b-kf0zkLQ - there's bonus stupid hat too.
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This time next week, I'll be where the red dot is: day 2, 2nd leg, 2 buses to go.

I'll be doing these updates throughout the week so people can see what I'll be facing, day-to-day!
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Pain treatments are one of the things fibromyalgia sufferers are all too familiar with. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Today I'm at Northampton General Hospital Pain Management Clinic to spend an hour getting lidocaine pumped into my body through a drip. Hopefully this will be one of those times it works, because it'll make my 7 days on the road that little bit easier on me!

The main thing I'm focusing on right now is getting the word out further in order to secure more donations, and ensuring visibility on social media can be a struggle. So if you have a minute, help me out by going to the following link, giving the photo a like, and sharing it with the caption if you're willing... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10160485524595150

Thanks again to everyone who has supported me so far, it means a great deal.
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£1,307 of £2,000 goal

Raised by 62 people in 5 months
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