May 2019 Newsletter
Welcome and thank you for taking the time to read the Fibro Active’s May edition of our newsletter. We have had a whirlwind start to 2019 and we have just entered our busiest time of the year with the World Tai Chi and Qigong Day and Energise taking place to mark Fibromyalgia Day. We appreciate your support and hope you will continue to raise awareness of Fibromyalgia and our group Fibro Active.
We have a lovely group of Fibromites who have forged some great friendships. Our average attendance for March dropped slightly to 11.1 and April rose to 12.6. Our Facebook group has increased to 387. As of April 12th, we have had 617 individual visits to our website during the past 30 days.
It’s a bit of a long one this month. Let’s see how we are doing……
Some of you may know that my back ground is volunteer management and I am proud to present to you our first official volunteer from outside the group. Caitlin Walsh is our Volunteer Communications Officer and she has been having a fabulous time on Twitter and Instagram and keeping everyone up to date on the Fibro 5 Challenge Page. Caitlin has been getting stuck in and helping update the awareness stand and sending out promotional information and sorting the goody bags for the Fibro 5 Challenge Treasure Hunt on May 11th.
Fabulous News! We Won !!!!!!
A big thank you to everyone who supported us at the Asda Green Token Scheme. This is a real benchmark showing that there is more awareness in the local community of the group and the condition.
The Tai Chi for Arthritis group sessions are continuing to go well with Chris Davenport taking the main group and Jane and I can split to mixed abilities as new members attend. We are running parts 1 & 2 on a Tuesday with one or Two members also attending the open classes.
Symptom of the Month
Since January we have covered pain. It is such a large subject that it has had to be presented in bite size chunks. So far, we have looked at the different types of fibro pain, headaches, pain in the extremities, upper and lower chest pain.
In March Sue from Open Minds explored confidence building and last week we looked at making decisions which can be quite tricky when you are on a bad day. We are putting together the contents of the personal group journals and fibro first aid boxes.
One of our members recommended Lesley Pound, a wool spinner as a guest speaker for a craft session. This was a very interesting workshop. Lesley has a wide knowledge of wool and was able to give us a brief overview from the history of spinning to different wools, breeds close to extinction and the process to dye wool. Afterwards everyone had a chance to try spinning.
Peter one of our committee members has a long-standing passion for pottery. He has made some amazing pieces but unfortunately, due to his condition he is unable to do as much as he would like, but as a one off, he treated the group to a pottery session. Peter was also able to demonstrate his knowledge for pottery and gave us a brief history as well as being very informative about types of clay and techniques. Our masterpieces as pictured will be fired later in the year.
The last two monthly walks have been in low attendance, March was on Mother’s Day and last weekend was post storm and many off us were suffering. However, having said that both walks were very pleasant and enjoyable, it would be great to see more members attend.
Tai Chi Open Classes
Congratulations to our TCA Part 2 class who have attended a whole year with us after the Spring into Action event in April 2018 where we launched our Tai Chi for Arthritis class sponsored by Strictly no Falling. They have completed parts 1 & 2 and refining the principles of both parts.
Evening Tai Chi Classes
We will not be advertising any beginner’s courses at our evening classes at Broad Street Spiritualist Church on Thursday evenings. We have retained nearly all current students and have no capacity to start a new course.
Monday Petersham Classes
The next courses start on Monday May 13th. We have limited spaces at 13.30hrs for Tai Chi for Beginner’s (yang style) and Tai Chi for Arthritis part 1 at 14.30 hrs. Cost is £5 a class, pay as you go. You do not have to have arthritis to attend; the course is based on Sun style tai chi and is beneficial to all. The courses are open to anyone.
Free Tai Chi in the Park Practice Sessions
Last Saturday in the Month, 10am – 11am at the flower gardens on West Park
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
Fibro Active and Impact Physio Tai Chi students were joined by other Tai Chi players from the local area to take part in this world event. Well done and thank you to everyone who attended. We had a great turn out and were undeterred by storm Hannah. More photos and footage can be found on the Fibro 5 Challenge page.
Fundraising and Awareness
Energise and Fibro 5 Challenge
Its just over one week away!
There is still time to book a stall
Energise, Wellbeing Event on West Park on Saturday May 11th. We are inviting all clubs, groups, services and organisations to attend and connect with the community. You could stand a stall, demonstrate skills or have mini come and try it sessions. For more details and a registration form please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please support us at the Long Eaton Community Carnival on Saturday 22nd June.
Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
May 12th is Awareness Day and I have been writing for the UK Fibromyalgia Magazine for 2 years. For this month’s edition I wanted to find out how the group had impacted on the members and below is some of the feedback I received. You can read the full article in May’s edition.
Peter reports that ‘confidence comes from being with fellow Fibromites in a friendly group. Before Fibro Active, days rolled into weeks and the only social was my family. Little contact with the outside, shopping and paying bills. This is why meetings are important for interaction.
Angela states that ‘the information I have learned at group has helped me come to terms with my new life and feel normal for the first time in a long time. The group is uplifting and I have my sense of humour and have been able to get back in touch with old work colleagues with confidence. I look forward to what I can do rather than what I have left behind and have lots of support on the days when I’m suffering and feel good that I can offer support back to others in return. I think I would be very depressed without the group and still be struggling to understand the condition.’
Carol states that ‘joining this group has made me more self-aware of what is happening to my body and mind and more importantly that it’s real. The group are all very friendly and the meetings are low cost which helps as I am no longer working and have very little income. I also like the fact that we work on a positive approach to this awful condition, finding ways that help each other as individuals and also as part of the group. I have suffered with this illness for over 20 years and thought I knew all there was to know about it but by joining the group, I have learned so much more about myself and the triggers that cause the anxiety and pain.’
Susie Qu says ‘to find a group that had the same problems as me, was a god send. To have people that understand the issues we face without judgement and the ‘oh you must be making it up’ look was such a joy. Our weekly get together sharing such a wide range of subjects making me feel ‘normal’ again. I can do other things; I can share experiences and laugh and have fun with people that have now become friends.’
Margaret, Peter’s wife has attended group as Peter’s carer for the past 2 ½ years. However, Margaret has her own conditions including agoraphobia. Margaret hasn’t left Peter’s side for over 40 years. Last month Margaret was invited by Madeline to travel to Derby (8 miles away by bus) to see the Da Vinci drawings and she left Peter for the first time in 40 years. Margaret says it’s all down to attending the group and building her confidence. How amazing is that!