A NORTH East woman’s post-surgery brainwave has set her on a mission to improve the lives of those with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
Mandy Charlton was recovering on a neurosurgical ward after a major operation, when she was offered a scalding hot coffee in a cup that made it impossible to drink.
And that made the photographer, who also runs Philomena’s Boutique – an online sustainable and unique gift shop – believe that there had been to a better solution to help people in her position and those who found drinking out of a cup or glass a challenge.
“As someone who suffers from chronic conditions myself, I’m well aware of the problems that people have to deal with,” said Mandy.
“And I thought there must be something that people could use that would not only solve the problem but would also give the users a certain amount of independence.”
Mandy created the double handled Freedom Cup, made to a sturdy design and which has a special spout to minimise spillage.
Each cup can be personalised by choosing from a range of images or buyers can add a photograph or illustration of their own choosing.
“The first one I made was for a Mother’s Day gift for a customer whose mum had suffered a stroke and I posted it online,” said Mandy.
“I couldn’t believe the response and now the orders are flooding in, which is fantastic not only for me as a small business but also because it shows there really is a need.
“The fact that each one is unique has also been a major plus, meaning it can be decorated in something that’s special to the person.”
Mandy has also come up with a child friendly version, suitable for youngsters of all ages.
The cups sell for £19.95p and are available at https://philomenasboutique.
“Every one of them that I’ve sold so far has a very personal story attached,” said Mandy.
“It’s amazing that this really is making a massive difference to so many people.”