What would you take to a desert island?

A week ago one of my favourite things EVER broke and I had to go a week without them before I could get some new ones and it got me thinking about what three things that I would take to a desert island (it can’t be people 😀)

So what broke that I cannot live without ???

My hair straighteners

I didn’t realise how much that I used them but I do pretty much use them everyday and yes I know that I shouldn’t! Anyways ….

So Dan bought me an early birthday present and replaced my GHDs with Cloud Nines on recommendation from my lovely hairdresser Vikki at V12 Hair Salon in Cheadle Hulme.

If you remember my blog last week about queuing for 4 hours for a Build A Bear (click here if you missed that) , we managed to get our hands on two Star Wars teddies including Chewbacca …. I actually likened myself to looking like him when I woke up one morning and couldn’t straighten my hair!

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Anyway, so item 1 on a desert island would be my straighteners … (and of course, yes there would be a plug socket available for me to use that had previously been installed in a palm tree by an ex desert island resident 😆) …

V12

And yes , water is already available and there are lots of pineapples and coconuts to eat so I’m good for food and would probably actually enjoy the detox!

Item 2 …. contact lenses …. I know such a boring item but I cannot see very far without them and I’d be missing all those ships that passed by the desert island because I couldn’t see them which means that I couldn’t wave and alert them that I was on the island, I’d end up wasting away on the island all because I couldn’t see properly 👀….

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Item 3 and my last item … Scrabble … yes seriously a board game … I could have chosen a book as I love to read but a book gets a bit boring when you’ve read it a couple of times … but Scrabble … that just keeps on going! You’re never going to play the same game again are you… especially if I’m playing against myself 😀.

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So there you have it my three items … what would you choose?

If you are wondering how the Cloud Nine Hair Straighteners are in comparison to the GHDs, I love them, I wasn’t sure that I would as I’ve had GHDs for years but I took a chance on a new product! They are so smooth and I love the temperature control on them too!

If you fancy buying a pair and are local, V12 are doing a very kind offer where over the summer (until 1st September 2018) they will donate 10% of sales of Cloud Nine products to Millie’s Trust.

They do NOT carry stock but they order it in for you. This way they can ensure you have the latest model and not something that’s been sat in a shelf. If you would like to be added to their order list then please give Vikki a shout.

* deposit required when ordering *

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Contact V12 here

Amazing!

I am often amazed at the way that people treat Dan and I and what we have done since Millie’s passing. We have some people that are supposed to be close to us that couldn’t be further away from understanding what we have been/are going through, especially at certain times of the year. Yet total strangers often surprise the most with their sense of understanding towards what has happened to us and their generosity in supporting our charity in whatever way they can.

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Today, despite my not being able to walk very far at the moment (Click here to see why) and being not far from my due date, Dan, Leo & I ventured down to V12 Hair Boutique in Cheadle Hulme who for the 5th year running are this year supporting Millie’s Trust by holding a 24 hour salonathon!

This is an amazing event that they hold every year and what I find the most amazing about it, is that the first time that they did it – they didn’t actually know our family and the charity hadn’t even been running for a year but their belief in us and what we were doing was outstanding.

I asked Vikki (the salon owner) why they did what they did for us and this is what she told me.

“This is now my 5th year opening my salon doors for 24hours to raise money for Millie’s Trust. We offer all non chemical hair dressing services for a full 24hours and accept donations for our work. I felt that I wanted to do something that was a challenge  so when I had a dream I opened my salon for 24 hours, I thought “why not?” Let’s do this! I chose Millie’s Trust as it was a local charity and not even a year old.I had no idea how it would go and set a target of £250, I think the first year we raised £1500! Not too bad from a dream!

As the years have gone by we as a family look forward to the challenge, (even though we ask why we do it to ourselves at 4am)

Click here to join the Facebook Event Page 

When I first started this for Millie’s Trust I didn’t know Joanne and Dan but over the years we have become friends raising money for their wonderful charity that started up when they tragically lost their daughter Millie.

We also run a raffle and ask as many local and national business’ to support us and the response we get is fantastic. (so if you can donate anything, please do get in touch)

We love doing it, decorating the salon and getting clients old and new together for a community event. We even have regulars that come to the event at 3am for a hair cut, every year without fail!

