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EXCLUSIVE: #MyHiddenPain Charity Project Reveal by Tree Gillions

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

A local business owner, a mother and someone who wanted to show the world that there is very much two sides to living with a disability. Meet Tree Gillions of Tree's Home Help, a home support and cleaning company in Rutland.

A few months ago, Tree approached me and Anna Hughes from Colourful Soul in Oakham to ask for our help in a charity project she wanted us to help her bring the idea to reality. As well as the blog, I also run a design, photography and media management company called Rutland Creative and Tree asked if I would be happy to donate my time to photograph her naked for the project we later called #MyHiddenPain.

When Tree explained the project to me, I immediately expressed my interest and wanted to be part of this wonderful movement to hopefully show that anyone can be suffering from a hidden illness however beautiful, successful or influential and in fact, that might just be the secret behind their motivation, inspiration and determination.

The reason I wanted to be on board with this project so much is that although not a disability, I suffer from a hidden illness that people are very surprised to learn that I have, called Bipolar Disorder.

Somedays I'm good and some days not so much, but I never wanted to let it define me and although I used to hide the fact I've suffered with mental health issues since my early teens, I am now proud of what I've overcome with my illness and the person it has made me today.

Tree made a statement about the #MyHiddenPain project...

Fundraising for Scope charity with a target of £500.

"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 to help towards the £500 target!

All money raised will be donated to Scope who's work helps to ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else.

Kind Regards.

Tree Gillions

Founder of Tree's Home Help"

#MyHiddenPain by Tree Gillions for Scope - Donate:

It was an honour to support my friend in her bravery in baring all for an amazing charity and to raise awareness that hidden illness are all around and you never know what anyone is suffering or dealing with behind the scenes.

Therefore, I would love if you could donate anything you can spare to the #MyHiddenPain charity fundraising page for Scope and help Tree towards here £500 target.



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