Friday, 25 July 2014

Charlie Vaughan Collection out now!

Things are hotting up this summer - and we’re not just talking about the weather! We’ve been busy working behind the scenes over the past few weeks updating our online shops with Charlie Vaughan’s, the winner our T shirt design competition, stunning designs. The Charlie Vaughan Collection is now available in both our Spreadshirt and Cafepress shops, and what’s more, all profits go directly towards biomedical ME research.

Our Spreadshirt shop stocks a wide variety of tops in many styles and colours in the range. We even have natty accessories available, such as this great shoulder bag which is perfect for summer and made from recycled materials. For ‘Charlie Vaughan’ sleepwear, visit our Cafepress shop where you can purchase fab PJs and onesies. So there’s something for everyone!

Many of the products in both shops are made from 100% cotton and in our Spreadshirt shop we even offer a limited number of organic items.

To make ordering easier from Spreadshirt and to ensure you get the right size we have a Size Guide Help webpage.

Happy shopping!

If you have problems purchasing please get in touch. You can contact us by emailing, messaging us through our Facebook page or tweeting @thebigsleep4me.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Poetry Competition Winners

As ever, the Big Sleep Team likes to go that extra mile, and this competition is no exception.  Inspired by the popularity of Ros’ poems, we wanted to give those in the ME community a chance to share their hidden talents and in doing so acknowledge and celebrate them.  The competition is also a great opportunity to raise further awareness and understanding of ME.       
The competition has proved very popular and we know many of you have enjoyed reading through the entries posted on our competition Facebook event page.  With the standard of entries being so high we’ve certainly had our work cut out judging them, in fact so much so, that we decided to extend the number of winners to five!   
Before we announce the winners, we’d like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has entered and participated in the competition.  We couldn’t have done it without you!  To remind those who haven’t read our earlier posts, each winner will receive a signed copy of Ros Lemarchand’s book ‘My A – Z of ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). ’  For those who haven't won, don't forget Ros' book is available to buy from Amazon as a paperback and Kindle edition, with a percentage of each sale donated to Invest in ME. 

Well, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for – it’s time to announce the winners of the poetry competition. 

Huge congratulations and well done! 

Friday, 2 May 2014

Competition Time!!

As promised, here they are! It’s competition time!! We’ve lined up a whole load to keep you, and us, busy during ME Awareness month. There are some great prizes to be won, including our very popular Snugzie bear, a signed copy of Ros Lemarchand’s book of poems, ‘My A – Z of ME Myalgic Encephalomyelitis’, and a chance to have your own artwork feature on our merchandise. We even have a competition especially for children, or, as we like to call them Little Big Sleepers.

Where’s Bear? Competition is great fun! Snugzie is feeling adventurous and will be off travelling from 11 – 17 May, to coincide with ME Awareness Week and our Sleepathon.  All you have to do is say where he is. A bear is up for grabs each day, so there are plenty of opportunities to get your hands on one. This is how it works; each day a picture will be posted up of Snugzie on 'location’ on our website homepage, Facebook Event’s page and tweeted via Twitter. You then submit your answer of where you think he is by email, commenting under the picture on Facebook or replying to our tweet. All the correct answers will be put into a draw and the winner announced the next day.

With the next two competitions it’s time to get creative. First up, for those budding poets out there, is our Poetry Competition. This competition is inspired by the popularity of
Ros Lemarchand’s poems posted up during last year’s Big Sleep. Not only does the winner get a signed copy of Ros’s book of poems, ‘My A – Z of ME’, but it’s also a chance to shine because we’ll be sharing the winning poem on Facebook, Twitter and its own dedicated blog post. If there are a number of very good entries we place to extend the number of winners. We may even put together a book of the best ones. Your poem could be in print! How amazing is that?!

The competition is open to anyone, but the poems must relate to ME. Just email your poems to us, post it up on our
Facebook Event page or tweet them to us. Each entrant is allowed to submit up to 3 poems and the deadline for entry is 31st May, with the winner(s) being announced on 28th June. 

The T shirt Design Competition is equally exciting. For those with an artistic bent, just submit a design(s) to feature on our T shirts and other merchandise. The design brief is pretty wide; it just needs to relate either to the event, ME or both. Be as inventive and creative as you like! The winning design will not only feature on our merchandise but the winner will get to wear it as well! Since we are going to give the winner an item of clothing of their choosing from any of our shops with their design on. How fab is that? 