I once gave Joanne the choice of date, never again! She picked (without knowing I might add) the weekend the clocks went back, yes we ended up doing 25 hours! Thank you Jo!

So, please if you have a few pennies to spare, we know that the girls will appreciate every single penny and it will keep them going through the early hours of 2am, 3am, 4am etc whilst they are still washing, blow drying and cutting hair! Can we help them hit their £500 online target???

You can donate by clicking here

Or donate easily by text

TEXT

HAIR12 £5 to 70070

(£5 can be changed from £1 to £10)

If you are local and on your way home from a night out tonight, pop in and say hi and throw a few pennies in a box or have a 3am wash & dry 💕💕💕!

All in Millie’s memory xxx

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Thank you to everyone who has made a donation, supported us in anyway or held a fundraiser in our daughter’s memory in the last 5 years. 💕💕💕

Choking Hazards for children 

I keep seeing all these various posts flying around Facebook at the moment about not letting your children eat certain foods because another child has choked on them and they are suddenly now deemed a complete danger to children.

Now, as a policy. On the Millie’s Trust page, we refuse to share anything that has not been officially recalled because if one of these posts just happened not to be true, it could potentially ruin the business of whatever product it was.

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So, after seeing a few of these flying around social media this week, I decided to do a little experiment whilst I was doing my weekly shop today (much to Leo’s dismay having to spend 15 minutes back and forth on the sweet aisle). 

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I wanted to have a look at what confectionary products actually came with a choking warning on them because as you all know, certain sweets etc can be a certain type and shape and this may cause an obstruction much more easily.

So my experiment went like this.

I picked up random sweets on the aisle that I considered to be a choking hazard to a child under the age of 3.

I’m sad to say that in those 15 minutes, I only actually found 4 items that had a hazardous notice on the back of them. Here is a photo below .. I haven’t used the brand names on here as it’s not fair on the manufacturers, some of them could be own supermarket brands and some of them could be nationally well known brands.


Here are some of the hazard warnings and honestly, it really impressed me that the manufacturers had decided to put these warnings on.

Did you know that the small chocolate eggs had a warning for children under the age of 4? 


There is a reason for these warnings. It is to stop adults giving them to children when they are small. Be it because the actual sweet could cause a full blockage or the toy parts with the chocolate could be a choking hazard (see photo below)


The fact is, is that the manufacturer has put a warning on these products but I still see children under these ages time and time again being given these products, having their lives put at risk by the person who has given it to them because there is a clear warning on the packaging and they have chosen to ignore it.

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Why? Why on earth would you give in and give a 2 year old a chocolate egg not meant for children under the age of 4.

I was actually shocked that I couldn’t find a marshmallow packet or a hard boiled sweet packet with a choking hazard warning on them – because these products due to the consistency and/or shape are up there on the high risk, just like grapes and sausages that haven’t been cut in the correct way before being given to children.

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Then we have the other extreme though, check out the photo below, how many of these products have you happily given your 1 year old child? Don’t worry, it’s fine to do so. So don’t feel guilty when you look at the photo…


My point is, is that everything is a choking hazard to children. Just remember, our daughter choked on mash and passed away and she was an extremely competent eater. We were utterly shocked when we were told it was mash (I can’t stand writing/saying/hearing this word) that Millie had choked on as we had originally been told she had been eating Shepherd’s Pie, we were expecting to be told that she had choked on a piece of meat, but no, it was the mash from the meal.

Grapes, sausages, toast, fruit, bacon etc etc etc 

A lot of the time, it’s not about the product. It’s about the preparation of the food, it’s about you spending the time to sit with your child and be there with them whilst they eat their meal.

  • The emails can wait
  • The phone calls can wait
  • The hoovering can wait
  • The doorbell can wait
  • The texts can wait

Focus on your child. It is THAT SIMPLE.

  • Prepare food correctly
  • Cut it to the correct size
  • Cut it in the correct manner

Two of my biggest gripes. Now, some of you are going to hate me for saying this, some of you are going to be sat there saying “What is she going on about? I do that!” Maybe you won’t after reading a little further … my gripes are

  • Giving children food in a forward facing pushchair
  • Giving children food in the back of a car when there is no adult in the back seat with them.

