‘Recognising and rewarding the individual bravery of those living with chronic illness, one bead at a time’
– ‘Bravery Bottles’ non-profit Organisation
Bravery Bottles is the main part of the project, and the root of the sub-projects.
The intention of Bravery Bottles (first and foremost) is to give the well-deserved recognition of bravery towards those who suffer from and endure – albeit inevitably – any type of chronic illness (be it physical, mental, or both), for the approach taken for overcoming obstacles and face difficulties that are a direct result of chronic illness.
Not only that, but the project also aims to redefine the word ‘bravery’, by highlighting the fact that it can be interpreted differently from one person to the next, and so should be judged subjectively.
Who can participate & the application process
Upon application, the participant is sent a ‘Bravery Bottles starter kit’, which contains everything needed for the project as a whole. Amongst other items, the contents of the kit included a personalised, hanging decoration, which has a small bottle/vial attached, as well as beads for that bottle, a booklet to keep track of the beads, and an item of choice to display the later rewards – related charms – on.
> You can apply here to join ‘Bravery Bottles <
The focus of the project is reaching goals and aims that relate to bettering yourself and your health too. Doing something to reflect that is referred to as an ‘Act of Bravery’.
When an ‘Act of Bravery’ has been achieved, the participant places a single bead into their ‘Bravery Bottle’.
Coinciding with the theme of the project, an ‘act of bravery’ is a self-defined term that is interpreted differently by the individual participants themselves, but generally means stepping outside of your comfort zone to achieve something (medically) that you didn’t think you could nor would, or making steady process – however slow – towards achieving your own goals.
Rewarding and benefits
In keeping with the theme, rewards are in the form of beads (which are put into a personalised ‘Bravery Bottle’, which is made and sent to each participant upon application to the project).
The participants award themselves with beads (kept track of using the ‘Bravery Bottles log’) for any ‘act of bravery’ they have carried out.
Any ‘act’ deemed to be ‘brave’, therefore, has been classed as such, by the participant personally. The definition, therefore, differs from person-to-person (all chronically ill, but with different standards, circumstances, and goals that they are facing with their health.
For every 30 ‘acts of bravery’, a’milestone’ is reached, for which the participant is sent a numbered ‘charm’ – to add to an accessory that they chose upon admission (e.g. bracelet, phone strap, lanyard, keyring, bookmark etc.).
There are also incentives that lead to other rewards for particular achievements; alternative charms that correspond and represent the achievement, ‘credits’ to spend in the ‘participant prize shop’ recognition awards such as the ‘participant of the month’ – the prize being a gift card, engraved charm, and star ornament. As the number of beads (and ‘acts of bravery’, therefore) increases, so do the rewards.
Set at every 30 acts are increasing ‘milestones’; rewarded by a numbered charm (representing the correlating milestone that has been reached). There are various other charms that relate to specific, ‘one-off’ achievements; ‘an extraordinary act of bravery’, or ‘asset to the project’ to name but a few. The item chosen and included in the starter kit is intended for the safe-keeping of the charms, and to display them as they are earned (if you so wish).
Another form of reward, issued for a variety of reasons (although only for those who are part of ‘Bravery Bottles’, are ‘credits’. These can be saved and spent on a ‘prize’ from the ‘cash in your credits’ page; a variety of items, worth different specified values that you can save up your credits to claim.
The purpose of the project is to redefine ‘bravery’ and those who are considered as ‘brave’, to include anyone who has challenged their own limits, stepped outside of their own comfort zone, and achieved their own personal goals, and for this to be recognised; firstly by way of self-rewards, building up to reach milestones, and having larger achievements recognised via correlating/exclusive beads, charms, prizes, or gift cards/vouchers.