Housing association patrons help Fibromyalgia tenant sufferer
Published by Ailsa Macmillan for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities
Tracie Smith Councillor of North Chester-le-Street, Angela Walker Founder of MyPainFibro and Paul Fiddaman Chief Executive of Cestria Community Housing, Fibromyalgia Association UK
Housing association staff in County Durham were officially named patrons of a support group that helps sufferers of chronic pain conditions.
Paul Fiddaman, Chief Executive of Cestria Community Housing and Tracie Smith, Councillor of Chester-le-Street North and Board member at Cestria were named patrons of MyPainFibro, which is a support group for people who suffer from Fibromyalgia and chronic pain conditions.
They were formally announced as patrons of the support group at a table top sale, which was held last weekend (Saturday, May 17) at Holyoake Communal Centre in South Pelaw, which raised more than £300 for MyPainFibro with the support of Cestria Community Housing.
Cestria Community Housing tenant Angela Walker, 58, from Chester-le-Street set up MyPainFibro in September 2013 after suffering with the debilitating condition for 20 years, which causes pain throughout the body, extreme tiredness and loss of concentration.
Mr Fiddaman said: “It is an honour to become a patron of such an outstanding support group that helps others to get advice about Fibromyalgia and chronic pain conditions.
“It has been great to see the charity grow after we helped them with funding and following our support of our tenant, Angela Walker, who has the condition.
“The cake sale raised hundreds of pounds towards the support group, which will be invaluable in helping it to thrive and to reach more members of the community.”
Cestria Community Housing helped to launch the support group by donating £300 towards it last year through their Community Fund - an annual grant-giving scheme set up following a drive by the association to make efficiency savings within the business.
MyPainFibro aims 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 70 members online and 33 residents who are full members of MyPainFibro.
Councillor Smith, said: “I feel very honoured and proud to be a patron of MyPainFibro. There is a definite need for that kind of support group because there are a lot of people who are suffering and people don’t appreciate what they are going through.
“I do admire that kind of group and I am committed to show my support.
“I find that Cestria is a fantastic organisation and what I really admire about Cestria is that they are out in their community. I have never come across an organisation that’s so heavily involved in their community before. “
Angela became depressed and frustrated when she could not complete her normal daily activities because of the long term condition, which causes pain all over the body with increased sensitivity, muscle stiffness, sleeping difficulties and memory problems.
Following this, she decided to launch the support group while she was studying a Community Management course at Chester-le-Street Hospital and a nurse suggested that she should set up a group for others struggling to cope with the condition.
Angela from Great Lumley, who is an ex-teacher and past nursery nurse, said: “Cestria has helped me with so much already - they helped to build my confidence up through tenant groups, where I met some fantastic friends after struggling to do this before.
“I have a lot to thank Cestria for - they gave me transport in order to meet new people.
“It’s an invisible illness because you can’t see it but I have had to change my entire life because of it.”
The MyPainFibro support group meetings are the second and last Monday of every month at 12.30pm at Holyoake Communal Centre, in South Pelaw, Chester-le-Street DH2 2EZ.
Please visit the MyPainFibro website for more information at http://mypainfibro.weebly.com or contact Angela Walker on 07999 075 022.