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25.04.14 In memoriam - Satori Hama

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Satori Hama. Satori was the first of our sports and fitness role models and gave an inspirational interview talking about training as a fitness coach, adjusting to life before and after having a colostomy and how she faced terminal illness. Her warm and thoughtful personality is clear to see in the film, and her words serve as positive inspiration for us all. Rest in peace Satori.

You can watch Satori's film here 

15.04.14 Help needed!

Ostomy Lifestyle is seeking help from the local community to support the vital work of its Ostomy Aid project – supplying medical ostomy appliances to people in need across the globe… 

Bracknell based Ostomy Lifestyle and its project OstomyAid, having recently experienced some financial difficulties are currently being supported by fellow charity – the Colostomy Association (www.colostomyassociation. org.uk) based in Reading.

We are seeking support from the local community in respect of financial donations, assistance with supplying large to medium plain brown cardboard boxes for an imminent move of premises (locally on 23rd April – within The Courtyard development, RG12 2XB). Kind thanks go to Landlord, John Reed of Reedspace for his enthusiasm, kind assistance and continued offer of premises to house the Charity. 

We are also seeking voluntary support in the form of people power required to help with the unpacking, sorting and repacking of hundreds of donations of unused stoma care supplies (large plastic crates are also needed for sorting), that go to people in need across Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Everyday those living with a stoma in these areas of the world have little or no access to essential stoma care medical products so are forced to use anything that comes to hand often resorting to taping an empty carrier bag or coffee jar over their stoma to collect their body’s waste. 

OstomyAid was set up in 2010 with the sole purpose of gathering surplus unused stoma bags and ostomy supplies from around the UK so they could be put to much better use rather than being destined for landfill. The project brings dignity back into the lives of hundreds of people – enabling an improved quality of life – for those who otherwise have no access to stoma care supplies and appliances.

Since its inception, OstomyAid has delivered more than £1,000,000’s worth of stoma care supplies into the hands of people in need – some of the first countries to benefit from OstomyAid were Ethiopia, Ghana, Kosovo, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, The Gambia, Papua new Guinea and Uganda. More than 30,000 pouches are now being dispatched every month to countries like Moldova, Iran and Zimbabwe.

Ostomy Lifestyle partners with other like-minded charities working on the ground, to get OstomyAid supplies to where they are needed. Some have good relationships with government health departments whilst others have close working ties with hospitals and hospices ensuring these precious supplies get to the people who really need them – and they really do! Partners include Hope and Aid Direct, Cradle of Life, Hospices of Hope, Wantok and Smile International.

Please pledge your help in whatever way you can to secure our future so the charity can continue its vital work through its OstomyAid project and other services such as its 24 hour helpline – bringing back dignity to the lives of thousands of people. Please get in touch today to help change someone’s life for the better! Thank you.

Contact: 

Telephone: 0118 324 0069

Email: ostomyaid@ostomylifestyle.org 

Web: www.ostomylifestyle.org

03.03.14 Announcing some changes at Ostomy Lifestyle

A change in the management structure and board of Trustees at Ostomy Lifestyle is being introduced which will enable the charity to continue to deliver the excellent level of services we have worked hard to develop, whilst ensuring greater long term viability and growth. 

We are pleased to announce that Ostomy Lifestyle with support from the Colostomy Association (CA) will continue to provide its well developed patient services. All patient services will be transferred to the CA’s office in Reading. You should see no difference to the charity's ethos or our services to help people with stomas lead full and active lives. 

Helen Bracey looks forward to meeting those of you attending our Big Lottery funded Workshops and Training Days in the future, which will be continuing under the new structure. 

OstomyAid will continue to operate from our premises in Bracknell and we are very grateful to all those companies and individuals who donate surplus ostomy supplies to us, and to our volunteers for their hard work in ensuring these items get to those in need around the world. However, the Bracknell office will no longer be staffed, so it will be necessary to get in touch in advance of sending larger deliveries to ensure someone is at Bracknell to receive them. 

For all administrative enquiries please continue to call 0118 324 0069 or email admin@ostomylifestyle.org. These enquiries will be automatically redirected to the CA’s office in Reading. 

For OstomyAid enquiries please email ostomyaid@ostomylifestyle.org 

For enquiries relating to Ostomy Lifestyle Workshops or Training Days please email training@ostomylifestyle.org

As of 3rd March the Ostomy Lifestyle Helpline will be automatically rerouted to the CA 24 hour Helpline, which can be reached through our usual number 0800 731 4264 or advice@ostomylifestyle.org 

16.01.14 New Sports & Fitness Film - Stephen!

We are proud to introduce Stephen, the latest inspiring role model in our series of Fitness & Sports films! Stephen is 33 years old and has an ileostomy after suffering from ulcerative colitis. Stephen also has Down's Syndrome and is a keen horse rider, having competed in the Special Olympics. In his film Stephen talks about his passion for riding and how he copes with his ileostomy. 

You can watch Stephen's film by clicking on his photo below.

