We helped set up eleven new groups in 2017 – our aim is to have a support group within an hour of every patient in the country
This year Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis is proud to announce it has helped set up eleven new support groups in the UK. There are now 46 dedicated pulmonary fibrosis support groups which not only provide emotional and practical support, but also allow us to listen to and learn from patients, families and carers to help us as a charity understand what you need from us and how we can best support you.
Chair and Support Group Lead, Steve Jones and Lorna McLauchlan our dedicated Support Group Co-ordinator, have been working incredibly hard this year to support and encourage new support groups to develop around the country.
As a charity we know how important it is having a local support network close to where you live. We see first-hand as we visit new and existing groups the positive impact having this type of support has on people’s lives and not only the people directly affected by pulmonary fibrosis but their carers, family and friends too. That is why we are planning to develop a further 19 groups in 2018.
Our aim is to have a support group within an hour of every patient in the country and for that we would like to see over 100 groups in the UK. Therefore, we are working hard in some of the more rural areas including Wales, Scotland and East Anglia to move closer to our target each year. We have recognised a shortfall of groups in the London and the South-East and to help us develop more groups in this region, we have recruited a dedicated, new group co-ordinator who is joining us in the new year
We know we have a long way to go and we have already started working towards our 2018 targets. Looking back over 2017, we welcomed some influential visitors to our new groups. They included The MP for Stevenage Stephen McPartland, who attended the launch of the new East and North Hertfordshire ILD Support Group and Vicky Ford, MP for Chelmsford, who visited the Mid-Essex Support Group.
IPF World Week in September was also a huge success. Lots of the groups carried out fantastic fundraising and awareness days in their areas.
APF trustees have visited both existing and new groups this year, offering support and updates on the charities activities. We made 58 visits this year and we intend to visit all the support groups in the country in 2018. So, after much cake eating and drinking of tea, as we have made our way around the country, we can only look forward to the new year and the new groups that it will bring.
Let’s start the 2018 journey, because we are ready!