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You are not broken and you don't need to be fixed, white text on background of sunset and clouds over water - Throw Yourself A Healing Appreciation Celebration

Sometimes healing and changing our lives can feel so overwhelming.

We read or see all the things we need to do – collect prescriptions! Reduce stress! Eat more greens! Quit coffee!… Exhausting!

Sometimes it feels like one could drown under a big sea of healing things, or get crushed by a book avalanche of all the as-yet unread healing books.

Hold on, let’s put it all in perspective: we all need to acknowledge and celebrate all the healing things we are doing right now!

It sounds simple but it is so easy for amazing, powerful, healing acts to become routine and background and cease to be acknowledged as the brilliant-life-changing-superb-wellness-life-affirming-miracles they are.

It is time to pat ourselves on the back and have some healing appreciation all we are doing already.

You say thank you so many times per day. You might thank the doctor, the nurses, the pharmacist, your neighbour who carries your recycling boxes, your friend for picking up some food for you… but do you say thank you for all you are doing for yourself?

CLICK TO TWEET: Let’s show our gratitude about the choices we are bravely making for our bodies and our healing everyday.

Let’s recognise all we are doing for our wonderful healing-in-process bodies.

This is recognising the good we all do for ourselves every day. So each time we get up, that is a good choice. (I know the pain and how tempting is it to stay in bed and not have to face the days when being dressed is a seemingly insurmountable challenge, or when one is in too much pain to even think).

Every day that you get out of bed it is a choice you are making.

It is healing and it is a victory.

So what if you are not currently, for example, growing your own wheatgrass, meditating every morning and evening or whatever you wish you could do.

What you are doing is fabulous; reading this, something positive and loving for mind and body, maybe getting dressed, taking a walk, watching your breathing, giving yourself a gift. Show some healing appreciation.

Each time we manage any one of these wonderful healing actions we are doing good for our bodies. We are actively healing.

We are acknowledging and celebrating all we do rather than worrying about all the things we could do or all the things we are not doing yet.

If you want to make great changes in your life, that’s brilliant, but please take a moment to notice all the good you are already doing, for a start reading this site and wanting to heal. I mean how amazing is that? Gold stars to you! Healing Appreciation Celebration go!

Today is celebration day rather than the guilty “I haven’t done it yet day”.

I expect you do lots of things but you are so used to them they have become part of your life and habit. We can forget, but today we can re-focus on the benefits of all we do and be kind to ourselves.

CLICK TO TWEETS: Let go of the ‘to-do’ list and swap it for a ‘yay done’ list?

Do you need to shift your space to reflect this shift?

Think now (the first thing that comes to you), is there a part of your home which is draining you? Or making you feel sad, or guilty or stressed? Is it the toppling in-tray, the spare room turned junk room or the mound of ironing? We can make our homes our sanctuaries? We do not have to put up with an environment which doesn’t encourage us.

Pick the bit you want to tackle, or more likely don’t want to tackle – because really that is probably the one that needs it the most. Right now you do not have to plan how to change it. Just see if you can and make one small change today. Then tomorrow you can make another. Gradually, as these changes happen, the beautiful area it is becoming will emerge and take shape.

I have hopes that some of these words may help to share with you some ideas for healing. If you take time today to clear out some clutter (mental or physical) from your old life or your old dreams, then you are one more brave step along your own healing path and I am proud of you and I hope you are too!

If you threw an Healing Appreciation Celebration for yourself, what would you celebrate? Let us know on Twitter.

Image Credit: BeBeautyFilled

Everyone at Healing Boxes is so happy to be featured in this month’s (April) Marie Claire UK Magazine. Our founder Grace Quantock has been interviewed in their Wonder Woman column. It was very exciting to hear that Marie Claire had heard of our work and wanted to include Healing Boxes CIC in the magazine.

We urge you to pick up a copy to read the full scoop, but founder and wellness provocateur Grace Quantock talks about the highlights and history of Healing Boxes on her wellness coaching website here.