Think about this for a second.

If your child went quiet in pushchair after eating some fruit for example, that you had given them, would your first thought be “they’re choking” … I am pretty confident that most of you would just think that they had fallen asleep… by the time you realise, it’s too late.

And all because you wanted to keep them quiet for 5 minutes and food would be a distraction. 

When someone is choking and silent – it’s a full blockage, the worst kind. They need help. NOW.

Just as a side note here, Leo had a tantrum whilst in the supermarket today because I wouldn’t let him eat a cake whilst pushing him in the trolley. He literally screamed blue murder for 3 or 4 aisles in the supermarket, maybe less than 10 mins … did it bother me? No. Why? Because I wasn’t going to give in and let him eat something whilst I was distracted shopping. He could wait. He eventually got bored of screaming and started to point everything out in the supermarket. I could see the sympathy from other parents about my screaming child, which was great! These parents had all been there with a screaming child, it’s fine. It will be over soon, don’t give in. I didn’t, he didn’t get the cake. He got it, when we got home for after his dinner. 

Now let’s use the exact same theory in a car;

How long would it take you to pull over on the hard shoulder in moving traffic once you realise that your child was choking? Probably longer than the time needed for the damage already to be done.

Many people are surprised to hear that Dan and I think like this after losing Millie. The fact is, is that anyone can choke on anything.

Preparation is key.

Take the time out not to rush food.

Learn what to do if the worst was to happen.

I hope that many of you reading this will now consider reading the back of food products before you give them to your small children. There’s nothing stopping you giving them to them but consider cutting them up, just like you would a grape. Consider whether the consistency of the product (particularly sticky) is appropriate for the age of your child. Consider the toy product that might come in a gift set with an Easter Egg.

It’s about thinking. It’s about common sense. It’s about prioritising.

To have a look for a family first aid course in your area, click here to visit Millie’s Trust, click here . If you can’t find one in your area, click here to let us know where you would like Millie’s Trust to visit.

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Millie does it again. 

Dan and I receive a lot of messages on a daily basis and we genuinely do try and respond to anything that is directed personally to us … this message that we received recently had me crying on my sofa at home when I read it. 

Our little girl Millie, (in the pic below,  really is an angel saving lives) 


Messages like this really hit us hard and truly emphasise the original reasons why we set up Millie’s Trust after we lost our precious daughter. 

I don’t have much more to say because I think this mum’s message from Dublin says it all…

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 💕💕💕 This little girl also turned one yesterday … something our daughter never got to do 💕💕💕 

(Message is from early December) 

“This is long…. please bare with me.

I did a Millie’s Trust Paediatric First Aid course on 21st Nov 2016

Last night, was the worst of my life. But thanks to Millie’s Trust Paediatric First Aid, My night had a happy ending. My 10 month old baby girl, my princess, my world. Stopped breathing after choking on her food. She’s been unwell with a croup for a few days now and a little off her food. The only thing she’s been eating is sloppy breakfast cereal. In the middle of her tea last night she coughed. I saw the food come up in her mouth and braced myself for the reflux of food coming my way (as she has done a few times over the last few days) But that didn’t happen. I wish it did. I saw the food almost vacuum back into her mouth. I expected her to swallow, but she didn’t. He mouth stayed open and she started to gag. I though she was going to be sick. But she didn’t. There was nothing. It was like a silent movie in slow motion. Nothing happened, then she started to go blue. I lifted her from her high chair and put her down my knee with her head in my hand and started smacking her back. Nothing. I turned her over and thrust her sternum (sp?) Once. And once was what it took. Up came the food and she started to vomit. She was gasping for air and coughing. Every cough seemed to make it worse and she couldn’t catch her breath. I called 999 for help, i didnt know if it was all up or uf she needed more help. God love the poor responder who couldn’t get my address because of my acccent and the crying coming from me. Katie laid in my arms for a while whilst the responder monitored her breaths with me. Making sure the blockage was all gone. The fire brigade and paramedics arrived and took her from my arms and gave her the once over while I fell apart crying. The rest was a bit calmer while they checked her airways and made sure she was OK. (She’s was wheezy, but calm. A bit too calm, I wanted her to be kicking and screaming, but she just seemed still) they took her to the hospital to check her over, xrays and observations regularly, to make sure nothing had aspirated into her lungs, and make sure that I hadn’t trapped any air there with my check compression. Thankfully at 1am they released us. She is non the wiser from her ordeal. Mummy & Daddy are wrecks.  But we’re thankful for the knowledge I was given, and pray to God that I never have to use it again. Dr said I saved her life. But I don’t feel good. I just feel sick. I feel completely sick. I urge anyone, with a child / baby of any age. Get a Paediatric First Aid course. Today, tomorrow. Asap. You never know when you or someone you love might need it. I know I sound like an advert. But I don’t even want to think about “what if” 

