7 September 2020 - Three cheers for Team Daisy, who are all back together working under one roof again, albeit a new roof!  Thanks to a well-timed, successful grant application, The Daisy Garland HQ has moved into larger office premises where we can continue our important work in supporting children with drug-resistant epilepsy and their families.  As throughout lockdown, it is business as usual here at The Daisy Garland, where family support is our top priority.

26 March 2020 - We are all having to adjust our day-to-day lives to adapt to the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in, and in line with Government COVID-19 recommendations, The Daisy Garland has taken the decision to work remotely as a virtual office.  Working virtually means we are still contactable so please don’t hesitate to be in touch by email, telephone, letter and via our website and Facebook page.  Our aim is to continue to provide as broad a service as possible during these difficult times to all those who need our help.

Ketogenic Welcome Boxes will still be dispatched to those starting the ketogenic diet, and our night-time breathing (SATs/epilepsy) Monitor Programme will still function as usual so please continue to send applications to our Merchant’s House address, by regular 1st or 2nd class post.

For families needing advice on the ketogenic diet, how to source diet-specific foods and recipe inspiration or if you want to be in touch with other keto families please click here to request an invitation to join Daisy’s Keto Café, our parent support group for families whose children are on the ketogenic diet.

COVID-19 is having a big impact on all our lives, but please be assured that we are here to offer whatever help we can.  Our priority is to continue supporting all the families under our care helping them to stay strong and positive throughout the challenging weeks and months ahead.  

Stay well, stay safe, and most importantly stay in touch.

Click on the links below to read the latest Government guidance -

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

Coronavirus support for extremely vulnerable people   

On March 23rd, we posted a request to the families we support asking them to share the rainbow paintings and drawings they had placed in their windows to cheer up neighbours and passers-by.

You will find some of the gorgeous works of art below, along with positive messages from our Daisy Garland Facebook families in response to a post from a worried mum.

We hope you find the following uplifting.  And if you have some positive advice to share, we’d love to hear from you.  Click here to send your message to [email protected]

  

Marie:  Count your blessings. Look for the good in every situation. Don't compare your life with others. Don't compare yourself or your children's accomplishments or physical appearance with others... especially online!

Keep in mind that today may be the best day. Make it your best day. Put extra effort in the small things. Get creative with little things you do every day. Make it count. Bake a cake. Paint a picture. Do these things with your children. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece. Make those memories. Try not dwell on negative thoughts.

I promise you things could be worse. (I've learnt to love this moment right now! Tomorrow's hurdles will be different and maybe more tricky and you will cope when those come along.) Through adversity you gain strength. You will grow from this. You will become a tough cookie and be able to deal with things others cannot. This is your super strength. You also have an army on your side. We are your army. Lean on us when you feel overwhelmed. X 

  

Erika: I noticed that just a 5 min of laying on the floor (in shavasana) clears my head. Gentle music may help while doing it. And really helpful at least twice a week to talk to someone who's close to you or whom you really like. Just a chat about unimportant stuff, even a bit of a gossip is good:)   Watching some really silly comedy helps too. Those a very simple things that help to distract your mind and go through the day. But there are other useful things like meditation (you can find online), planting and growing or set yourself a month challenge to achieve something. Stay well! xxx🌷

  

Susan: I keep telling myself everyone is in the same boat. We are all on the same team and we're very strong. Your children are happy as long as they are with you & they feel safe & loved. My Son had a seizure on Thursday morning, I thought “well now, epilepsy isn’t taking a break is it!"  Actually it made things seem normal for a moment (well, 5 minutes to be accurate).  We are experiencing something totally different, but so did the generation that landed on the moon & the ones who found the earth was round & the ones who discovered evolution... they got through that, so we can get through this. Keep indoors as much as possible, make it fun for your children and make them laugh at least once a day. You are stronger than you know & they’re looking to you for how to feel.  Sending-virtual hugs 🤗

  

Claire: I’m a grandma and working from home.  I’ve been fine all week as I’ve ‘worked’ my normal hours so I’ve had a structured day. But today I’m struggling. We always see the grandchildren today and all have lunch with my parents. And I’m really missing our normal Saturday. But I’ve decided, ya know what, it’s ok not to be ok today. It is scary, it is lonely so I have every right to have a ‘down’ day.  But I’ve promised myself, really promised myself, that it’s just one day. Tomorrow I’m going to be ok again. So I’m looking forward to virtual time with the grandchildren, a nice walk round the village, completing a few jobs and celebrating not having Coronavirus. I’m looking forward to the village agreeing to have a street party when this is all over. 

I’m not missing ‘things’..., I like shopping but I’m not missing that. I’m missing family and friends so I’m not going to take them for granted again. 

Take care of yourself and your precious family. And we’re always here when you need a rant or a moan. And I just love all the pictures of all the amazing Daisy Garland children. We belong to a very special club and I’m sure Daisy is looking down on us all with her beautiful smiley face.  Take care, stay safe. Xxx

  

Claire: We just take a day at a time in our house. If we have a good day then that is a bonus, if it isn’t a good day then we pick ourselves back up, brush ourselves down and start again. We appreciate the small things/ accomplishments for our child and never compare them to another child (not even their siblings). There will be hard days but we just look back on how many bad days we have already battled and won! It’s ok to not be ok, we all feel like that at times xx

  

Lindsay: When my daughter was first diagnosed [with epilepsy] I struggled to rationalise anything, I spent every waking hour thinking I'd lose her. I started counselling and my counsellor was a Buddhist and recommended mindfulness meditation. I am not the earth mother type and really poo pooed the idea and went into it thinking it would never work, but it really helped. I don't meditate regularly but I learnt breathing techniques and ways to enjoy and embrace everything, I recommend looking at it.