If you do pick up a copy, when you’ve finished reading it, please consider donating it to the waiting room of you your local hospital, GP surgery, dentist, optician or health centre. In this way we can spread the word of Healing Boxes and get the support to all those in need.

Marie Claire UK Magazine

Would you like a heart full of cheer and smiles?

Do you want to know your treat is benefiting the world?

Are you in need of support from someone who understands?

Order a Healing Box today for you or someone you love!

Healing Box for Marie Claire UK Magazine

These boxes are designed to comfort, uplift, and provide support to people struggling with illness or challenging times. Each box contains practical yet ethical gifts thoughtfully chosen by you or one of our skilled staff to strengthen the spirit.

Healing Boxes for Marie Claire UK Magazine

If you love Healing Boxes and want to get involved, check out our How Can I Help? page for ways to get involved.

If you’d love to sell Healing Boxes yourself, we’d love that too, check out our affiliate program here.

If you work in a hospital, hospice, health centre, gift shop or for an online retailer and would like to stock Healing Boxes or would like to recommend us to a retailer you know, we can be contacted here for details of our hospital stockist program and wholesale rates.

Healing gifts image - woman on bridgeA gift is an opportunity for joy, transformation and connection. Make it count. Click To Tweet

We are designing boxes that are ethically produced and made by people with disabilities. There are, of course, other online gift companies, but none selling healing gifts designed by people who have years of experience living with and working with people with disability, grief, chronic pain, mental health challenges and life crises.

Healing Boxes are tailored to personal needs and provide thoughtful pick-me-up gifts to those in hospital or anyone in need of cheering. All items are ethically sourced and we are experienced in carefully selecting gifts to ensure suitability for those with food intolerances, allergies, post-surgery needs, undergoing chemotherapy/radiation and those in infection-control hospital wards, as needed.

Healing Boxes are an all-in-one solution – a Healing Box can be used as a mood-management tool, to be dipped into as a healing toolkit to lift mood and to contain items used in self-care including mindfulness meditation CDs to cope with pain and a journal for symptom recording.

Healing Boxes are designed to benefit everyone:

– the person who received the box benefits from the tailored items inside.

– the person giving the box also benefits because they are empowered by giving their loved one something useful, a gift that will actually make a difference. So often when a loved one is ill we feel scared, frustrated and helpless. It can be agony to watch a family member/friend suffer and be powerless to help them. Healing Boxes remedies that.

– As every box contains ethically made items each producer is helped when a box is purchased – small, women-run businesses in the developing world and an orphanage in India all benefit.

– From each box sold money goes towards donating boxes to a local cancer hospice.

– Every box is recycled, ethically produced from organic, fair trade, handmade biodegradable packaging to vegan, cruelty and synthetic free products which benefits our environment and prevents another plastic gift being thrown into landfill.

So truly from each sale, everyone benefits at each stage in the process.

Healing Boxes believes in delightful healing gifts made with diligence, care, and compassion.

What do you believe? Place your Healing Boxes order today here.

Photo credit: Michael Hull

Healing with Self-Care Kits

Happy Boxes for Healing

I’ve told the story of how we set up Healing Boxes many times, but what I haven’t shared often, is the story of the secret Healing Box that started it all. The first Healing Box was mine, but I didn’t make it, my Grandmother did.

I was housebound and then bed bound with chronic illness, I was hurting, lonely and blue. Grandma put together a beautiful silver box tied with a wide velvet ribbon, and inside were beautiful things.

Self-Care Kits are boxes that you fill with goodies (or, if you order a Healing Box, we’ll do the work and fill it with ethical, tailored healing goodies for you) then it’s up to you to use it as you need. I like to keep things that are comforting, like a small bottle of my favourite scent, some lovely buttons that were a gift, little toys like a kaleidoscope and some clay for art-therapy, cards and notes from friends to re-read and cheer myself up, copies of my favourite books and films to enjoy, as well as my journal, relaxation CDs and contact numbers of people I can call in difficult times.

