We're getting lots of messages asking when your request will be shipped. I want to reassure you that we haven't forgotten anyone - although duplicate requests do cause a problem.
B12d (the charity) doesn't have any stocks. We have to buy in bulk to get better prices otherwise we couldn't possibly keep up with all of the requests, and we spend everything in the bank account the moment we have enough to buy another batch. We buy 100 boxes of hydroxocobalamin (a little under £600), 30 boxes of methylcobalamin (around £1400), at a time. Once it arrives, I print off the labels and instruction sheets and my wife packs them into the packages before we take them to the post. Typically the B12 is in the house 3 - 5 days before it's all shipped out.
So i'm really sorry that we can't send your request immediately. We would love to get ahead of the requests and your help with donations makes a huge difference - but that means we need to put the money straight into the bank account in order to place the next order. For example, an order may take 2 weeks to arrive.
How can we decide who needs B12 when there are typically half as many requests again than we have money to buy B12? It's difficult. The best way to ensure we prioritise your request is to remind us how we know you. Did you talk to Dr Chandy? Say so in the notes. Did you get diagnosed by Dr Riar, Dr Myhill, etc? Say so in the notes. It's the only reliable way.
Obviously when i get requests to prioritise you from Dr Chandy, that helps a lot, but it means cross-referencing email to database and it's really helpful if you put the information directly into the notes on your request.
A desperate plea - please remember to put your full postal address including postcode. We have to have postcodes on the addresses for Drop n Go at the post office, and if you haven't added it, then I have to go onto Google to find it. When it's already half past midnight, this is not my favourite activity before getting up at 6:30 am to go to my day job. I love to help you, but I need you to help me.
I've had people chase up their request who use a different name on the email from the one on the Members' Area. Not surprisingly, I can't tell if you have put in a request.
I apologies deeply, I've mortally offended someone for accusing them of putting on a duplicate request (which they did, but I should have been more polite).
Obviously we have to check for duplicates, and we find people using multiple accounts to place multiple requests a few minutes apart, or lots of duplicate requests, or a request for each type of B12 in a list, or different names at the same postal address, or even different postal addresses. I'm sorry, but we simply can't send out multiple requests to a person. A year back i had a bit more time to follow up, and it became clear that one person was trying to build up a stock to sell!
If Dr Chandy has said you need more than one box, explain in the notes and I'll see what we can do, weighing it up against the other requests coming in.
B12d (the charity) is not a trading organisation. We aren't registered to package goods, we aren't registered for VAT to sell goods, we are a charity. We send B12 in response to your requests on the web site. So many people can't afford to donate or can't afford to donate the full cost, that we have to rely on the generousity of so many people to be able to help.
We can't check on PayPal to see if you have placed an order along with your donation - if we became a trading organisation by doing this (in effect, selling B12), then we'd have to register and pay all sorts of additional costs for licenses, permissions, accountancy, etc. We'd also immediately lose the goodwill of our volunteers.
Please please keep the donations coming. But please put your requests on the request place in the Members Area so we can find them, download them to the label printer and get them dispatched.
There are other places where you can buy B12 for injection. We'd rather you donated to us and requested from us, because with your donation of the amount you would pay, we can probably send an extra 20% to someone who can't afford to pay. But I recognise that it means you might have to wait.
Most grants that we've won require that we spend their money on specific things - coffee mornings, web site, printed materials. Anything that doesn't say what it's for gets spent on methylcobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, or postage. We don't pay any staff, it's all run by volunteers. Most of our money is from donations from people like you, at £3 per month, £10 per month, donations we've received up to £1000 in one go, a whole range!
Just the way it works for humans, oral B12 can make a world of a difference for your pet. My old cat Smudge chases the young cat again, climbs ladders (and climbs down herself), and is generally as fit as she was many years ago.
Julia found her eyesight going as her eyes refused to focus on the same things as each other. She's been for all sorts of tests and treatment, but now that she's on B12 replacement therapy she's starting to see an improvement.
Susan gets very tired, which isn't much fun especially as she has so much to do. Here she tells her story.
Donna, like so many women, wants to live a normal life. Vitamin B12 could give her that chance.
Frankie tells of how she suffered, the tests she had to endure until doctors worked out what was wrong, and what a difference it has made.
June describes her suffering when doctors didn't follow the standard protocol after any stomach or intestinal operation - to offer B12 replacement therapy
Dr Chandy was nominated for the North East Local Heroes award. The interviewer was at first surprised - people don't get awards for doing what they are paid to do - but she persisted.
New documentary out from Elissa Leonard in North America, featuring Sally Pacholok and many other internationally renowned experts.
Janette first appeared in the BBC InsideOut documentary in October 2006. Since then the NHS has forced her doctor to withdraw B12 replacement therapy on a number of occasions, and she tells of her struggles with having B12 and then having it taken away.
She has bravely agreed to be filmed without her usual wig, but her memory is playing up because it is so long since her last injection.
The local MP (Grahame Morris MP for Easington - who was a BMS (BioMedical Scientist) in the labs at Sunderland Royal Infirmary) interviews people with B12 deficiency to hear their story (August 27 2010). Here Jane describes the symptoms, and how she can't wait for her next B12 injection (in fact, she knows that she needs injections every 2 weeks because she's keeping a diary of the symptoms). We're restricted how often the GP can give injections, which is why we want to raise awareness.