 

Lesley: Lots of love. Take one day at a time. Don't focus on what might have been. Focus on what will be... xx

  

Purple Day 2020

Unfortunately, this year March 26th was not the celebration we had all planned, with over 70 events cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.   However, our virtual celebrations were incredibly touching and inspiring as The Daisy Garland team and our super supporters Purpled On!  Please click on the link below to find out more about this special day. 

Purple day 2020

  

Activity ideas to help keep children busy...

PE with Joe Wicks

The Dad Lab on Facebook

Explore - Nature livecams

Educational video channels for kids

LiveScience.com

The importance of play for children during self isolation

10 old-fashioned games that kids still love

Outdoor Families Online.com - 130+ outdoor activities

7 DIY sock puppet ideas

Youtube.com - Eric Carle reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Skinny Jean Gardener - Gardening for kids

  

Other tips and ideas for self-isolation...

How to video call your family

Free information book explaining coronavirus to children

Channel4.com - How to isolate yourself

Positive News - 10 ways to help others during the coronavirus outbreak

Dr Chatterjee - How to manage anxiety during Coronavirus

Country Living.com - 6 most cost effective vegetables to grow in your garden

Marks & Spencer.com - What foods can I freeze?

Dr Chatterjee.com - 6 ways to sleep away stress

Mindful.org - Jon Kabat Zinn Defining mindfulness

Coping with fear in the face of the pandemic

Love Food Hate Waste.com - Food storage A-Z

Channel4.com - Jamie Oliver Keep cooking and carry on

  

  

THREE CHEERS FOR ALL OUR DIETETIC WORKERS... Over the last 16 years The Daisy Garland has brought the ketogenic diet to the forefront in the UK.  We have funded 26 Daisy Garland Ketogenic Dietitians/Dietetic Support Workers all of whom work in NHS hospitals countrywide treating children with difficult to control epilepsy with the ketogenic dietary therapy, free of charge.   

Scroll down the page to read more about the vital service our dietitians will continue to provide during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond. 

We are immensely proud of all the NHS dietitians who continue to provide a first class service in these difficult times.

What are dietitians doing as part of the COVID-19-response?

Daisy Garland Care Boxes

Lockdown has been a difficult time for all of us, and especially for those with children at home who aren't well.  To help beat the lockdown blues we have sent out some of our special Daisy Care Boxes to some of the children and families we support and judging by the lovely comments we have received from mums and dads, along with accompanying photos, our boxes seem to have done the trick. Here are just a few of the children we have been able to help thanks to donations we have received from our smashing supporters.

   
 
   
 
   
 
 

If you would like to make a donation to help a child with drug-resistant epilepsy click here.

Chicken Chat!

    

Many of our families have recently bought chickens to ensure a constant supply of eggs - a versitile and nutritious ketogenic ingredient - and as you can see, have been exchanging tips and tricks via The Daisy Garland Facebook page: 

We literally top food and water up every few days and that's it, they take themselves to bed every evening on their own and we cheated and have a coop with an automatic door so it opens and closes without us having to remember to put them to bed and lock them in. Kids collect eggs in the morning and sometimes I will walk into a room in the house and see someone hugging a chicken 😂 they all have their own personalities and are hilarious to watch! 😁 Kerrie

I bought 2 chickens about a week ago - always wanted some and thought now would be a good time to keep the children entertained and I have lots of time to look after them. I read up on it and went to local friend with chickens to look at what I needed. So far I am totally in love with them and so are the children! We let them out in the insecure run only when we are in the garden. I also let them roam the garden for a couple of hours but only if I am there as we back onto fox infested woodland! Jo


Yes - they are all individuals and so cathartic to have - we got ours from the British hen welfare trust - all came from a battery farm - very sad no feathers - now they all have feathers and to hear them all “talk in happiness” while scratching is lovely - kids love collecting eggs. Lucy xx

We have thirteen hens - started with two and said we were only going to have two maybe four at the most! They are easy to look after and all very friendly. Lisa x

Easy to keep. Make sure they have a warm place to roost during the winter. This is quite easy. My cheap easy method when I was young was converting an old chest of drawers into roost. Light bulb for heat. (You can find decent and cheap heater bulbs on ebay). We always had one rooster. I would have to search for him at dusk (sometimes climb a tree to find him) and put him in a large box in the shed for the night. (As not to annoy the neighbours! He would start crowing at 4am) They can destroy you garden if you have pretty plants. Give them their own run to avoid this. They all have their own unique personalities and it's great for your children to learn and cherish them all. Bonus is... fresh eggs! Marie

Chickens make great pets. They can live up to 9 years (although normally about 5) so only do it if you're certain. At the moment, with COVID 19, hens are pretty hard to get hold of, so bear this in mind before you buy your coop, you may have to wait a while for your hens. Finally, hens are always happier when free ranging - if in a coop each hen needs at 20 square foot of space at the very least. Sarah

If you have any hints & tips about taking care of chickens, please click on the link below to visit our Facebook page and to add your comments. Thank you.     Facebook - Chicken chat

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this page.  We will be updating this page on a regular basis, so be sure to check in again soon!