Creating a treasure chest of joys, happy activities, pleasant memories and favourite things that I can dip into is vital. CLICK TO TWEET

How do you make your own Self-Care Kit? Well, I’d love to help you design one, so book a free consult here. But if you’d like to put together your own, the first thing is to get a box, designate it as your Self-Care Kit and then keep it in mind. Fill it with things you love, you can begin by looking around your house and asking if there are any letters from loved ones, postcards that make your laugh or funny cartoons etc. that you like and add them to the box. Keep thinking of your box and you will keep adding resources, and use the box when you need.

I’ve made us a Virtual Self-Care Kit here. I hope you enjoy it.

With love and heart-hugs,

Grace xxx

P.S We have always made Self-Care Kits, let us build one for you.

vegan gift boxes

There are many reasons why we make vegan gift boxes, some we planned, others became apparent along the way, but it’s worked out perfectly for our business, for our customers and for the world.

Often the people who discover Healing Boxes come to us to support their friends, their families or themselves when they’re struggling. But many people also find our boxes useful when they’re looking for a gift that’s ethically produced, made with only cruelty free gifts, and suitable for their needs. While a lot of gift boxes contain dairy chocolates, honeyed snack bars or other gifts containing animal derived ingredients, Healing Boxes always use 100% vegan gifts.

Only supplying vegan gifts in our boxes has made the world of difference. It has allowed us to reach more people, being perfect for people with a variety of allergies or intolerances, and the gifts are still great for people who have no specific requirements. In fact, we’ve recently been featured on Plant Shift, and the focus has been put on the fact that we’re a vegan company making vegan gift boxes.

The feature is a behind-the-scenes look at not just what we do, but why we do it the way we do it. If you’d like to read the article, you can check it out here.

 

What are the 3 best things about vegan gift boxes?

1. Vegan gift boxes are suitable for so many people, not only vegans but people who are vegetarian, following a halal or kosher diet, people with egg and dairy allergies and those who are living a cruelty-free or plant based lifestyle.

2. Vegan gift boxes help our world. Instead of gifts which involve animal cruelty or environmental damage, vegan gift boxes support our world instead of causing suffering.

3. Vegan gift boxes are awesome. Do you remember the times when being vegan meant only being able to buy from a few specialist mail-order shops? We loved the shops, we are grateful to them, but it’s wonderful to see veganism becoming mainstream and to have so many amazing options.

Some of the best items on the planet are vegan! Here at Healing Boxes we are dedicated to finding the best healing products and bringing them to you. 

If you’ve been looking for vegan gift boxes yourself, let us know and we can put something together for you, or you can browse one of the pre-made gift boxes on our shop page. If you like the Plant Shift article or have any questions, let us know on Twitter, we’re always happy to hear what you think.

 

p.s. If you’re interested in veganism, there’s currently a petition to make vegetarian/vegan food labelling a legal requirement in the UK. Here’s to making eating easier for all!

Essential apps for chronic illness, patients and carers - part 3 - text over a flat lay of a photo of a brown felt hat and polaroid photos on a blanket

Here at Healing Boxes we’ve been testing and researching and we’ve rounded up our favourite apps for carers and people with chronic illness.

Part 1 of the app round up is here. Part 2 of the app round up is here.

Check out our list and let us know your favourites on Twitter.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness can have a hugely beneficial impact on health, wellbeing, pain management and living with challenges.

Stop, Breathe & Think

Stop, Breathe & Think

A friendly, simple tool to guide people of all ages and backgrounds through meditations for mindfulness and compassion.

This app is a favourite of Healing Boxes founder Grace Quantock for meditations on the move.

Accessibility: in English for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Android and Online.

Price: Free with in-app upgrades.

Mindfulness Training App

Mindfulness Training App

If you’ve wanted to try out different types of meditation, this is a great app for trials and tasters.

Accessibility: in English for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Price: Free with in-app upgrades.

Insight Meditation Timer

Insight Meditation Timer

A lovely meditation (or rest period) timer for those who would rather meditate without guidance or prompts.

