Interview with Claire Bullimore about Aunty M and BTRS

Interview with Claire Bullimore about Aunty M and BTRS

Fri 10 October

At the start of September BTRS were lucky enough to be chosen by Claire Bullimore (aka Aunty M) to be her charity of the month. 
For those not familiar with Claire’s incredible work, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, she set up the website Aunty M Brain Tumours. Since then the Aunty M website has gone from strength to strength, becoming a great source for anyone affected by a brain tumour to access a wealth of information and support. Claire now has her own slot on Croydon Radio every Thursday too!
Search Labs, our charity of the year supporter, recently caught up with Claire to find out more about her work and what plans she has for the future of Aunty M.  
Q1: What was the main motivation behind you starting the Aunty M website?
Originally I was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008 when I was 25. At the time I was working at a good company in the Oil and Gas industry, but unfortunately the company went into a merger six months after I left hospital and the London office was completely shut down. So when this all happened I was still in the process of getting better and trying to get a job again was just impossible. At the time I was just getting offered the same type of jobs that I was in before, but couldn’t really do it then as I couldn’t really speak and couldn’t really do anything.
So because I was then back home and trying to figure out what to do, I began using social media to meet other people that had been affected by brain tumours. After realising there was so many people, I thought you know what, I’m going to set up my own thing. The aim was just to help support other people like me, who were caught out at a time in their life when you don’t know what to do, and use social media as a way to promote it as well as information on brain tumours and how to support others going through similar situations.
Q2: It seems like Aunty M has become a great hub for people affected by Brain Tumours.
Yeah I think I was just a bit of a geek when it came to social media, initially I didn’t understand it, but once I got to grips I thought it was incredible. You can do so much with it and everyone can find you using just social media. I started off on Facebook, setting up the dedicated Aunty M page and the Twitter account. When I put the website together I linked it all up and it just expanded with more people becoming interested in Aunty M, after that it just went from one thing to another.
Q3: How did the Croydon Radio Show first happen?
I was asked to go on the radio there two years ago, because I was working on my book that I’m promoting at the moment. Whilst I was there they commented that I had a great voice for radio, and that was it, I took the opportunity and I’ve been doing it for two years now.
Q4: How did your charity of the month section first come around?
The reason I did charity of the month was because we had so many different charities at the same time wanting to share information, which is great, but it then just gets a bit confusing for people listening to the show. So I decided from this year to start doing charity of the month. I picked charities that I really felt I’d benefited from, as well ones that I just really love and that’s how it all started.
Q5: What made you choose BTRS as September’s charity of the month?
It all started off after finding out about BTRS through Tina Boden. Tina was helping me when I started my website, just as I was first getting my name out there for Aunty M. It was whilst doing this that I realised she was a part of supporting BTRS, so I wanted to learn more about the charity. Then I just thought you know, it’s a lovely charity and I became really good friends with Rachel and the ladies there, so I just asked if they would like to be my charity of the month and that’s how it all started!
Q6: What plans do you have in store for the future of Aunty M Brain Tumours?
Well for this year I’m on the book tour up until December and then next year I’m planning to expand the public speaking, going to certain places telling my story and encouraging other people. I’ll also be carrying on with the website to have it as a hub to meet others and find helpful information. ‚Äč
You can find out more about Claire and Aunty M by visiting her Facebook, Twitter and the Aunty M website
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