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BU launches first ever ME support group website

16 February 2012

A screenshot of the website The first ever ME support group website launched at BU’s Kimmeridge House.

An MP from the Houses of Parliament, the first doctor to create an CFS/ME NHS Service, leading charity workers and members of the local press gathered to celebrate the opening of the first ever ME Support group website on Monday.

The launch was held in Kimmerdge House at Bournemouth University, to celebrate the £3,134 donated by SUBU’s Raising And Giving society. It was opened by Dr William Tudor-Thomas, who is not only the Chairman of the Dorset ME and CFS support group, but a retired GP who set up the first CFS/ME NHS Service ever in Wareham Hospital in 1998.

An overview of the launch can be seen in the video below.

Dr Tudor-Thomas said at the event:

“The launch of the support group website is the culmination of 4 years of planning, so it’s the realisation of the dream. It would not have been possible if we had not been nominated as one of the 4 charities last year for the RAG committees’ consideration. It’s definitely been a success today as we have had a chance to thank SUBU and it was their chance to realise the impact their money can make.”

MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, Annette Brook, who is also chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on CFS/ME in the Houses of Parliament added:

“I think the new website is an excellent idea. There are so many people who suffer from ME in different forms, but some are really housebound and to make their lives just a little bit better knowing other people have similar problems, knowing that they can get support is very important.”

Long term sufferer of ME, Emma Kinsley, who is also a former student at BU said:

“There are people with mild ME who can just about hold down a job, then there are people with moderate ME who can’t work, then there are the people who are severely incapacitated and cannot even leave their bedroom, and I think this website is really good as it will be able to reach out to all types of sufferers.”

Michelle Selby, chair of BACME (British association of Chronic Fatigue and ME) praised the website saying:

“I am not aware of there being many websites like this available nationally for groups that are so locally focused. This will be a great boon not only to sufferers locally, I have just been talking to someone here who has just moved out of the area and will be able to access all the info and support from the local service.”

Dave Lakins, MD of Keywest Media, also gave a short presentation on the development of the website, and explained how the site is especially designed for users with ME, using a muted colour scheme as sufferers can find shades like bright red painful. The site provides information on events and research and a forum for the 600 plus members of the group who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome or ME.

The site is thought to cost less to sustain than other methods of communication such as print outs, which cost around £2,000 per month. It can also be more easily managed by members to create their own discussions.

Visit the website.

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