Accessibility: in English for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Price: Free

Carer Support

CareZone

CareZone

CareZone makes it simpler to take care of yourself, an ageing parent, and other family members that need your help.

Features include:

Medication management:

• Take pictures of meds (prescriptions, OTC, and supplements) and the names, dosages, and other details are automatically added for you. (No typing!)
• Always have a list of medications, dosages, and schedules with you.
• Receive reminders when it’s time to take a med, or refill a prescription and track adherence progress by recording when doses are taken.
• Print a pre-formatted schedule to put on the fridge, or share a detailed med list with a doctor via email.
• Journal: document symptoms and privately share updates with family members.
• Calendar: keep track of appointments and share access with others.
• Contacts: organise & share info for doctors, pharmacies, and insurance providers.
• To-dos: keep a synchronized list of things that need to get done and assign tasks to others to get the help you need.
• Photos & Files: store important documents for easy access when you need them.
• Sharing: safely share access with others in case of an emergency, or to coordinate care for a loved one.

Accessibility: in English for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Android.

Price: Free

Caregiving app

Caregiving App

Calendar sharing for co-ordinating community care

Finally, an answer to ‘if there’s anything I can do, just let me know!’

“If there is anything I can do, please call.”
And nothing happens.

Friends, family and caregivers
Want to know how mom and dad or a loved is doing and you live far away?
Want to help but you don’t know what to do, how to do it and not be in the way?
Want to bring a meal but you don’t know what, where or when?

CareGivingApp is a new application that sets up and runs family and community care networks like a personal secretary for patients, caregivers, and healthcare agencies. It features interactive calendars, journal, messaging, shopping lists, medication reminders, and will track blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, and diet.

The patients can also be monitored through the app by medical supervisors from participating hospitals, nursing agencies, or insurance companies. www.caregivingapp.com

Accessibility: in English and Spanish for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Android and online.

Price: Free

Useful

MCBackup

MCBackup

An easy way to back up your contacts.

“No signing in, no accounts, no activations, just send your contacts in a universal format to yourself or others through the mail app. This app backs your contacts up, or simply transfers them in a simple, tangible way that just about every device can read. Bravo!”

My Contacts Backup is the easiest way to backup and restore your contacts all from your phone without needing a computer or synchronization. You can backup all your contacts with a single touch and send them to yourself as a .vcf attachment via email.

All contacts can then easily be restored any time by simply opening the .vcf file in your mailbox with iOS Mail app.

Accessibility: in

Languages: English, Bokmål, Norwegian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese for the iPhone and Android.

Price: Free

Onavo Extended

Onavo Extended

We’ve heard stories of patients coming out of hospital with massive phone bills – because in an emergency you might not be thinking about how many minutes you have left on your mobile phone data plan.

You can load up Onavo Extended now and save money on your mobile internet use.

Onavo Extend saves your mobile data so you can do more of what you love on your phone without spending more on your bill. Once the app is installed on your phone, it works in the background when you use mobile data to find ways to save. Onavo Extend:

• Loads images when you scroll down to them so you don’t use valuable data on images you’ll never see
• Balances image quality and data savings based on your settings so you’re always in control of how much data you use
• Automatically turns itself off when you connect to Wi-Fi

How it works
Onavo Extend compresses all the data you download over 3G, EDGE and LTE, including images and texts. The app gives you reports that break down how you’re using data by apps and other mobile activities so you can keep track of where you’re spending your monthly data allowance.

Accessibility: in English, Filipino, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish for the iPhone and Android.

Price: Free

Do you have any favourite apps we’ve missed? Let us know on Twitter.

Essential apps for chronic illness, patients and carers part 2: apps for saving energy, smiles and safety healing-boxes.com text on top of image of a spray of red berries on a white background

Here at Healing Boxes we’ve been testing and researching and we’ve rounded up our favourite apps for chronic illness, to help people in pain and their caregivers.

