CEA cards – free tickets for a friend to come with you to the cinema

Did you know about the CEA card? It is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association.

The Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.

A complimentary ticket is provided on the assumption that the person accompanying the Cardholder is able to provide appropriate assistance. Illustrative, but not exhaustive, examples of such assistance might include having the ability to assist the Cardholder in:

  • Moving around the venue including finding and taking a seat;
  • Evacuating the venue in the event of an emergency;
  • Accompanying and/or assisting the cardholder in using the cinema’s washrooms; or
  • Purchasing refreshments.

People who receive one of the following benefits are eligible for the CEA Card:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA);
  • Attendance Allowance (AA);
  • Blind Persons Registration;
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP); and
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).
  • Cardholders must be 8 years of age or older.

You can apply online or download the form and do it by post and it costs £6.

You can read more about it on the CEA website


✌🏽& ❤️


Hospital update and feeling anxious and panicky

I saw Mr Brown yesterday and the plan is for yet another surgery, it will be in the new year.

I have two large hernias and they are causing daily, almost constant pain. One is behind my stoma and one is in the old stoma site.

I also have a 6.6cm cyst on my ovary that I’m not sure if it’s causing pain or not as my whole abdomen hurts so who knows what is what.

Mr Brown wants to bring a new surgeon in to work with him, he specialises in complex abdominal problems and due to having so many surgeries, I’m filled with adhesions and scar tissue.

Theyll also be working alongside a gynae surgeon to remove the cyst and possibly my ovary, so it’s all hands on deck!

I just feel sick that this is happening yet again, I’ve really had enough and honestly it doesn’t get any easier, every surgery gets tougher and tougher. Ignorance is bliss when it comes to knowing what recovery is like and I’m so anxious and scared.

Ive used up all my sick pay with having two surgeries this year so any time off work will be unpaid which is super stressful, I know I need time to recover but knowing it will effect our income adds more pressure.

Im writing this at 4am as I can’t sleep for worry. I’m also coming down with some bug as I’m hot and cold and coughing and feel crap but when you have a chronic illness sometimes it feels like you can’t take time off for “normal” illnesses.

I know I’m just having a middle of the night panic but everything just feels very overwhelming right now.

I just want to be well.

Im sick of being in constant pain, it’s so draining. I’m sick of taking painkillers every day though I’m relieved to get some better pain relief today from the GP. But it’s a constant weighing up of being in pain and being able to think straight and taking drugs and feeling dizzy and not with it.

Its the first time since I started working for Scope when I’m actually wondering whether I can cope with it all. I love my job but right now it’s causing me to worry. I worry about how my illness affects my team, I worry about whether I can cope and I worry that if I don’t work, whether we can afford to live the life we do.

Theres not much positivity in this post but as always, it really does help me to be able to blurt all this out here so thanks for reading and I hope that in speaking about the tough times, it helps others to know they’re not alone.

I hope things feel a little brighter when the sun comes up


✌🏽& ❤️

Sam x

Girls like me don’t get to be Mary…

I remember the nativities at school, year after year, yearning to be Mary. It’s what I thought about all year. To be fair, I went to a catholic primary school where the head teacher was a nun so you know, there was a lot of bible talk all year round.

But I really wanted to be Mary. I imagined myself doing the slow walk alongside the donkey and Joseph with a tea towel on his head. The pillow up my dress looking holy and ready to birth the baby Jesus.

I knew blue was a good colour on me, and they’re in Bethlehem!! I’m the right colour surely!!!

Yet year after year, I was never Mary. And year after year I was devastated. I remember crying to the teacher one year when yet another blonde, pale girl was chosen to be the Virgin Queen. And I’ll never forget the words “girls like you will never be Mary”

My heart broke that day, I sat on the tiny toilet behind the stall door that ironically was half mast like a barn door and wept. I went home that night and prayed that God would make my skin lighter and my hair blonde.

Because even in those early years, I learnt that girls like me whose skin is brown and hair is black aren’t beautiful queens who get to have the pillow baby Jesus.

Worry not, I have since learnt that I’m amazing and I feel no shame at all of my Indian Mizo heritage. Dudes, I celebrate what a queen I am all the time!

One year i did get to play an elephant tamer.  But the outfit had these ridiculous see through harreem pants and you could see my knickers and everyone laughed at me. It wasn’t my finest moment and I cried because no one ever laughed at Mary.

Nish Kumar (NOT Patel!) wrote recently about unconscious bias after a newspaper called him Nish Pateland it made me think about the times when bias has affected my life.

I talked to friends recently about how I’m “just white enough” to get to hear everyday racism. Not the full blown racists who hate anyone who isn’t white but those friendly every day racists who would never accept it about themselves because they have a friend who is black.

A woman I stood next to at a craft fair all day before at the end she said she would have a “Chinky” that night. The person who says they’re going to the “paki shop”. The ones who tell me that it’s not fair how much the “coloureds” and “foreigns” get the same benefits as the “real British people” aka white people.

It happens all the time. And every time it reminds me of being told as an eager 6 year old that girls like me never get to play Mary.

Your words matter. Think before you speak.

✌🏽& ❤️

Sam xx