Should Organ Donation Be Encouraged After Death?

A couple of weeks ago, I was out with some friends discussing some interesting topics and organ donation came up in conversation. Most of us said that we would actually be up for the idea, it would be helping to change people’s lives and that’s something we all want to do. However, someone did argue that it would be their organs, do they really need to give them away? What if you wanted to be buried with all your organs in place because that’s what makes you human right? Why would you give your heart away? It’s your heart.

I decided to take this discussion on Twitter and I tweeted out a poll. Below are the results of my twitter poll.

It’s clear to see that those who answered the poll thought that organ donation should definitely be encouraged after death. I then took it on to talk to a few people about their thoughts including Youtuber SubPixel. He has recently signed up to become an organ donor. Bloggers including Caitlin and Louise have also recently signed up to become organ donors and both discussed why they have done so.

SubPixel said that he had signed up to become an organ donor  because it’s a great thing to do. It is also something that will help someone who needs the help and would be the last nice thing he could do in this world. He added that it is important because you don’t necessarily need them when you die; was trying to get his friends to sign up to become organ donors too.

Caitlin, a blogger from Newport, said that she had recently signed up to become an organ donor as both her parents and her brother have already signed up. She thinks it is crucial for us to help those who are in need of organs as it would be completely changing their lives for good. Caitlin said that she decided to sign up after three weeks of thinking about it as it is something big. She had always imagined herself being buried with her organs as it seems to be the ‘normal’ thing to do. However, she also said that with the rise of organ donors, from what she knows, a lot of people will probably love the idea of organ donation anyway.

Louise completely agreed with Caitlin’s thoughts and said that she signed up to become an organ donor two years ago when she turned 20. Louise is a Mental Health blogger from Essex but said that become an organ donor has allowed her to understand her body a little bit more and the importance of maintaining your organs as healthy as possible. Though Louise believes that it is important to help those who need the organs after you die, she did say that she would not want to give away her heart as she feels that nobody should have her heart – it is hers and will remains hers.

Though most people I talk to about organ donation say that they are more likely to sign up and give their organs away rather than keeping the organs for themselves, there was  19% of those who answered the poll who thought that you shouldn’t need to be encouraged to give your organs away after you die.

Someone did message me on Twitter saying that they don’t like the idea of giving away their organs because it’s just ‘bizarre’. We’ve all been given our own organs so we should keep them, he said. We shouldn’t have people telling us that it’s a nice thing to do because we could still be nice people; just not wanting to give away our insides.

What do you think? Do you think we should be encouraged to give away our organs when we die? Get in touch!

Keep up-to-date with my social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter. 

New Year’s Resolutions, Have We Kept Them?

You’re probably reading this and thinking “Why on earth is she talking about New Years when it’s July?”. The blog title gives it away. Most of us have probably forgotten that we made resolutions for 2017 or we just don’t even think about it. You’ll be surprised (not really) to know I haven’t kept any of mine, well consistently anyway. Every year I tell myself I’ll aim to make realistic goals yet somehow they don’t become reality (probably because they are way beyond my abilities to take on anyway). Half way through the year and let’s reflect on how I’m doing with these resolutions.

SPEND MORE TIME BLOGGING:

I think everyone who read’s my blog and keeps up-to-date with it will probably know this is an absolute shamble. I’ve not spent much time blogging since January, I seem to always go through phases where I’ll blog a lot but then have a long period of not blogging at all. I need to find a solution to this problem ASAP. (If anyone has any suggestions on keeping the ball rolling with blogging, please hit me up, thanks). I say all that but I have been able to continue blogging and I’ve not given up – which is good for me! Let’s get this motivation back and we’ll retry this resolution again next year but do it MUCH better. This time next year, I aim to have at least 200 posts. {Side note – I made a blog post on 19 Things To Do Before I’m 19, to have 200 posts but it has NOT happened (was I a bit too big for my boots?)}

JOIN A GYM:

Well, this has not happened. At all. I did plan to join one after my exams had finished but this went down the drain after losing the motivation and not having a gym buddy. How do I go about gaining the confidence to join a gym by myself and look like a moron using the equipment for the first time?

STRESS LESS OVER LITTLE THINGS:

Now actually, compared to this time last year, I have been less stressed. Maybe because I’ve only actually had one exam so I’ve had less stress over little things such as “am I revising enough?”. However, I have still stressed out over little things such as stressing over whether I’m good enough to blog? I think we all stress anyway, it’s natural. I think I am doing well with this resolution though it is probably a general thing anyway.

