Hundreds raised for new North East support group
Published by Kelly Elliott for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities
Members of the MyPainFibro support group, pictured at the group’s official opening event in September. Founder Angela Walker is pictured third from left, wearing the yellow sash.
Hundreds of pounds have been raised by tenants and staff at a North East housing association for a new support group which helps people suffering from chronic pain conditions.
MyPainFibro was set up last year by a group of Cestria Community Housing tenants, following a £300 donation from the County Durham landlord.
Its aim is to provide information and advice about Fibromyalgia - a long-term condition which causes widespread pain and extreme tiredness - and to support people in the Chester-le-Street area suffering from any type of chronic pain.
The group, which is associated with the national charity Fibromyalgia Association UK, already has more than 20 members and many supporters, including Cestria tenants and staff, many of whom turned out to support a recent fundraising evening.
The event, which took place at Chester-le-Street Cricket Club, included an auction, raffle, buffet and entertainment from local musicians and singers, including the Cestria band, made up of Cestria staff including Chief Executive Paul Fiddaman. In total more than £600 was raised for MyPainFibro on the night.
One of the group’s founders Angela Walker, who suffers from Fibromyalgia herself, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported the event - the food and band were fantastic and special thanks to everyone who donated prizes for the auction, without which we couldn’t have raised the money.
“Fibromyalgia is a condition which not many people know about and events such as this help us raise awareness, as well as raising much needed funds to allow us to provide support to people living with the condition locally.
“I’d like to thank Cestria for their ongoing support - without the help of local people and organisations, groups such as MyPainFibro wouldn’t exist so thank you!”
MyPainFibro was established in September 2013 following a donation from Cestria’s Community Fund - an annual grant-giving scheme set up following a drive by the association to make efficiency savings within the business.
Each year local groups are asked to submit their requests for funding, with Cestria tenants then voting on which projects receive donations during the association’s annual tenants’ conference.
Cestria’s Head of Finance Julie Clarke said: “It’s great to see that a group set up thanks to funding through our Community Fund is doing so well.
“Cestria has a close connection with MyPainFibro as so many of our tenants are involved and so we were only too happy to support the fundraising event.
“We have many talented musicians amongst our staff, including our Chief Executive, so it was great to see the Cestria Band entertaining the crowds and helping to raise some much needed funds.”
MyPainFibro meets at Bethel Church Hall, in Low Chare, Chester-le-Street, at 2pm on the second and last Wednesday of each month.
For more information please contact Angela Walker on 07999 075022.