Local UUP MLA and Westminster Candidate Jo-Anne Dobson has praised the Banbridge Fibromyalgia support group ‘Fibro Friend’s’ at their coffee morning held in the Town Hall last Saturday morning.
Mrs Dobson, who is the UUP Health Spokesperson has previously raised concerns that there is inadequate Health Service support for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia sufferers.
Speaking after the coffee morning Mrs Dobson said: “A massive well done to everyone involved in arranging the coffee morning where the terrific sum of £883 was raised for our local group.
“I was delighted to be accompanied by my sister Belinda who suffers from this invisible illness and I know too well how it affects the everyday lives of so many people across the local community.
“The conditions leave sufferers feeling exhausted, often leading to long term illness and disability and that’s why supporting groups like this is so crucially important.
“I have repeatedly called on the Health Minister Jim Wells to improve services for sufferers of ME and Fibromyalgia as diagnosis can be very difficult as symptoms can often appear as other conditions and misdiagnosis for patients is all too common.
“There has been a long fight by patients with these conditions to get the recognition and treatment they need and deserve and I welcome the recent support of the Patient and Client Council for local charities and support groups.
“I have written to the Health Minister to request that the pilot which has been conducted for patients in the Northern Trust area is rolled out for all patients across Northern Ireland and pledge to continue to support those affected.”
The Banbridge Fibro Friend’s group were delighted with the support. They said: “We just want to say a big thank you to everyone who came out this morning to support our coffee morning.”
Banbridge Fibro Friend’s meets on the third Tuesday of every month in the Old Town Hall from 7-9pm
The next meeting of the group is set to take place tonight (Tuesday 21st April).