We hold regular social meetings, which are friendly and informal, where members can meet in a relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere with other members to discuss any aspect of the illness or approaches to coping with the illness. Occasionally we have outside guest speakers. Our meetings are generally held in the Chiswick/Ealing area.
We also send out our newsletter, “Outreach”, to our members 4 times a year, covering various aspects of the illness and local issues relating to it. We feel this is a service for everyone but it is especially important for the many members who are too ill to come to our meetings. We are conscious how isolating M.E. can be, especially for the severely affected, and the newsletter is intended to make them feel part of a community that understands.
The chair also maintains group email list which those members who have internet access (about two-thirds of the membership) are welcome to join. This email list distributes occasional information on group events and items of interest to people with M.E.
Within our limited capability, we also seek to raise awareness of our group, and the suffering M.E. causes, in the local community, amongst health professionals, care workers, and local decision members, with the aim of improving the level of services available to sufferers and the provision of more support to their carers.
In what we call our Ideas Meetings, which are held every 2 months, we discuss the running of Network MESH. You don’t have to be a trustee or a committee member to join in, so if you would like to be more involved in the running of the group, please do come along. Contact Tony Golding, our chair, to find out the date of the next Ideas Meeting.
We need to raise funds to keep ourselves going, mainly for the printing and distribution of the newsletter every quarter. It is now available as an email attachment, for those who don’t mind reading it on screen or printing out themselves (which saves us a the increasingly expensive cost of postage). We engage in activities, such as selling M.E. charity cards, to raise funds for the group. Since 2003 Network MESH (West London) has been a registered charity (our Charity Commission number is 1099950).
So as to make it easy for anyone who is ill to find us, we use the terms M.E., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CFS, CFS/ME and ME/CFS interchangeably.