With the last case of Polio in the UK in the 1980s, people tend to believe that Polio has ceased to be an issue in the UK; but thanks to PPS, a neurological condition for which there is no cure, the problem is not going away any time soon. Many survivors of Polio now face a battle for diagnosis and lifestyle management advice, coupled with fears over changes to benefits, and loneliness – all of which the charity can offer advice practical support and guidance with. “The public often doesn’t realise The British Polio Fellowship is still going strong after 79 years and not everyone with PPS is aware of the national and local benefits of membership,” said David Mitchell, National Chairman of The British Polio Fellowship. “Support Services is helping people with appeals and benefits advice; but our nationwide branch and regional network is thriving, offering friendship and support right on people’s doorsteps – vital to help prevent loneliness, cited as one the major health challenges facing the country. As we head into the New Year, we would like to warmly invite people to join us,” David added.
In 2017, the Jo Cox commission on loneliness, found three-quarters of older people in the UK are lonely. Over half have never told anyone how they feel and seven in ten said friends and family would probably be surprised by how they feel, leading to Britain being dubbed ‘the loneliness capital of Europe’. “Grassroots organisations are key to combatting loneliness and we have an established network,” said David. “The health benefits of fellowship are now appreciated and people living with the same problems on your doorstep, with events and activities throughout the year can make a huge difference to those who might not see as many friends as they used to. New Year is all about new starts, so resolve to contact us today,” concluded David.
The British Polio Fellowship can be joined online; https://britishpolio.org.uk/join-us or over the phone, on freephone 0800 043 1935.
A modest one-off payment to British Polio Fellowship gives lifetime membership; five printed editions of a 72-page member magazine the bulletin each year (online edition available); plus access to the charity’s nationwide network of branches, regions and Central Office support that is helping thousands of people lead independent lives for longer.