Part 1 of the app round up is here. Part 3 of the app round up is here.

Check out our list and let us know your favourites on Twitter.

Energy Saving

Stylebook

Stylebook

Stylebook is a sensationally energy-saving app. Once you have photographed all your clothes – a process that’s much quicker than I imagined, it’s then easy to plan outfits without rummaging through drawers and wardrobes.

If you want someone to bring you clothes into hospital then you can show them exactly what you want on the app – your whole wardrobe is in your phone!

Energy saving for style, plus it’s pretty close to Cher’s wardrobe program from Clueless (no mis-match facility yet!)

Accessibility: in English for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: £2.99

30/30

30/30

A task management app. It’s great for managing time on distracting devices. If as you get tired you get less conscious of boundaries and energy levels, this apps gets you to check in.

Accessibility: in English for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: Free

Safety

MedCoach Medication Reminder

MediCoach Medication Reminder

MedCoach is an easy-to-use medical app that helps you remember to take your medications and pills at the right time and day.

Accessibility: in English for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: Free

Medhelper

Medhelper

MedHelper is a comprehensive prescription/medication compliance and tracking App designed to help individuals and caretakers manage the challenges of staying on time up to date and on schedule with very simple to very complex regimes. Easy to install and full featured MedHelper is ready to become your 24/7 healthcare assistant.

Accessibility: in English for Android and IOS, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: Free

ManDown

Mandown

Developed by firefighters, Mandown is a powerful, life-saving app. The ManDown App sends immediate alerts in case of an emergency or injury. Simply enter the contact information for your family, friends, and/or colleagues; if you have an emergency, they will automatically be notified via text, phone, or e-mail.

Accessibility: in English for Android and IOS, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: $2.99

Medical ID

How to Setup Medical ID on your iPhone

iPhones have a free Medical ID feature that you can use to set up medical information – but it can be accessed by someone who has access to your phone – find instructions on setting up a medical ID on your iPhone here.

Accessibility: in English iPhone

Price: Free

Uplifting

I love uplifting apps on my phone. Usually our phones are with us wherever we go and that means we can have support and emotional sustenance at our finger tips!

Crazy Sexy Love Notes – Kris Carr

Crazy Sexy Love Notes

The Crazy Sexy Love Notes app by Kris Carr is to remind you to love and appreciate yourself–from the inside out. Use this deck as a compass to help you stay on track with your well-being and spiritual practice.

Accessibility: in English for IOS, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: $2.99

Yes! Daily

Yes! Daily

Here at Healing Boxes, we love Sarah Von Bargen’s YesandYes.org and so we adore the app. WE ALL NEED THE OCCASIONAL REMINDER TO SAY “YES” – to big things like forgiveness, intention, or moments of silence and to small things like a new cocktail, bad karaoke, or snail mail.

‘Yes! Daily – A Year In Yes’ sends you sweet, daily reminders of something you can say “yes” to today.
Sometimes meaningful, sometimes awesomely frivolous, each reminder will add a teeny, tiny bit of positivity to your day + phone.

Save the reminders to your phone, share them on Facebook and Twitter, or text them to your friends when they could use a bit of encouragement or a gentle nudge in the direction of “yes.”

Accessibility: in English for IOS, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: $0.99

#Truthbomb

#Truthbomb

Daily straight up wisdom from Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map and The Fire Starter Sessions. Edgy, cosmic, and poetic #Truthbombs will make you pause, motivate you to take action, and inspire you to THINK about life. Some days, you’ll resonate; some days, you’ll wonder; some days, the #Truthbomb will make you change your mind — which changes everything.

Looking for a sign from the universe, a little oracle backup? Use the random pop up feature to see if a #Truthbomb has the answer you need. It’s all divine. Comes with a library of over 300 #Truthbombs, and you’ll get a new #Truthbomb every weekday on your phone.

Accessibility: in English for Android and IOS, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price:£1.49

 

I hope this has stocked your smart-phone for wellness and support. Check back for part 3 on apps for carers, mindfulness and saving money!