20.12.13 2014 London 10km places available!

We have places available to run in the British 10k London run on Sun 13th July 2014!

This ever popular event has brought in much needed income for our support services over the past few years. This year's runners raised over £3,700 between them, which has helped us ensure our Helpline is available, when needed, for anyone affected by stoma surgery. So, can you help us raise even more next year?! 

For more information click here.

Thank you!

05.12.13 Winter edition of Ostomy News available!

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Winter 2013 edition of Ostomy News! This edition features details of our new information sheets, our £1million OstomyAid celebration,  new faces at Ostomy Lifestyle and details of an exciting fundraiser we have planned for next year! 

You can download and read it here. Paper copies are going out in the post next week. If you don't already, and would like a free copy sent to you, you can sign up here

Happy reading!

31.10.13 Pre-order your free copy of our new leaflet today!

We are launching a new publication next week which is available for pre-order, free now! This new leaflet is called 'What is a stoma?' and is aimed at pre-operative and newly post-operative patients, as well as family, partners, friends and colleagues. It covers how the digestive and urinary systems work, how stomas are made and answers many of the most commonly asked questions about living with a stoma, such as 'Will it smell?', 'Will I still be able to have sex?' and 'Should I tell other people about my stoma?'.

If you would like to pre-order your copy of this publication please use our online contact form and put 'What is a stoma' and your postal address in the message box. 

As with all our patient literature, this publication has been produced in line with our Information Standard approved production system, which means it is reliable and evidence based, and written and reviewed by patients and experts alike.

21.10.13 Ostomy Lifestyle's response to BMJ article Stoma Care: the market in products lets patients down (BMJ 2013;347:6129)

The Board of Trustees for Ostomy Lifestyle has written to the BMJ to correct the inaccuracies in the stoma care article by Patient Choice published by the BMJ on 17 October (BMJ 2013;347:6129). The response reads: 

We, the Board of Trustees for Ostomy Lifestyle, accept this article was published as the ‘Personal View’ of the Managing Director of the company Patient Choice Ltd, it was also written and published without any consultation with Ostomy Lifestyle and without our knowledge. The evidence from our OstomyAid project does not support the views expressed by Neil Basil and Ostomy Lifestyle does not agree with these views. Regretfully the article contains many inaccuracies which we must address. These include:

1. Neil Basil was not the sole founder of Ostomy Lifestyle; it was a joint decision made by myself, fellow Trustee Shirley Stabler, Helpline Manager Helen Bracey and Neil.

2. Neil Basil is no longer with Ostomy Lifestyle and therefore has no authority to speak on our behalf, especially knowing we do not share or support his views.

3. To claim that ‘unwanted ostomy appliances delivered almost daily, often by people who said they didn’t know why they were sent so much’ is in our experience completely incorrect. Our Chief Executive, Lynn Love, who has managed our OstomyAid project almost since the beginning, confirms that there is absolutely no evidence of waste of this sort. Most items sent in by individuals are items no longer required either because the patient has died or because that particular item is no longer suitable. The majority of items donated to OstomyAid are kindly provided by manufacturers with whom Ostomy Lifestyle has an excellent relationship. The supplies donated by manufacturers have not entered the NHS supply chain and hence have no financial implications for either the NHS or taxpayers.

4. The ethos of Ostomy Lifestyle is to support people with stomas; it has never been a campaigning charity or a membership organisation; we view our independence as one of our main strengths. OstomyAid is a part of the charity, the prime purpose being to send unwanted equipment abroad rather than allowing it to go to landfill. This is a hugely successful venture, run almost entirely by volunteers, which has built up reliable contacts in many countries, and which has made enormous differences to people’s lives in countries where stoma equipment is almost non-existent. Without the continuing support of all the manufacturers, this humanitarian service would collapse. 

We feel that the reference to OstomyAid did not give a correct idea of what is achieved.

Yours faithfully,

Laurie Clark

Chair, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Ostomy Lifestyle

06.09.13 New publications! Healthy Eating information sheet and Helpline poster!

We are pleased to announce the publication of new information sheet on Healthy Eating. Like all our publications this leaflet has been produced in line with our Information Standard approved information production policy. You can read the new leaflet here, or contact us to obtain a free paper copy. 

We are also very pleased to have a new poster which has been produced with generous funding from The Hospital Saturday Fund to promote our Helpline service. If you are able to take any to display in your local GP surgery, stoma nurse clinic, community venue, or anywhere else you can think of, please contact us to get your free posters! 

Helpline poster

03.09.13 New Sports & Fitness film - Michelle!

We are proud to introduce Michelle, the latest inspiring role model in our series of Fitness & Sports films! Michelle is 27 years old and has an ileostomy after struggling with ulcerative colitis whilst studying for her dietetics degree. She is passionate about triathlon and has lots of inspiring and practical tips about exercising after stoma surgery. You can watch Michelle talk about her achievements by clicking on her photo below.

Michelle triathlon film