Becoming a Member
Membership is offered to people who have been diagnosed with CFS/ME, together with their families and/or carers. Applicants must be residents of Dorset (including Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole), including those who live just outside the county but have a GP located in Dorset. Where there is more than one person in the household with CFS/ME, a family membership will cover all those with the illness. Subscriptions are kept low to ensure membership is accessible to all and are currently;
- £10 pa for individuals, and
- £15 pa for families.
We are not providing the facility to join online at present, and an initial enquiry must be made to the Group Administrator who will provide an information pack including an application form. The completed form must then be submitted to the Membership Secretary. On joining members will be provided with details of their local Link Group and a contact name.
New members are also normally provided with a copy of a booklet ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) – Your Questions Answered‘, a guide for newly diagnosed patients written by Frankie and Dr John Campling. However, if you have been diagnosed by the NHS CFS/ME clinic at Wareham Community Hospital, you may have already been given a copy of this excellent little guide. Please let the Membership Secretary know if you already have a copy so that we don’t send a duplicate.
The Dorset ME Support Group provides:
We currently operate 9 Link Groups in various locations around the county. Meetings are normally monthly, and are usually in cafés or hotels which offer a quiet environment for members to meet together. New members are provided with details of their nearest link group together with the contact details for the group leader.
By joining the local link group, a member has the opportunity to meet, chat, share tea/coffee etc., share tactics and strategies, get support from those who understand during a bad patch, or just to relax in good company and talk about something completely different. Meetings are held on a basis of mutual understanding, respect and care.
Most link groups enjoy a Christmas lunch together, and some arrange their own trips out. The Self-care Co-ordinator also arranges other activities around the county – some strictly social to which families are also welcome, and some are workshops of relevance to people with ME. Link group meetings also provide members with the opportunity to suggest – through the link group leader – other activities or ideas to improve the services we provide.
Members have a wide range of requirements. The Self-care Co-ordinator’s brief is to provide social group activities and excursions, as well as ascertaining and securing assistance for members with complex and specialist needs. This can range from organising transport for visits to the GP or hospital, to involving other agencies to assist with housing needs, crisis loans, social and child care etc. The aim is to encourage members to develop self-help skills and strategies, encouraging social interaction and the creativity to make the best of a situation.
A newsletter is published twice a year and is available as an email or as hard copy by post.
If you have a Facebook account and, on becoming a member, would like to be invited to join our secret Dorset ME Support Group page please contact our Self-care Co-ordinator via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have 53 members at present.