Subscribe to our newsletter at the top of the page to make sure you don’t miss out. P.S You get discounts and free goodies when you subscribe too, because we love you…

photograph of desk words on top: Essential Apps for Chronic Illness Healing-Boxes.com

Technology is transforming the way we interact with the world, especially and perhaps unexpectedly for people with disabilities.

iPads weren’t designed with disabled people in mind, they aren’t marketed as accessibility devices but it’s indisputable how useful they are and how frequently they are replacing more traditional equipment.

Healing Boxes founder Grace Quantock actually had an iPad prescribed by an occupational therapist at the hospital as a cost effective equipment solution.

But it’s not just the devices themselves – it’s the apps on them.

Here at Healing Boxes we’ve been testing and researching and we’ve rounded up our favourite apps for chronic illness, to help people in pain and their caregivers.

Check out our list and let us know your favourites on Twitter.

Part 2 of the app round up is here. Part 3 of the app round up is here.

Communication

Voice Dream Reader – Text to Speech

Voice Dream Reader

For students and adults with reading disabilities such as dyslexia and ADD/ADHD, blindness, low vision, and anyone else who wants any text to speech facilities.

Accessibility: Available for iOS and Android in 30 languages.

Price: £7.99

Data

My Pain diary: Chronic Pain and Symptom Tracker

My Pain Diary: Chronic Pain and Symptom Tracker

Track your chronic pain, symptoms, triggers and more to create detailed reports for your doctor.

Accessibility: Available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android in English.

Price: £3.99

Symple

Symple

Healing Boxes founder, Grace Quantock’s favourite, Symple allows you to monitor the ebb and flow of your symptoms over long periods of time. Designed by both patients and doctors.

Accessibility: Available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) in English.

Price: Free, with in-app upgrades available £2.29

TracknShare

TracknShare

TracknShare are a series of apps allowing you to track everything from bowel movements, habits, autism health needs, mindfulness and happiness.

Accessibility: Available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) in English.

Price: Free.

Flaredown

Flaredown

Flaredown is a simple, beautiful way to track your chronic illness and learn from the data. Built by patients, for patients.

Currently you can access by funding their Indigogo but their goal is to make it free, forever.

Accessibility: Available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) in English.

Price: Currently $15US for early access.

ME/CFS Diary Pro

ME/CFS Diary Pro

Monitors not only symptoms but also activities. It’s designed to help you manage activities and fatigue.

Accessibility: Available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) in English.

Price: £2.99

Shift-Life Wheel

Shift Life-Wheel

Our lovely friend Lindsey at Chronic Wellness Tools has designed some amazing apps for people with chronic illness and those who want to live well.

Shift Wheel is an elegant, simple and effective life wheel App that lets you see your self whole. Each day you can create your own colourful life wheel that shows a view of your life balance.

Shift Wheel is simple to use – it provides you with the ability to track 8 key life attributes: Body, Mind, Soul, Love, Work, Nature, Gratitude, and Community.

Accessibility: Available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) in English.

Price: Free with in-app upgrades $1.99

We hope you found part 1 useful. Click for Part 2 Click for part 3.

Awards and accolades

Healing Boxes CIC is a finalist for The Entrepreneur Wales Awards, The Great British Entrepreneur Awards and Britain’s Top Real Role Model Awards.

We are so excited to share our good news with you.

Healing Boxes CIC is celebrating after it was announced that we are a finalist for the ‘Social Enterprise’ in the Entrepreneur Wales Awards, sponsored by Business Wales. In addition, the founder Grace Quantock is a finalist for Creative, Eco, Export/International Trade, Micro Business & Social Enterprise (UK) in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The inaugural Entrepreneur Wales Awards, produced by the organisers of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and the publishers of Fresh Business Thinking, is a national celebration of entrepreneurship and has welcomed over 230 applications from businesses and entrepreneurs across Wales.

