A new local support group of national charity The British Polio Fellowship is holding a series of events over five days at Colchester Library from Tuesday 26 to Saturday 30 May from 10.00am to 4.00pm to reach out to people in the area living with Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS).
The event is designed to bring the existence of The British Polio Fellowship to the attention of the public and remind people that there is both local and national support available for those living with the late effects of Polio and PPS. The event comes in the wake of the new group being formed in Colchester that has been meeting at Colchester General Hospital since November 2014.
“We are keen to attract new members and while we have been meeting at the hospital, at events hosted by the Neuro-rehab team, the library is very wheelchair accessible and a less formal environment, which we hope will encourage people to drop in and say hello,” said group member Graham Crame. “We know there are a lot of people out there who have had Polio who may not realise the difficulties they are going through now may be the result of PPS or that help is available.”
PPS is a neurological condition that can occur in people who have had Polio and affects approximately 120,000 people in the UK. The condition is characterised by increasing muscle weakness, fatigue and sometimes difficulty in breathing or cold intolerance. Members of the group will be available to discuss Polio and PPS and will be handing out literature on the subject.
“The fact that new groups of Polio survivors are still forming 76 years after our charity was founded tells you that Polio has not gone away as an issue in the UK,” said Ted Hill MBE, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship. “We must not let PPS become Polio’s forgotten footnote and the new group in Colchester is doing great work to ensure local people can receive the help and support they need.”
National charity The British Polio Fellowship continues to work to support the needs of the thousands of people in the UK still living with Polio and the late effects of Polio. The onset of PPS means the charity’s work is far from over and in many ways its support and advocacy is needed now more than ever.
The events held at Colchester General Hospital were well attended and demonstrated that there was a real need for a new group linked to The British Polio Fellowship in the region, as Graham makes clear.
“A similar event was held in the library almost ten years ago, but PPS now seems to be impacting on more Polio survivors, so now seems the right moment to remind people that we are still here to help,” added Graham. “The group is in an embryonic stage, but with the support of Anne Glynn and her colleagues from the Neuro-rehab team, we have the professional backing of specialist physiotherapists and The British Polio Fellowship behind us, we are better placed than ever to help local people.”
The Colchester group is open to anyone in the region living with PPS. The recent evening meetings have included members speaking about their childhood and life post-Polio. This is all very informal and allows members to share advice. The group is also open to suggestions on what future meetings should involve and as such new members are very welcome.
Anyone who would like to learn more can of course attend the event on the given dates where they can learn about the group and The British Polio Fellowship and its work. Alternatively, people can contact The British Polio Fellowship direct by visiting www.BritishPolio.org.uk or call 0800 043 1935 and Head office can put anyone interested in touch with the Colchester group.