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Foggy's: Celebrating 10 years as a support group!

I (Deb Cooke) suffered with a number of symptoms for many years, and believed that my medical records had me written up as a Hypochondriac.  My symptoms would vary from day to day.  One day I’d have pain in my right leg for example, and the next day would be my left arm, and ALWAYS my neck hurt.

I finally found a doctor who diagnosed Fibromyalgia.  When I read the symptoms for Fibromyalgia, I cried.  Here I was written down, and I wasn’t alone.

However, June 2010, I contacted FMA UK to find the nearest support group and was told the nearest was in Calne.  I was actually more interested in finding support and information for my then partner, as he found Fibromyalgia harder to live with than I did.  I was encouraged and assisted by FMA UK to start the group and Foggys was born.

16th August 2010 ~ I sat nervously, in the small hall of Liden Community Centre, Swindon, hoping someone will turn up to Foggys 1st ever meeting!  I can still remember myself saying to my then partner, “I hope people turn up”.  An hour later, nerves gone, as 50ish Fibromyalgia sufferers and loved ones turn up and Foggys was officially born.  At one point we thought we'd be out of the door, as we had to keep moving to make room.  Sounds scary? That amount of people. No, it was brilliant.  Relaxed atmosphere, few tears, lots of laughs.

We've tried different venues and times over the years, however, Liden, 12am – 2pm on first Wednesday of the month has always proved the most popular.  We’re currently not meeting due to Covid 19.  We hope to start them again in September 2020.  In the mean-time, we’re holding zoom meetings, just to catch up with each other.

When not in lockdown, we try to arrange meals out, subsidised by Foggys (depending on funds) as many of us aren't normally able to socialise.  It's lovely to be out with like-minded people, with similar disabilities, and anxieties.

From 7th July 2014, Foggys (paid) members could take advantage of free swim sessions at Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool.  (Currently not happening due to lockdown).

From of 31st July 2017, we were able to increase this to 2 sessions.  Paid members are welcome to attend both, space allowing.  (Currently not happening due to lockdown).

Primarily setup as Fibromyalgia Support, we now provide support primarily for Arthritic / Rheumatic Condition's, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Widespread Pain, Fibromyalgia, M. E. Myalgic Encephalopathy and Myofascial Pain and where possible other "invisible illnesses".  As we tell people who contact us, please try to come to a meeting, you might be shy and/or anxious, but you shouldn't suffer alone… and we understand.

Sadly, due to lockdown and coronavirus, like many people we’ve missed our birthday, 29th June 2020, but we’re still here waiting for when we can meet up again, and celebrate with tea/coffee and cake... or maybe even a subsidised meal for our members.

I can’t believe that we’re 10 years old! Thank you to everyone who has passed through and to those who we still see.

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