The artwork must be your own, be submitted in digital format and emailed to us.  For drawings and paintings just scan and send them, if you’re more into graphics and editing that’s fine. But again, it must be your own work: any elements contained which are not your own must not be subject to copyright. You are allowed to submit up to 3 designs in the following formats; JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, PDF, AI, EPS. The image must be good quality and be at least 300dpi. Large files need to be zipped so we can receive them. The deadline entry is 31st May and the winner will be announced on 28th June.

We like to be as inclusive as possible, so we’ve also got a competition especially for children. The Bear Detective Competition is a fun way for children to engage with ME. All they have to do is help us find the suspicious Big Sleep Bear, by letting us know where he is and what disguise he’s wearing. He’s hiding somewhere on our
website. Answers can be submitted here. Only children 11 and under can enter, with only one entry allowed per child. All children must have parental consent to enter. Deadline for entry is 16th May. All correct answers will be put into a draw and the winner will be announced on 17th, which ties in with the end of ME Awareness Week and the Sleepathon.

But that’s not it! We will be announcing our Facebook disco shortly and Ros, our Big Sleep Bard, is back for 2014 with more of her great poems. It’s all happening at The Big Sleep for ME.

If you want to find out more about any of our competitions go to our
website. If you still have any question, either post them up in our Facebook Events’ pages, email us or tweet us.

Have fun!!!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Busy Bees

As the title suggests, we’ve been very busy at Big Sleep HQ. With the Sleepathon, ME Awareness Week and month drawing ever nearer we have to ramp up to the max. Not easy when we have ME ourselves.  Several hundred emails have been sent, a couple of hundred tweets, and in the region of a hundred posts on our Facebook page. This doesn’t include all the sharing and dealing with queries on Facebook, or making up graphics and, of course, writing blog posts. 

We’re now at the final stages of setting everything up before it all really kicks off. Our
Competition page is now up on our website and over the next few days we will start to set up Events on Facebook for these. We have some fab competitions lined up, and, as like last year, we have one especially for children too. You can always take a sneaky peak if you like and you’re more than welcome to start entering. We won’t go into any more detail about them here as we plan to do a dedicated blog post for them very soon.

We had hoped to announce the competitions sooner as pretty much everything was set up. However, we have been revisited by our ‘bear saga’. There we were thinking, perhaps rather too smugly, that we’d overcome our problems! Since the bears are prizes in quite a few of the competitions this obviously made things rather tricky. We are also putting everything in place for the very popular Facebook disco. The DJ is booked and we’re in the process of securing a venue. So we’ll start promoting this shortly too.  All very exciting!

Over the weekend, we begin the mammoth task of getting in contact with everyone to confirm addresses and dates of events for sending out balloons and badges. This job has been made even bigger by the fact that our giveaway has proved so popular. So much so, that we may have to order more! 

But, we are not the only ones who’ve been busy. Many of you taking part are organising events, such as coffee mornings and PJ parties as well as blogging to help raise awareness. Quite a few of you have already started making sterling efforts with fundraising too, as our latest stupendous total of £3000 shows. Whatever you’re doing, or however you’re taking part – we can all make a difference to ME together!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Dreams can come true


ME can be such a cruel disease and take away so much, which is why it’s nice to share something upbeat and positive to show just what’s possible despite it.

We were first introduced to Ros Lemarchand during our very first Big Sleep in 2012, when we were asked whether we could share a poem Ros had written based on her own experiences of ME and the problems and frustration she has with sleep.  We were delighted to do so and posted it up on both our Facebook page and blog.  It proved very popular and so we asked Ros whether she would contribute some more poems for 2013.  Thankfully, she agreed. 

Come 2013, Ros emailed us seven more poems to feature each day of The Big Sleep for ME Sleepathon.  We decided it would be nice to add artwork to them to make them more visually appealing, and so put together some graphics along with the help of ME Awareness: Words and Pictures.  At the time, Ros said she’d love to put together a book of her ME poems.  We said it would be a good idea to see how popular they were first before she went any further.  

