About Our Charity
Adapting to Change after Childbirth or Ostomy surgery
Chameleon Buddies promotes social inclusion among people living with a stoma or childbirth injury, both in the UK and in Kenya. The Charity is a passionate advocate for providing hope for people struggling to live with lifechanging injuries' following childbirth, and aims to help women, and their families, adapt to these changes.
Chameleon Buddies was established in 2022 by founder Gill Castle, who has a permanent stoma following childbirth complications in 2011. Gill met Dr Debbie Matityahu, founder of the American not for profit, Beyond Fistula, in 2021, whose organisation supports women with obstetric fistula (a sadly too common childbirth complication) in Eldoret, Kenya - financing the repair of their injuries, funding and running re-training programmes, and enabling the women to lead independent lives.
Several women have ostomies as a result of their fistulas, just like Gill - but the difference is that the Kenyan girls have limited, or no, access to stoma supplies. Gill realised that there was a gap in the care which Beyond Fistula was able to provide in terms of ostomy (stoma) support, prompting her to fundraise to send stoma supplies to the women in need. Chameleon Buddies has been established to enhance this initial support, by focusing on improving the ostomy services for the women. Stoma nurses and educational workshops will form part of this outreach work in Kenya.
In the UK, Gill is an established campaigner for her causes of childbirth injuries, and hidden disabilities such as stomas. Joining together with Trustees, Emma, Charlotte and Claire, Gill spearheads the Charity, raising awareness of the prevalence of childbirth injuries and ostomies, and providing support groups for women in Northumberland to access a safe space following their birth or stoma surgery.
Registered charity number: 1199430
"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails"