I’d like to give everyone a long winded version of my introduction to Get Your Shirt Together, and while all of the shorter versions on social media will give the jist of the event, here is where you’ll find the bits of the event that don’t fit into a tweet or an Instagram post, I thought where better to post it than my severely neglected blog! Hope you enjoy.
So Get Your Shirt Together is an event concept I had back in Summer to raise money for Dorset Mind, a charity local to me that supports people that struggle with mental health issues and they also work so hard to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health problems. I’ve always wanted to do something like this with Dorset Mind but always lacked the motivation & had no clue to start. I spent a lot of time at home, sick in Summer rather than at my job where I’d have preferred to be by far, so in the midst of feeling sorry for myself, I thought I’d try and do something productive, and so, on paper Get Your Shirt Together was born. Although at this point it didn’t have a name, just a concept of ‘Why don’t I make the digital agencies of Dorset go to work in dress up?’ and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since then.
‘Maddie, what are you on about? What is this event?’
Get Your Shirt Together started very vaguely. No name… No date… Not even really a concept honestly, just that I knew I wanted to do something. I dwelled on this for a long time, and eventually found myself with Hawaiian dress-up. I know the Hawaiian theme seems very random in relation to Dorset Mind or mental health but I went with this theme for one really simple reason. I wanted to make people smile. No body will be able to resist smiling when they see their colleagues wearing hideous Hawaiian attire, and while I want to raise money for Dorset Mind, and I want to raise awareness, reduce the stigma and all of these other benefits that have surfaced from the progression of Get Your Shirt Together, I really wanted to make people smile, and seeing as that has already started and the event is next month. I couldn’t be happier with how it’s panning out.
Get Your Shirt Together has rocketed better than I could have ever imagined, from a small idea in my bedroom to having loads of people in Bournemouth excited for it is the best feeling ever! I was hoping that I’d be able to get 5 agencies involved in Get Your Shirt Together, the numbers are looking like 30 or so agencies and so many people that I’ve lost count! So a massive thank you to all the agencies that have been so welcoming of my idea and so keen to take it on board, but also a massive thank you to Adido for supporting and helping the whole way along.
‘What was the actual inspiration for the event other than being in bed poorly?’
Well, from the age of 13/14 I’ve struggled with my mental health, at first we thought I had depression and anxiety but more recently I was told that, that was incorrect and I actually have BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). That wasn’t really a massive shock to the system to me honestly. I already thought I had anxiety and depression so getting told it was something else, it was just a shift & adjust situation that I dealt with. Honestly it was probably a good thing because it highlighted why I do some of the things I do and it has probably helped me prevent doing some of those things as I’ve become aware of the fact I’m doing them now.
But I’ve always had a very limited view on my own mental health. I was chatting in a bar with a friend called Timo a few months back & was saying how I never had a reason to be depressed or anything, it’s like one day someone just came and flipped a table full of stuff in front of me and I was like ‘oh guess I better pick all this stuff up..’
Overall though a big inspiration for Get Your Shirt Together was my dad. My dad has struggled with depression for a long time and I only found out when I was at least 16 which means he was suffering for silent for so long. Honestly I don’t think I would have been able to manage my mental health if it wasn’t for my dad. Having him with me every step of the way made it that bit easier to get myself out of bed every day, like I wasn’t alone in the battle. The fact that he didn’t have someone this close to him that understood just shows how strong he is, and that was more inspiration than my own story. Now when either of us has a bad day we both know how to deal with one another and how to talk to eachotther, when each other need space and made each other so much more comfortable in the process. So if nothing else comes from Get Your Shirt Together, I hope my dad knows I’ll always be fighting for his side.
For any agencies in Dorset that haven’t yet seen Get Your Shirt Together, please do get in touch, on the day of the event (21st January 2019 – AKA Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year) I will be visiting the agencies taking part to give a massive thank you, hopefully some prizes and take some pictures of my biggest achievement to date. For any more info or questions don’t hesitate to contact me, everyone is welcome to take part in Get Your Shirt Together!
x Mads x