North Yorkshire’s only ME support group sees rise in requests for help

North Yorkshire’s only support group for people suffering from chronic fatigue conditions has seen a sharp rise in requests for help following the nation’s return from lockdown.

Now a grant from Broadacres will help Northallerton and District ME Support Group raise awareness and provide additional help to those suffering from the chronic fatigue syndrome Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) as well as long Covid and other conditions.

The group has been running for over 20 years, is open to anyone over 18 and meets 1.30pm-3.30pm on the first Monday of every month in Northallerton Methodist Church. Sufferers are welcome to bring along family or friends for support.

“We know that many members feel very isolated by their condition, and they really value the opportunity to meet with and talk to others who have similar lived experience,” said group secretary Sue Hill.

“In recent months the group have increasingly been receiving requests to provide further support and information to people with chronic fatigue, particularly around long Covid.”

The group is totally self-funded through member contributions and stalls at local markets and fundraising events and the grant from Broadacres Community Development Fund has provided a display board and other promotional material, as well as membership of national ME professional associations.

Sue said this will enable the Group to share the most up to date information with members and to reach out to any others in the local community who may otherwise be suffering in silence with what are in many cases incurable conditions.

“We know at this time that there are 265,000 people in the UK with ME. It is a life changing and indiscriminate neurological condition that affects adults and children. Approximately 25% of people will be so severely affected that they will be bed bound or unable to leave their homes without assistance,” said Sue.

“By raising awareness and understanding we will be supporting not only people with these conditions but also their families, friends and colleagues.”

It is estimated that a similar number suffer from fibromyalgia which causes wide-spread pain and tenderness in the muscle and fibrous tissues, tendons and ligaments. In addition, there are currently 1.8 million people with Long Covid, a condition known to have over 200 different symptoms, many of which overlap with ME.

For more information visit the website or the group’s Facebook page.

The Broadacres Community Development Fund supports local organisations, groups, and projects in areas where Broadacres has homes. All grants are approved by the Association’s own residents, via a Community Development Fund Panel.

Broadacres resident Jacque Maylon, who is on the panel, said: “The Pandemic impacted the lives of so many people in our communities, so we were happy to approve funding for a group which is working hard to support those who are still suffering as a result of it.”

People/organisations who would like to apply through the Community Development Fund can visit to find out more.