How you can support people with migraine this Giving Tuesday
By: Rachel Baxter, Communications Officer, The Migraine Trust
Tuesday 30 November marks Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that encourages us all to give back and support others – whether that’s by donating money or goods or sharing your skills, volunteering your time or campaigning for something you believe in.
If you feel inspired this Giving Tuesday, there are a number of different ways you can support people living with migraine. Migraine is a complex neurological condition that affects one in seven of us – that’s 10 million people in the UK alone. Migraine is ranked as the third leading cause of disability, yet there is no cure and many people aren’t aware of its symptoms and the vast toll it can take on a person’s life. Migraine is also largely absent from NHS plans and public health strategies, receives little research funding, and many migraine patients across the UK struggle to access specialists and the treatments they need.
A migraine attack can cause severe headache, nausea and vomiting, visual and sensory disturbances, vertigo, numbness, fatigue and more. While some people experience migraine attacks episodically, for others it is a daily burden, with those with chronic migraine experiencing migraine attacks and headaches at least 15 days each month. This affects a person’s ability to work, study, socialise, look after themselves and their loved ones, and generally function. It is not ‘just a headache’, it is a disabling neurological condition.
So how can you help to support people living with migraine this Giving Tuesday?
There are many easy ways to help out, which we’ve outlined below.
1. Make a donation to The Migraine Trust
By making a gift to The Migraine Trust, you can help us further our mission and support people living with migraine. Your donation could help us provide advocacy support to a person struggling with migraine at work, raise awareness of migraine and the difficulties it can cause, or even contribute to an important discovery being made through our migraine research programme. No matter how big or small your donation, it will help us make a difference and improve the lives of people living with migraine across the UK.
Click here to donate to The Migraine Trust. You can make a one-off payment or set up a monthly donation, whatever you choose. You can also leave a gift to The Migraine Trust in your will or donate in memory of a loved one.
2. Donate while you shop
You can donate while you shop all at no extra expense to you, so why not support people with migraine while you do your Christmas shopping this year. If you’re an online shopper, sign up to easyfundraising to donate when you shop online across thousands of retailers at no extra cost to you.
If you use Amazon, you can also donate as you shop by signing up to Amazon Smile. Amazon will donate to your favourite charity when you make a purchase, without costing you a single penny more. Select The Migraine Trust as your charity of choice and you’ll be helping people with migraine each time you buy something.
3. Take on a new challenge
There are a number of exciting challenge events you can get involved in to raise money for The Migraine Trust. You could run a half marathon, skydive, or climb Mount Everest virtually. Whatever you choose, it’s a great way to get outdoors, try something new or enjoy some quality time with others. You can see a full list of our challenge events here and a list of our local challenge events here. Events are easy to sign up to via our website, so why not give one a go! By joining #TeamMigraine you’ll be making a difference to the lives of people with migraine.
4. Host a fundraising event
If you don’t fancy climbing a mountain (we don’t blame you!), there are endless ways to fundraise so you can choose something that suits you – let us know your plans by emailing email@example.com and we’ll send you a fundraising pack. You could hold a bake sale at school, have an open garden or host a quiz.
You can find top fundraising tips and ideas here.
5. Ask your employer to support people with migraine
If you want to make a difference for people with migraine, consider asking your employer to support The Migraine Trust through their charitable giving. They could become a corporate partner or organise a corporate fundraising event. You could also ask them to match your donations or money you’ve raised through a fundraiser. Your employer could also set up a payroll giving scheme, which would allow employees to support The Migraine Trust via their salary without paying tax on their donations.
You can also support people with migraine by encouraging your employer to take steps to become a migraine-friendly workplace. We can arrange information and support sessions at your workplace to improve understanding of migraine and help your company support people with migraine at work (contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more). you could also share our Help at Work toolkit with you managers and colleagues to help ensure everyone with migraine is getting the support they need.
6. Raise awareness
Migraine is a seriously misunderstood condition – many people think of migraine as nothing more than a bad headache. This is hugely problematic for people living with migraine because they lack understanding and support from friends, colleagues and teachers. Navigating work or school/university with migraine can be very challenging as many people don’t appreciate the severity of the disease.
That’s why raising awareness is very important and a key part of what we do at The Migraine Trust. You could raise awareness by holding an event at work, posting about migraine on social media, setting up a Migraine Trust collection box at work, in a shop or other local business, or even just speaking to your friends, family or colleagues about migraine and the impact it can have on people’s lives. You can find lots of resources about migraine and its impact on our website.
7. Write to your MP or a local newspaper
We’re currently campaigning for better migraine care in the UK following our recent research that uncovered many issues with our migraine healthcare system. These problems include waiting a long time to be diagnosed or treated, waiting a long time to see a specialist, migraine not being taken seriously enough and new medications being difficult to access.
Many people with migraine will have struggled with these issues and more, and if you’d like to help us campaign for better migraine care we’d be really grateful if you could write to your MP or your local newspaper about the issue. You can find more information about how to do this, along with letter templates, here.