Standard-Bearing for Tourettes

In September last year Touretteshero was awarded a Red Nose Day Grant. The funding came from The Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund and Comic Relief who’d teamed up to support London organisations working to improve mental and physical health and wellbeing.

This award’s been crucial in enabling us to continue to keep our website up and running. It’s also been helping us reach out to more people, deliver training about Tourettes to other organisations, and hold creative events for children and young people living with the condition.

Yesterday I was able to share some of the amazing randomness of my tics – they bring delight to my life and I feel lucky to enjoy plenty of shared laughter. But this is just the tip of the iceberg – Tourettes also brings many challenges that can have a negative impact on someone’s wellbeing. I’ve given examples of this before when I’ve described how my tics have affected my mobility and independence, and the way the unpredictable reactions of strangers can damage my self-confidence.

So with this website we’ve created a place for people with and without Tourettes to learn about the condition, share their experiences, enjoy the creativity of tics, and reduce the feelings of isolation they can bring.

Today the Evening Standard have published an article about how their support enables us to make a positive impact. I hope that as well as encouraging readers to support the Fund it’ll introduce new people to Touretteshero and to our mission to ‘Change the world one tic at a time’. If you’ve just discovered this site, welcome – have a good look round!

My daily blog offers an insight into the ups and downs of life with Tourettes. It’s full of surreal stories, informal advice, and guest posts. On the Tics page you can browse through a collection of my vocal tics, 6, 000 and counting, covering such diverse subjects as sheepdogs, unicorns, bins, biscuits and Shakespeare. In the Gallery you can check out the art inspired by these unusual utterances and if you see a tic that captures your imagination please do use it as a springboard to create a picture, poem or piece of music of your own to share with us. There are also loads of videos to dip into on our YouTube channel, including interviews, horoscopes, animations and talks.

If you have any questions about Tourettes the FAQ’s may help, but if they don’t, get in touch. If you like what we’re doing please consider making a donation or treating yourself to a tic-inspired product from our shop. And please come and say hello on Twitter or Facebook as well.

Finally, if you’re a child or young person with Tourettes, or the parent or carer of one, please come and join us for our next big London event – We Forgot the Lot! We’re working with the Tate Schools and Teachers team to hold a unique free, inclusive day for children and young people aged 5-16 with Tourettes and associated conditions. It’ll be held at Tate Britain on Saturday 12th April and will focus on imagination, creativity and the possibility of transforming spaces to meet the needs of individuals.

Please get in touch if your family would like to come and explore and reinvent the Gallery, and re-define how people use it.

Before starting Touretteshero I found it hard to talk about Tourettes without tears, but through celebrating its creative side I’ve developed the language and confidence to talk about my tics to others and help them understand the condition. This has had a positive and powerful impact on my life and I hope Touretteshero can help others facing similar challenges.

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