BE LESS DEPENDANT ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

This has not worked in any shape or form. This is probably the most unrealistic resolution and goal for me because I seem to always be on it unless I’m asleep or too busy. Social media is a huge part of my day to day life and I do depend on it, for my news, updates etc. I think can be good and bad. Being dependant upon it may not be too good but I have been able to reach out to potential interviewees through social media.

SPEND MORE TIME OUTSIDE – IN NATURE:

This is probably one of the only New Years Resolutions I have actually kept coherently. I have definitely spent A LOT more time outside, instead of being at home watching Netflix. I hope this continues throughout the year because being outside according to psychologists and experts does actually mean you’re more likely to be happier.

Let me know if you’ve kept up-to-date with your resolutions and if you’ve been cheeky and not even bothered with them!

Keep up-to-date with my social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter. 

I’m Jumping 160ft! 


As many of you will be aware, I’ll be taking on a 160ft bungee jump this month. This is the scariest but the most exciting thing I have ever done. As someone who’s afraid of heights AND water, it’s probably not a great idea but why not? It’s for an amazing cause and is also a little bit of ‘fun’.

I’ll be jumping to raise money for Water4Life projects in Africa with Islamic Relief. There are so many people who die every single day purely because they aren’t drinking clean water. We take advantage of that. Sometimes we get caught up with life, we don’t realise how privileged we are just to have the basics necessities to live.

I’m jumping over Salford Quays, now this is where I also study so it’s close to me and it’s somewhere where I’ll go to after the bungee jump. (Either really good memories or bad ones, let’s hope it’s all good right?).

If you’d like to sponsor me, even if it’s just a pound, it’ll be mean absolutely everything! The link is:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shafiasbungeejump

 

The Happiest 5K that I did nOT run.


Photo credit: Sufia Begum

Though I did not take part in the run, The Colour Run was by far one of the best events I have been involved with. The amount of colour, fun and positivity the event held was ridiculous. Waking up at 6am was definitely worth it; I would do it all again.

Orange zone was where all the fun was at, I was completely covered with the paint at the end of the event. I even had it up my nose which was a bit hard to get out. There were over 9,000 people who had registered to take part in the run at Manchester’s Etihad stadium, it definitely felt like that. We had tubs of paint and I just kept having to refill the mustard jar.

There were people rolling around on the floor to cover themselves in more colour and people who just walked the run to get more colour thrown at them. There were so many unicorns and princesses who were completing the run for charities and more than just having fun.

The run was also a really good place to meet new people from all different backgrounds interested in the same thing, cOLOUR and fun. I would say I am without a doubt taking part in the run next year. It was just full of excitement. I didn’t get to interview anyone because of how busy the event was and because of how much paint there was. This was something that really disappointed me because it would have been an excellent place to interview people and get some really good photographs.

Are there enough MH services for those who need it? (Five opinions on the subject matter.)

Last month I tweeted out a poll to see if people on twitter think that there are enough facilities for mental health sufferers. Though the poll didn’t apply to a specific area, it did conclude that 93% of those who completed the poll thought that there were not enough facilities.

Rosie, a 21-year-old mental health blogger from Crewe, said that she received help through child services in 2013 after a 18 week wait. She believes that the situation is reaching a crisis point and that there needs to be more done about it. Rosie’s only option was medication after going back as an adult patient but feels that there should be more easily accessible options for everyone, regardless of whether they have already had help before or not. Rosie took on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and with this, she has been able to work on her anxiety.

“Without sounding cheesy, it has changed my life. I was so sceptical at first but it really worked. I didn’t like leaving the house before but now I’m at university.” she said. She also said that she believes that mental health facilities are needed more now than ever, even if people are able to access mental health nurses at school if they need them.

Through blogging, Rosie has been able to help people who are facing similar problems she was a few years ago. She’s been able to also meet like-minded people and share the same goal of breaking down mental health stigmas.

Similarly, 18-year-old Chloe from Manchester, said that she thought that more needs to be done about the mental health services available to people. Chloe has been on the waiting list for counselling for almost three years and has been told that she is not a ‘high risk patient’ therefore has to wait leat another year. Chloe believes that there needs to be more services available especially towards the counselling sector so people like herself don’t need to rely on medication. With more services, the stigma of mental health can continue to break down.

You can read both their blogs in the links provided at the bottom of the blog post.

Another blogger, who wished to remain anonymous said that she believes the stigma of mental health is still prevalent. Now 17, she still struggles with her anxiety often up at 3am completing breathing exercises and calming herself down. She said: “To improve mental health services, I think it’s definitely to give the same resources and money that is given to physical health and the same consideration”.