Ms Quantock is the founder of Healing Boxes CIC, a social enterprise creating tailor made gift boxes for people living with health conditions, life challenges or anyone who needs support. She also created The Trailblazing Wellness Project, teaching people how to work and live well with illness, and is a writer, speaker and coach.

Both businesses were set up to address social needs that weren’t otherwise being fully met, both locally and abroad, and are run with a strong social consciousness, supplying ethical and environmental gifts in the gift boxes.

Grace Quantock, on receiving the news said: “I am overjoyed to receive the news and am delighted that, through the awards, my work will be able to reach more people, form strong connections, help to support those living with challenges and continue to do as much social good as possible.”

Entrepreneur Wales Awards 2015

The short-listed entries for the Entrepreneur Wales Awards are now being considered by an all star line up of Welsh entrepreneurial minds including Hayley Parsons, founder and former CEO of Go Compare and Jonathan Davies, editor of Fresh Business Thinking.

Francesca Russell, founder of the Entrepreneur Wales Awards, said: “The Awards Ceremony itself, which is being held at the National Museum on November 12th will be a night to remember, with VIPs from the world of business and entrepreneurship gathering to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit in Wales.

“While the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, for which Ms Quantock is nominated in five categories, are taking place on 25th November at the Ballroom Southbank, Central London and are set to become the recognised standard of excellence amongst entrepreneurs. They mark a new era for entrepreneurship in the UK and this inaugural event is set to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution and inspiration provided by entrepreneurial businesses.”

Economy Minister, Edwina Hart said: “Entrepreneurs are vital for creating growth and jobs in the Welsh economy. I am always impressed by the talented and hard working entrepreneurs we have in Wales and these awards recognise and celebrate the role they play. The Welsh Government is a pro-business government and supports our entrepreneurs to create a more prosperous Wales.”

Great British Entrepreneur Awards

Simon Burton, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “The entries we have received for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards can only be described as awe inspiring. The quality has been outstanding. The judges have had the extremely difficult task of whittling the great and good of the entrepreneurial community down to the very best and we are delighted by the companies that have made the shortlist.”

Healing Boxes CIC founder Grace Quantock has also been chosen as a finalist in the search for Britain’s Top Real Role Model (BTRRM) for her work on Healing Boxes – an initiative run by leading direct selling business, Amway UK Ltd.

Grace Quantock, from Pontypool, Wales could win £5,000 to invest into her business and benefit from the prestigious accolade of Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2015.

Britain's Top Real Role Model

Budding entrepreneurs who set up a business inspired by a hobby or a passion of theirs were invited to enter the competition, which launched in June 2015. Many ‘Passionpreneurs’ from around the country have been outlining their business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit with an online application made via a dedicated website.

Grace Quantock entered Healing Boxes CIC and is now one of ten finalists to have made it through to the last stage of the competition.

Now in its fifth year, Britain’s Top Real Role Model celebrates and rewards entrepreneurship in the UK. Each year, a renowned ambassador spearheads the campaign. For 2015, multi-award winning Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen MBE – an astute businesswoman also recognised for her appearance on Dragon’s Den – is delighted to be involved in the judging process.

Kelly comments on her involvement: “I started my career at the age of 16 and a half when I was given the opportunity to design a family friend’s kitchen. It can be difficult to take the first step as an entrepreneur but it is also an exciting time of self-discovery when you achieve what you once thought was impossible.

“In my capacity as a judge for Britain’s Top Real Role Model, I am looking for a winning entry that is an amazing idea that really captivates my imagination. It must be commercially sound too. I wish Grace all the best in the next stage of the competition.”

Grace Quantock comments: “I am delighted to have been nominated as a shortlist for BTRRM. It means a lot for my social enterprise Healing Boxes to be acknowledged as doing something great for individuals in the UK. If I won, I would use the money towards growing the business on a much bigger scale, to ensure that everyone in need has access to the comfort and support of Healing Boxes.”

