Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Pillow Fort Giveaway

As you’re probably already aware, I have a chronic illness or two, which hugely affect my life. Often the problem with support groups for spoonies (if you’re unsure what a spoonie is, it’s the name for someone with a chronic illness – do a Google search to find out why!) is that they can be quite depressing at times, simply focussing on all the negative aspects of being unwell, which can be quite unsupportive if you get dragged into the negative atmosphere. This is why, when I came across The Pillow Fort, I was really excited! Finally a place I can go where the fact that I’m ill isn’t even important. A place that finds the silver lining in every situation and can support me through the ups and downs of chronic illness.

For a start, I love the name, as it made me think of all those times when I was younger that I built a den with my pillows and duvet. Browsing through the website I came across a whole number of exciting things – a Facebook group, Shop, Digital magazine and a blog. I just knew I had to tell you all about it, as I know I have quite a few spoonie readers and I want you to all know about this awesome new place I’ve found!

The shop is a particular favourite of mine, and could be useful to anyone who knows someone with a chronic illness (or even if you don’t, there are some cute gifts there!) Sometimes it can be difficult to know what to buy a friend with a chronic illness, but there are so many great ideas here, which include the following items.

Cloud Cushion

Rainbow Pill Holder

Hedgehog slippers

Gratitude Journal

The website was set up by a lovely lady called Lizzy, who has kindly let me have copies of the digital magazine to read and review for you. I love magazines anyway, but was a bit sceptical at first, thinking it would be full of things just talking about illness. How wrong could I have been! Yes, there are articles related to illness, but there is no ‘woe is me’ in there at all. It’s all centred around living an amazing life despite being unwell, which is truly uplifting. Various spoonies have contributed to each magazine and each magazine has a theme for articles to be based around. Anyone can contribute; you simply send your article to the email address provided. In the magazine there are also great photos, topics to think about and a massive range of articles to sink your teeth into. The fact that they are digital is also great; as you can curl up with your iPad and read bits of the magazine as and when suits you.

I decided to ask Lizzy a few questions, which she very kindly answered so you can all find out a little bit more about the person behind The Pillow Fort.

Hi Lizzy! Please could you introduce yourself a bit?

I'm Lizzy, 24 and live in Nottingham (UK) with my girlfriend, a housemate and 2 squeaky piggies. I run The Pillow Fort and marching stars zine distro, as well as volunteer at Nottingham Women's Centre. Bit of an Internet and trashy TV addict.

What made you come up with The Pillow Fort idea?

The first idea for The Pillow Fort came about a year ago when I posted pictures of microwaveable slippers and a t-shirt that said, “sleep is my therapy”. People LOVED them and I realised there was a lack of cute/fun, but practical products for young people with chronic illness. Most stuff was targeted at older people. And The Pillow Fort was born. It’s changed a lot since that original idea, and I’ve really picked up the idea of positivity too, but the original tagline (‘making chronic illness suck less’) remains.

When did you first become ill?

I first became ill about a month before my GCSEs, when I was 15. It passed though and I didn't think much of it. March 2006, half way through my AS Levels, when I was 16, I developed a permanent headache. I wasn't diagnosed with CFS/ME until 4 ½ years later though when there was an oddity in my blood work for something entirely unrelated and my GP’s questions unearthed that I'd been tired and headachy for years! I then went on to develop fibromyalgia after graduating and starting an extremely stressful sabbatical Exec role in my Students' Union. 

How did it feel to be told you had a chronic illness and how did you deal with it?

Everything made a lot more sense when I received my CFS/ME diagnosis, but I'd already largely learnt to cope and thrive with my health by then. My local hospital sent me on an 8-week course to learn about all aspects of living with CFS/ME, which was really useful, although I'd worked out a lot of it for myself by that point. A diagnosis meant a community for the first time too, that was important. It's lonely when you know you've been running on about 60-70% for years, but no one else can see it and/or knows how to help

Can you tell us a bit about what The Pillow Fort offers?

The three main aspects of The Pillow Fort at the moment are the shop, the magazine and the community (Pillow Fighters Club). The shop sells a wide variety of cute/fun, yet practical products from hot water bottles to medicine holders, spoonie jewellery to PJ bottoms. The digital magazine is published bi-monthly and is created for and by young people with chronic illness. And the community, a Facebook group, has almost 500 members, and is unique amongst chronic illness communities in that it has one (quite strict) rule: Positivity Only. 

Do you have any exciting plans for The Pillow Fort?

I have more plans than the time to do them! I'll be running more Pillow Fighter Club postal swaps, offering magazine subscriptions, launching new products, hopefully creating some sort of challenge and much more. A lot of the bigger/more exciting plans are under tight wraps for now, but anyone on the mailing list will be first to know!

As well as giving me the digital magazines to read and review for you, Lizzy has also kindly offered some prizes for me to give away to my lovely readers. There will be two prizes for two different winners. Prizes will be allocated in the order the winners are picked:

1.    A digital copy of the second issue of the magazine
2.    A glass jar with spoons in either as a key ring or a necklace (the winner can choose the one they prefer)

This is an International giveaway, so all my readers from around the world can enter this time! All you need to do is complete the Rafflecopter below – you have two weeks to do so, and the giveaway will end on 26th July 2014 when I will then announce the winners!

I hope you enjoy checking out The Pillow Fort and wish you good luck for the giveaway!

Have you come across The Pillow Fort before? Or do you know of a similar organisation that has helped you through chronic illness?


  1. Awesome! Want to be a part of this!

  2. I would love to win the glass jar with spoons keyring :)

  3. I would love to win the glass jar with spoons keyring :)

  4. Excited to enter the raffle!!

  5. This is so great, I've just joined the community :) I'm most excited to win a copy of the second issue of the magazine, it looks awesome. x

    1. I'm so glad you've joined Natalie - I hope you find it helpful xx

  6. The necklaces are really cute :) Plus the rainbow pill-holder is something I reckon I need to get my hands on! xx

  7. Replies
    1. The pillow isn't actually in the giveaway Honey, but it can be bought from their store :) xx

  8. The glass jar with spoons would be lovely thanks :-)

  9. I am most excited about the glass jar with spoons keyring, it's adorable ^^

  10. Thank you for the giveaway... ^_^
    I would love to win the glass jar with spoons keyring..
    It would be adorable ..

  11. I think I'm most excited about the free digital copy of the Pillow Fighters Club magazine. I'm a member of the Pillow Fighters Club through Facebook, and I find it to be highly inspiring and uplifting! :)

  12. This is exciting - I love the pillow fort :)

  13. A fab community :)
    I love the glass jar with spoons keyring !

  14. I would be excited to win the glass jar with spoons necklace! :) I love the Pillow Fort too! x

    1. It seems to be a very popular choice Miss Pond! It's a great organisation isn't it xx

  15. I would love to get a chance to take a look at the magazine! Moneys a little tight at the moment, so getting it for free would be amazing!

    1. It's a great magazine Vicky so I hope you're able to look at it xx

  16. Already buy the magazine as it's amazing! but a free issue would make it even better :-)