Please all hug your children a little tighter as I will be doing!! “

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This was the original review following this lady taking part in our course in Dublin in November.

“Completed a paediatric First Aid course today with Millie’s Trust It was a very detailed course with plenty of explanation, not only on the how, but ‘why’ the First Aid is done the way it is. We were a small group, but that made it more informal and we could relax and enjoy the experience. I hope I never have to use it, but it’s good to know that I have it under my belt with the knowledge that I could help someone. Dan & Joanne are Hero’s. To go through what they have and still have the power to motivate others to educate, they will change the world. And probably saving hundreds of people/children in the process. Will be buying my 1st aid box as it made me realise today how little I have stocked. “

To donate to Millie’s Trust, click here 


To buy our first aid kit, click here 

We would also like to say a huge thank you to The Bridge 1859 in Dublin who donated the venue for this course … without their generous donation of a room this lady might not have been able to attend a course at the time she did and the outcome could have been much different. 

If you are a business who could donate a room for the day to allow Millie’s Trust to run a course at your venue, please get in touch 

To read a previous blog, click here 

READ MORE ABOUT MILLIE’S MARK

Impossible writing 

Wouldn’t it be great if we could each write our own life story. 

How happy we all would be.

You know the scene, fluffy bunny rabbits, cupboards full to bursting with food & drink, friends & family living forever and no money worries.

To be honest, I’m not sure I know anyone who has a completely perfect life. Some like to think they do … but it only takes a split second for all that to change 

I think that you can write your own story to an extent, you can make the choices and decisions which ultimately shape your future and the paths that we take. 

But what we cannot predict is life and death. 

One minute someone is there and the next they are gone.

One minute the light is shining, the next moment it’s pitch black.

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Grief is a unique situation to each and every one of us and there is little point in comparing how one grieves to another. 

There is little point in comparing one situation to another.

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Life is tough, life can be absolutely shit and once again for Dan and I, it is. 

It is absolutely nothing compared to what we have been through with Millie but life is currently throwing us a huge curve ball that is causing us a lot of pain and heartache and when I’m ready, it really is something that I want to blog about to help others but not just yet. 

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We need to keep going. 

We will.

Once again we need to be strong. 

Massive hugs to anyone who is experiencing any type of heartache right now in their lives – huge love to you all.

Be kind to one another because you don’t know what the next person you come across is currently going through. 

But … on another note, we’ve got this little monster keeping us smiling … he wasn’t very impressed with me when I had to wake him up today to go out and refused to move from his cot xxx


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Millie’s Mark: England’s first awarded nurseries 

An extremely proud day for us today and it couldn’t come at a more emotional time of year for us, in the run up to Millie’s anniversary in less than 2 weeks time. 

Click here to apply for Millie’s Mark

After many many years of hard work and campaigning for changes regarding paediatric first aid training in nurseries and pre schools, we are at last very proud to announce on behalf of everyone involved with #milliesmark that the first 10 nurseries to be awarded Millie’s Mark in England are;

HeadStart Day Nursery in Horsham, West Sussex

Happy Tots Preschool Play Group in Ipswich

Little People Nursery in Shepherds Bush, London

Sansway House Day Nursery in Bristol

Elm Cottage, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire

North Cheshire Jewish Nursery in Greater Manchester 

Granby Nursery in Worksop, Nottingham

Cooperative Childcare Newburn in Newcastle Upon Tyne

Nature Trails Day Nursery in Rugby 

Turnbridge Day Nursery in Goole, East Yorkshire

These are the first 10 nurseries in England to be awarded Millie’s Mark and they should be extremely proud at how hard they have worked to ensure that they gained the mark. 