Sheryl Franklin-Worth, Corporate Affairs Manager at Amway UK concludes: “Entrepreneurship is vital to the growth of our economy and individuals like Grace are making a difference and that needs to be celebrated. Regardless of the outcome, Grace is making her mark in Wales and we hope the community will get behind her brilliant idea.”

Diagnosis: A New View

My diagnosis can never define me

It is the moment which changes your life. Sometimes it feels like it is the moment which ends it. The life you knew is gone, you are AD – After Diagnosis, your own new millennium.

Diagnosis can feel like your carefully planned and treasured life burning up around you. That you can see things changing, feel them shifting, but are helpless to stop it.

Diagnosis feels like a fire moving through our lives, consuming all we hold dear, burning our very selves, our image, who we are, and leaving us with little but pain and ash – where there used to be hopes, plans and a maybe not perfect, but truly real life.

Diagnosis can be a signpost on our healing journeys and I’d like address how to cope with, or without, a diagnosis, as well as how to let go of your diagnosis and stop being defined by it. This is about how to navigate your healing journey at whatever stage of the diagnosis you’re in. The diagnosis is just information, it’s not a sentence.

A diagnosis puts a name on your pain, but you can heal without one.

We get to blaze our own trail and write our own story.

Sometimes we are told that our diagnosis, our pain, our challenge can be for good, that we are an ‘inspiration’.

People around us can try to frame our pain and challenges in a positive light as it makes it easier for them to accept. It hurts when our loved ones are hurting. And we want to believe in the best for them.
But having these ideas forced upon us does nothing but cram us into stereotypical boxes – the ‘brave sufferer’, the ‘inspirational cripple’, the bad disabled person who doesn’t do anything to help others.

Selflessness and virtue are not implanted on the day they hand you your wheelchair.

I believe that incurable doesn’t rule out joy.
I believe that our bodies and minds are more powerful than we can even contemplate.
I believe that the world is waiting for us.
I believe that healing is always an option, that doctors are not God and that we can know our bodies.
I believe that there is a life waiting for us to step into it.
I believe that how things are is not how they have to stay.
I believe that trust is exactly what the planet needs right now.
I believe life can flow and my arms are open to that.
I believe that we need role models for sustainable wellness, not just miracle cure stories, so I became one.
I believe that with passion, pain cannot hold us back.
I believe that there is always a way.
I believe that living well is my happy ending.
I believe that I am staking my claim to freedom and I’m so blessed to have you alongside me.
I believe we can move through a life that leaps off the page in beautiful living colour, transforming challenges and living well, every-beautiful-day.

But at the beginning my diagnosis began to consume me. It was as though I wasn’t Grace anymore; merely a case study, a host for the pain ravaging my body, a curiosity and a walking, talking diagnosis. I felt like I was being subsumed in the medical system and was losing everything that made me, me. Are you still yourself when you don’t look or sound or feel like you? Are you still you when you can’t do the things you love? When you are told you may never be able to again? Do you know yourself when it doesn’t feel like your body, it’s not home anymore and you don’t recognise yourself in the mirror?

When we are newly diagnosed, it can feel like our lives are burning up around us. Everything we know is changing or gone. And it seems like everything we touch turns to ash. There’s nothing left anymore and no path on which to go forward.

I decided then, that if everything was burning up and I couldn’t stop it, maybe I still had a choice. Maybe I could allow the fires of diagnosis to be like phoenix fire – they were burning me up and the self I had known.

But like a Phoenix, I vowed that it would burn through and leave me better.

Maybe this could be an opportunity and a renewal. I could emerge strengthened from the fire, more burnished and beautiful because of it. That my hurting places would become stronger because of their cracks and I would arise, leaving everything I no longer needed in the ashes.

The fire eats us, consumes us and our hearts, and purifies us. We can let go and turn to ash or we can use the fire as transformation, to temper and refine us. We can emerge stronger, we can be reborn.

Your diagnosis does not define you. You are more than the label they gave you. Let’s discover the new you together.

Extract from The Phoenix Fire Academy by Grace Quantock

My diagnosis can never define me