" “Drag out your crayons!!!! Now is your chance to design your own unique piece of jewellery……….” - this is where the Tulip necklace began.
Ortak was holding a competition. All I had to do now was try to draw something that people would like, have it shortlisted into the top three designs, get the most public votes and hope it could be made into a lovely piece of jewellery.
I’m astonished to say that all of this did actually happen. A few days after receiving the necklace they made for me I began to think… Would it not be awesome if this could be made to sell for charity? One day I turned up at the Ortak Jewellery workshop and proposed the idea to Mike. I babbled for a bit about my idea and said if he agreed I would like it to go towards a multiple sclerosis charity. He did indeed agree. With the Orkney Islands having the highest prevalence of MS in the world, we all know somebody who has been diagnosed with MS.
I am disappointed to say that I only learned about the disease after being diagnosed myself when I was 21 years old. I had been feeling various symptoms since the summer of 2011 but when the possibility of MS was mentioned I decided not to look it up until I knew for sure. So, on 10th February 2012, after my neurologist phoned me at home out of the blue and gave me the diagnosis, I did what most folk would do these days; I simply typed “MS” into Google. The first search result was the Multiple Sclerosis Trust. The whole evening was spent lying in my bed reading EVERYTHING on the website. I felt shocked by what I was reading but also strangely relieved just to finally have a diagnosis.
The MS Trust is a UK charity, providing information for anyone affected by multiple sclerosis, education programmes for health professionals, funding for practical research and campaigning for specialist multiple sclerosis services.
For the next year, I tried to understand MS and the way it affected me, often returning to the MS Trust for information. When 2013 arrived though I wanted to be able to help other people diagnosed with MS somehow and with the support of countless amazingly selfless people, some that I knew and some that I didn’t, the fundraising began. To fundraise over this period we gathered sponsorship for a Trek in Iceland and then a cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia, held events and asked celebrities to lend a hand too.
The Ortak Tulip necklace is the next fundraising venture. After Mike from Ortak agreed to make the necklace with 20% of all sales going to the MS Trust I turned up once again at the workshop, but this time with a box of caramel doughrings, and asked them very nicely if they could possibly remake the necklace more like what I had imagined. The staff were open to my caramel doughring coercion and that led to the beautiful Tulips collection you see today.
Hayley Budge - April 2016
- Craig Gardens