On the first day of our Sleepathon we posted out the first of Ros’ poems – it spread like wildfire!  Neither we, nor Ros had expected quite a reaction.  In the end, her poems were shared so much they had a total reach of 66K people!  But it wasn’t just that, there were hundreds of comments from fellow sufferers too.  It was simply amazing.

Not surprisingly, following the incredible response, Ros went ahead with her book, working over the summer putting everything together and finally published ‘My A-Z of M.E.’ (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) in the autumn.  It has proved very popular and has received rave reviews.  There is even a video review by Miranda Brewster.

You can buy her book through Amazon as a paperback and Kindle edition, a percentage of each sale is donated to Invest in ME.  There will also be a chance to win a signed copy of her book in a competition we have planned which we’ll be announcing shortly.


Given the book’s popularity, Ros has plans to publish another soon and is busy writing more poems, some of which will be featuring in this year’s Big Sleep. So keep an eye out between 11 – 17 May as one will be posted out each day.  We look forward to seeing what Ros has in store for everyone this year.

If you’d like to read Ros’ poems featured in last year’s Big Sleep go to our earlier blog post.  In this post, you can find out a little more about Ros too.  She also has a Facebook page and blog where you can keep up-to-date with all the latest news.

Until next time, or as Ros would say, à bientôt.


Friday, 14 March 2014

We have lift off!

It’s time to get those party poppers out.  It's official – we have launched!  Today, our post went out on the main 'Let’s do it for ME!' blog announcing that we’re back for 2014.  This will be our third Big Sleep.  Each year the event grows and grows, and with your support and that of our business sponsor, Vintage Wedding and Home, this year is going to be even bigger.

This week we made the final updates to our website, so everything should be working now.  Those of you who were disappointed that our Shop wasn’t up, will now be able to browse with ease.  If you do experience any problems, such as broken links please get in touch.  We do our best to check every page and links, but even we miss things sometimes.

Thanks to the generosity of our business sponsor, we are hoping to order balloons and badges this coming week.  But we have a dilemma!  We can’t decide whether to have white balloons with blue design, or vice versa.  Hopefully, some balloon samples in various colours will help us resolve this momentous decision.

We will also be ordering more bears.   They proved so popular last year that we sold out within a couple of weeks, so we want to make sure we don’t disappoint anyone this time. We still have some in stock to buy here.  We’re pleased to say that this year it looks unlikely that we’re going to have another bear saga.  For those of you who weren't with us last year, the manufacturer stopped making our original bear and we had to go on a massive bear hunt to find a replacement.   To the right, is our ‘Wanted’ poster from last year.

So, another busy week in store for us at Big Sleep HQ, whilst we make up artwork templates for the various products we’ll be ordering.  And, a real sense of anticipation and excitement in the air as we wait for the arrival of our balloons and badges.  This year, we’re going to do it for ME in style!


Friday, 7 March 2014

Miracles do happen

We can’t quite believe it ourselves; it’s almost seems too good to be true. For those who don’t already know, we now have business sponsorship. Vintage Wedding and Home UK have stepped up to the ME podium to help make a difference to this disease. With their support, we’re now going to be able to expand the event massively raising even more money and awareness for biomedical ME research, as well as giving away more freebies and running even more great competitions. We can’t thank them enough.

Over the past few weeks, our sponsor has been busy running auctions on their business group page to help towards the costs of our event. All items in the auctions have been very kindly donated by the following businesses: Mace Signs and its sister company The LED Canvas Company, Bling Mama, Tinkerella Loubella, Vintage Sixpence with Cherry Blossom Shoes and Peaches and Queen. So far, the auctions have raised enough to cover all the costs of running the website, blog and our domain name registration for a year. It means so much to us to have such support and we’d like to thank everyone involved for their generosity.  

Getting business sponsorship and support is difficult enough for any fundraising and awareness event, but add ME to the mix and it makes it much more so. That’s why we appreciate the support so much. However, it may not come as much of a surprise to you, that Vintage Wedding and Home UK’s owner, Julie-Ann Chown, has ME. She knows only too well how little support ME gets and the urgent need for more research, and so wanted to give something back to the ME community. She goes onto say, this is ...‘a very proud moment for myself and my company - very proud to be the official sponsors to this awesome event! We can make a difference!’ And with their support we really can!

Vintage Wedding and Home merchandise