School holidays are always a challenge as I’m sure they are for all working mums. My children are six and three, so still quite young and in need of a lot of attention. Throw in a family holiday and a quick visit home to Scotland to see my Dad, who’d finally discovered he couldn’t fly, whilst painting the eves on his roof, it’s been hard to squeeze any sort of work in.

But holidays come to an end and now Heidi and I are trying to play catch-up. One interesting thing that happened during the holidays was we heard and read about another organization doing a similar thing to us. It kind of threw us, as we felt our idea was fairly unique we weren’t expecting any competitors. The other organization seems to be benefiting from more publicity, it’s clear they have a larger budget to spend on such things as PR and website. Heidi and my mission has always been to try and make our product high quality, comprehensive and accessible to all price points and on reflection, I think that’s what we have to stick to. Ensuring we have the best value product with the highest quality items and running our business most ethically has to be what drives us and what we strive for.

During the holidays I was asked to talk at a Pink Ribbon fundraiser about chemotherapy and it’s side effects. I was there as a cancer nurse rather than a Director of Practical Care, but of course, I was able to talk about some of the things we know can help ease side effects. Statistics have shown, the general public’s greatest fear is public speaking, closely followed by death and I completely agree. I hate public speaking – hate it! Even on topics I’m well versed in and hold qualifications in, I completely go to pieces. I take my hat off to anyone who does it day-to-day, my liver would never cope.

As we enter the second half of the year and as this financial year draws to a close, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on our achievements over the last year. We still feel very young and we continue to learn more and more all the time. However, creating something out of nothing is a really special feeling. We’ll have to work harder at getting the word out, particularly as we now have a competitor, but it would be wonderful if we could work together in some way in the future, after all, aren’t we trying to achieve the same thing and isn’t it all for the greater good?

About Sharon Schreurs, Practical Care

Sharon-and-Heidi-PracCarePractical Care was born in 2014 after founders, Sharon Schreurs and Heidi Green wanted to create a Chemotherapy Care Kit to help with the most common side effects of chemotherapy, with a purely practical focus.

As an oncology nurse, Sharon would commonly write a list of practical items for patients when starting treatment. Over the years, this list became extensive. And although helpful, these items are not always readily available.

When Heidi’s mother in law was diagnosed with breast cancer, she experienced the running around. Together, they hope to improve patient’s comfort at a difficult time by providing things they are likely to need.