With #MyHiddenPain, I am supporting Scope.
My name is Tree Gillions and I'm a 32-year-old married Mum of two. I also run my own home support and cleaning company in Rutland (UK) called Tree's Home Help. My situation as a home support business owner is unique... Because I am disabled and suffer from Cerebral Palsy.
As the majority of my disability appears to be invisible to those around me, I've decided to raise awareness for invisible illnesses, disabilities and hidden pain through an awareness campaign collaboration between Tree's Home Help, Colourful Soul and Rutland Creative.
I hope you will help me in creating a more inclusive accepting future for our children.
"When I came up with yet another random idea, I never hoped that two beautiful people who I now call friends would want to help me to bring my crazy idea to life in what you finally see today.
The reason behind these images was never to gain sympathy or because I’m an exhibitionist but merely to provide a visual snapshot into my life and everyday struggles I face due to my Cerebral Palsy and to show that living with a disability is not a barrier.
For those of you who don’t know me well, I run Trees Home Help, which is a small home support business based in Rutland. I also have Cerebral Palsy (left hemiplegia), a disability I was born with and one I have grown to love.
However, despite the fantastic opportunities it has given me, It has a dark, painful, frustrating and - to be honest - a real crappy effect on my life!
My struggles with my disability are not always visible to people who do not know me well. So, that is why I created #MyHiddenPain which I hope is a powerful piece of art that will help you visualise my struggles and see that despite my day-to-day life as a home support business owner to not judge a book by its cover.
The colours used are to highlight my different levels of pain that I suffer from daily from mild (yellow) to severe (red). The words painted across my body are to describe the pain and to help those viewing the image understand what it feels like. But in contrast to that, there is also a selection of words which show my positivity and determination that although I have a disability, that doesn't hinder who I am or what I can achieve. But in fact, It makes me who I am, and I am very proud of that.
I recently read a heartbreaking post on Facebook, from a Mother who had to explain to her 3-year-old daughter that she would always be disabled with Cerebral Palsy even when she thought she would get better once she was all grown. The little girl was distraught and felt her life was over.
Reading that post broke my heart. To think that someone so young could feel that way because of a disability they are so sad to realise they will live with forever... But this also inspired me.
With #MyHiddenPain, I wanted to show that there are positive sides to a disability and hearing the story above was the main reason I decided to do this and to show that whatever your illness or disability you can still achieve so much and trust me, there are many positive too.
I hope my pictures will give people an insight into the hidden pain or suffering that millions of people face every day, and hopefully, it will teach us all to be slightly more understanding and not as judgemental.
I want to thank the wonderful Charlie Pallett of Rutland Creative (also The Rutland Blogger) for photographing the images, and to the very talented Anna Hughes of Colourful Soul for making my ideas come to life.
Thanks also go to all the generous #MyHiddenPain sponsors Love Life Eat Cake, Inviting Writing, The Rutland Blogger and Leanne Martin Massage. Without the support of these local businesses, none of this would have been possible.
Please give anything you can to the #MyHiddenPain project, whether that be £1, £5, £10 or anything else!
Donate here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/myhiddenpain
All money raised will be donated to Scope who's work helps to ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else.
Founder of Tree's Home Help"
DID YOU KNOW...
49% of disabled people say they feel excluded by society. Support my fundraising and let's end disability inequality today.
42% of disabled people felt they have lost out on a job because of the way their impairment has been perceived.
38% of disabled children are worried about being bullied.
17% of disabled people have been called names.
30% of disabled people have been stared at because of their disability.
There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK.
- 8% of children are disabled
- 19% of working age adults are disabled
- 45% of pension age adults are disabled
Supported and sponsored by local businesses:
Love Life Eat Cake, Inviting Writing, Leanne Martin Massage and The Rutland Blogger.