Similar to Rosie’s suggestion, this blogger said that there needs to be done within school personal development focusing on mental health of students as there are always external causes and there can be so much more done.

18-year-old Harriet said that there was an ‘obvious’ lack of resources. Harriet found the child services much better than the adult services. With the lack of funding of adult services, she has only been able to receive six sessions before having to go back on the waiting list. Harriet however believes that the services available are really good and staff make the most of what they’ve got. Harriet has found services such as Samaritans and Kooth have been really helpful but believes staffing levels need to be increased.

All four of these emphasised how they believe that there need to be more services and support available for mental health suffers. With more services, more individuals are able to get the help they need. However, there was someone who said that the mental health services available to them had actually made the anxiety worse.

By talking to someone at the sixth form with many different people around, people they knew, it made it feel more uncomfortable rather than how it was supposed to be. There was not enough support available and he believes that the best tool is to help yourself as nobody knows yourself better than you.

Contact the bloggers I interviewed:

Rosie 
Blog link – https://ourrose.wordpress.com
Twitter – @rosiebsteele

Chloe
Blog link – https://mysecondattemptthistime.blogspot.co.uk
Twitter – @mysecondattempt

 

An Interview with Ben Power, Director of ‘Spring Reign’ play.

Spring Reign – A story from the Syrian Conflict:

Spring Reign” follows Aisha and Salah, two Syrians who have given refuge to two unexpected Westerners during the war. The play connects photographers, journalists and ordinary people to the Syrian crisis and aims to provide a platform to promote discussion and understanding. It has successfully used real life personal stories to educate those who don’t entirely know what is currently happening in Syria or wish to learn more about it.

When talking to Ben Power, I asked him a few questions starting with how the tour was. The play has been performed on ten different stages beginning at The Lowry in Salford and finishing at a festival theatre in Hyde. Though it only went on for a month, according to the director, the team were highly successful in achieving their aims and goals to begin with. Ben Power said:

“We’ve been able to hear people really appreciate and hear other sides of the Syrian stories. We’ve also been to bigger cities, with more diverse audiences, people with all sorts of different backgrounds coming to watch this play. Again, we’ve had a really fantastic response with these audiences”.

The play has taken a few years to become exactly what the team have wanted it to become. In 2012, the production of the play came into place and a little bit of work was done at Imperial War Museum in Salford in 2013. By 2015, Spring Reign had been taken into the Lowry and a theatre mill in Bradford. It then took a further two years, now 2017, for the play to have travelled around the U.K and for the tour to have taken place.

When asked why the play was called ‘Spring Reign’ Power said:

“While the ‘Arab Spring’ presented hope and positivity through the Middle East, the conflict in Syria has become a humanitarian crisis like no other. In Syria, it was quashed by the oppressive government and his Assad’s reign of terror”.

Director Ben described the play as doing exactly what it aimed to do. With the main stream media showing us the horror and consequences of the Syrian conflict, the play has allowed viewers to see how life has changed for ordinary people such as Salah and Aisha. It has brought communities to come together to understand the extent of the conflict and to find out about organisations who are helping these civilians in Syria.

When I asked him how he’s found the tour, Spring Reign director said: “Very rewarding. My team and I were accepted by the Syrian community and they’ve really supported us with the play. They have had a positive attitude toward it and in some way allowed us to advocate for their cause and it makes me proud that we’ve been able to do this.”

Following on from this, he said that the feedback for the play has also been really good with press releases and audiences showing really good feedback. People have said they were moved and humbled by the performance; that many did not realise the impact the war had on the volume of ordinary people and this play has really shown that. The play has covered topic such as hope and resilience and audiences have really been able to engage with that.

Spring Reign has and is working two charities, Syria Relief and Rethink and Rebuild. Syria Relief are a Manchester based charity which take aid to Syria and work with medics. They also train people on the grounds in Syria and aid them with the basics, such as food and water. Syria Relief have been able to remain the livelihood of the people of Syria and have been able to keep people busy and active.

I then asked him what he thought the solution of the current conflict was. He said that there isn’t a single thing which would be the solution to the crisis. “Nothing can change until civilians are protected. Once people are given safe places and they are allowed to live their lives again without fear. The people who aren’t a part of the opposition groups or the different fraction who oppose to fighting against the government, they need protecting. Once this has happened, there will be space for dialogue”.

The director said that the idea of Spring Reign came by chance, with little background as a political theatre maker, he did not know whether he would enjoy it. He hopes that the work he creates has an impact on the people who watch it, that it encourages them to ask questions but also educate themselves on important topics which affect mass amounts of people.

To find out more about the director Benedict Power and more of his work go to:
http://benedictpower.co.uk