This is now the time to start questioning your nurseries, encourage them to apply for Millie’s Mark and ensure that all their staff are trained in Paediatric First Aid.

If they say no they are not all trained in paediatric first aid, ask them why? #noexcuses

Parents are able to search for their nearest nursery by using the search bar on the new website by clicking here 

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To understand how a nursery can make an application for the mark and to take a look at the rigorous criteria that they have to get through to gain the mark, you can view the Millie’s Mark website by clicking here

Once a nursery/pre school have been awarded the mark, they are given permission to use the logo throughout the nursery (please note that you have to have permission to use this logo from Millie’s Mark).

We very pleased to see this morning that most of these nurseries are now proudly displaying the Millie’s Mark Logo on their websites, so why not pop and along and have a look.

To see full NDNA Press release, click here

We were very honoured to visit one of the nurseries that are local to us this morning, Elm Cottage Orrishmere with NDNA who are administering the mark. 


The children (and staff) had an amazing time meeting Millie the Giraffe. 

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We now really need you guys to go back onto Facebook to the status where you first saw this blog and like and share as much as you can as we need every parent, pre school and nursery to know about Millie’s Mark! 
If you are of the first 10 awarded nurseries, please do send us your photos showing your Millie’s Mark certificate/celebrations on display in your nursery/pre school. You can send them in via Facebook or Twitter or drop us an email to info@milliestrust.com

To listen to my interview on BBC RADIO MANCHESTER THIS MORNING, CLICK HERE

To read an open letter about Millie’s Mark – click here 

Once again, congratulations to the first ten nurseries that have achieved Millie’s Mark, we are so proud of you. 

Letter from us 

This week I wrote an open letter to be featured in media articles about the development of Millie’s Mark. October is so, so hard for us but our daughter’s legacy is happening right now and we could not be prouder.

Please keep reading to see what I wrote. 

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We have very exciting times coming up next week  as we are FINALLY able to reveal which 10 nurseries have been awarded the first 10 Millie’s Mark award in England! We are so very excited about this and cannot wait to show you who they are! 

Here is the short letter. Please like and share and tag any of your parent friends in the Facebook post and let them know about #milliesmark. 

Apply for Millie’s Mark by clicking here.

“All parents want to ensure that their children will be looked after appropriately if an unfortunate accident was to happen. Knowing that all staff working with children in the nursery are trained gives parents that little bit of extra comfort when they have to walk away from the nursery on that emotional first day.


We are extremely pleased that the first 10 nurseries from the pilot scheme have now been awarded Millie’s Mark. This is a fantastic achievement for every single person that signed the original petition.

Above and beyond

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @milliesleosmum – to see who are to be revealed next week.

Working with NDNA, which is delivering the mark, has been a great experience and a positive learning curve for everyone on the team. Together with the DfE, we’ve been able to shape the assessment process that all the settings that sign up have to go through.

NDNA completely understands why Millie’s Mark is such an important thing – not only for us as Millie’s parents, but for thousands of other parents across England.

We are encouraged that so many nurseries are training above and beyond the current legal requirements to meet the stringent and comprehensive criteria of Millie’s Mark, and that first aiders in nurseries are supported to work as teams rather than as individuals to ensure the correct emergency treatment is given. We look forward to seeing Millie’s Mark appearing in more nurseries throughout England in the coming months.”

So as you can see, what I wrote was short and sweet but what I wrote pretty much sums it up. 

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This Mark is such an important development for the childcare sector and this sets the standard for what parents should be looking for – 100% trained staff, no excuses. There shouldn’t be any excuses because anyone who works with children should want the best for them and should know how to look after them if something was to happen.

Don’t forget to come back next week to find out who the first 10 nurseries are! 

Once we can reveal, we will announce on Facebook, Twitter and this blog! 

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Please note that the Millie’s Mark Logo is trademarked and is only able for use by awarded establishments



For more information, visit http://www.milliestrust.com or follow @Milliestrust
You can also visit http://www.milliesmark.com