A Scottish fibromyalgia charity based in Coatbridge is looking to expand its reach. Already running support groups in Coatbridge, Galston, Glasgow, Falkirk and Irvine.
Upon my diagnosis, I was disappointed to learn there were no Fibromyalgia support groups in Orkney. With NHS Orkney’s only treatment provision for Fibromyalgia being medication at the time, it concerned me that so many people were left without access to vital support, which is essential for the self-management of this complex condition. This prompted me to create Orkney Fibromyalgia Sufferer’s website, blog, online support group and social media platform. It was a way for me to seek advice whilst supporting others. I am a one-man band and have always wanted to expand my services. Managing my health has made this challenging. It’s difficult to find people who are in a position health-wise to donate their free time. The nature of Fibromyalgia can make us unreliable through no fault of our own. To be able to run a support group I would require several volunteers to ensure a reliable service offering to its users.
Fortunately for me a couple of years ago I was introduced to Sharon (charity founder) by a mutual friend. Immediately upon our introduction, we excitedly discussed the possibility of working together to provide the support I felt was lacking locally.
As a result of this introduction, I began volunteering for More Than Fibro 2 days a week as a social media administrator. I enjoy being part of such a diverse group of people. The charity and its members have welcomed me with open arms.
WHO ARE WE?
More Than Fibro was established in 2020, the Founder is Sharon Turnbull. Sharon has lived with Fibromyalgia since 2007 as well as other long-term conditions.
Sharon was made redundant in 2017 and after 16 years in the same job was a little lost about her next career moves so she opted for various voluntary work, the most notable being with Citizens Advice Bureau and a non-profit supporting people with Fibromyalgia.
In 2020 following a battle with mental health Sharon decided to branch out on her own and bring to the Fibro community a service she knows they desperately need.
First, we offer online support across all social media including a closed support page for people living with Fibromyalgia and their carers, there are virtual coffee chats twice weekly on Microsoft Teams. We also hold support meetings in numerous communities with a variety of speakers to help you access the support that you need.
Second, Sharon has tailored her own advocacy service, using her knowledge and experience gained working with CAB, to be able to deliver a unique service to help people living with Fibromyalgia identify and access the benefits they may be entitled to, the service is a huge success and Sharon believes this is due to her insight into living with Fibromyalgia and the challenges it presents daily.
Finally, volunteers are the heartbeat of More Than Fibro and we already have a great team, but we are always looking for more people to join us, especially if you are living with or caring for someone with Fibromyalgia.
More Than Fibro achieved its goal of becoming a charity in June 2021 and we have successfully secured some funding to deliver our existing services while looking to expand these further.
We have had an amazing 2 years and are looking forward to what we can achieve next.
Our mission at More Than Fibro is to create a safe community in order to support our members in all aspects of their life. This will allow our members to learn, grow and thrive in a positive environment.
Our vision at More Than Fibro is to raise awareness of the condition fibromyalgia. We aim to end the stigma surrounding the condition by educating the greater community and helping them to support those around them.
Volunteers required to facilitate face-to-face support group meetings & walking group
We are looking for local volunteers to facilitate face-to-face support group meetings which we hope to hold once every 4-6 weeks.
We also need help to find suitable a venue in Kirkwall for the meetings to take place. To be used once every 4-6 weeks. Ideally at no cost to the charity. More than Fibro doesn’t charge members for support group meetings. However, if we cannot find a venue which doesn’t cost us, we would request a small donation to cover the hire of the room. If you have a space available please get in touch.
Summer is on its way and with it better weather. Should we recruit enough volunteers, offering a walking group in Kirkwall will be possible.
Currently, we offer walking groups in multiple locations across Scotland. Our aim is to make these walks suitable for all abilities to allow people to join in even for a smaller part of the walk.
We offer refreshments at the end of the walk to anyone, even if you can’t do the actual walk due to your mobility issues please pop along and have a chat with your fellow warriors.
Do you have Fibromyalgia? Looking to be part of a team? More Than Fibro could be what you are looking for.
For more information or to register your interest please email: