Help for people with ME/CFS in and around Stockport




Stockport ME Group Information Line

0345 519 4116

Or email smeg2244@yahoo.co.uk


This is a 24 hour voicemail service. A volunteer will respond to messages left within the next 2 working days. Please be aware that this is a voicemail service only, and that while volunteers regularly check for messages, no volunteer is able to answer a telephone call there and then. Please do leave a message and include your phone number.


The Stockport ME Group have recently changed the phone number. This should be included in your phone provider's contracted minutes and will not be an expensive phone call.


This is an information line number only. Volunteers responsible for dealing with queries will not be permitted to give advice. For Stockport ME Group members, if you have a specific query, numbers on page 2 of HERMES still apply.


Alternatively please email us at smeg2244@yahoo.co.uk with inquiries about membership, meetings and other requests for information. If you prefer a phone call please include within your email your phone number and the best time to reach you.


We are currently exploring the option of changing our phone number to an 0345 number which would be included within your monthly landline or mobile minutes.

Views in and around Stockport

Thanks to Stockport MBC for the images.

A little note from the committee in response to COVID-19

These last few weeks have, by any measure, seen some unprecedented changes in our lives and we appreciate that this is a very worrying time for our members. People will be concerned about many things, their health, finances, practicalities of daily living and social isolation to name but a few. The SMEG committee want to reassure our members that, over the coming weeks and months, we will try and be here for you and encourage members to reach out to us.

Our goal as Stockport ME Group has always been to meet the needs of people with ME/CFS in Stockport and the surrounding areas. We aim to continue to do this but, whilst the COVID-19 virus is with us, this may take a very different and more unpredictable form than normal.  If you have any individual needs please let us know and we will do what we can.  Also, if you have any ideas how we can help the wider group please do get in touch it would be good to hear from you.  We are a small charity run entirely by volunteers, many with ME/CFS themselves, but we will do what we can to help.

It is also our belief that peer support is crucial and we will do what we can to facilitate and provide that over the coming weeks. With this in mind, we would encourage people to try to help each other whether it is by offering a listening ear or sharing useful information.  We will be trying to offer and facilitate peer support through our Facebook page over this period.  For the foreseeable future our Social Group events will take place online.  We already have a book discussion scheduled for April and expect more pop-up events and activities to happen depending on everyone’s time, energy and interest.  However, if you are considering offering more direct help to a member we would encourage you to follow the guidance issued by Stockport Council https://www.stockport.gov.uk/coronavirus-supporting-the-community-response/supporting-your-community

We do recognise, however, that there are some members who do not have access to the internet and would prefer to use the telephone. To these members we encourage you to call our information line or reach out to one of our committee members if you are struggling.

Our scheduled April and May Friday meetings will no longer take place at The Light Cinema.   We are currently going to try to see if our April speaker GMPTE might be able to offer some form of session online and we will keep you updated of this. Our May session was going to be a coffee and chat at The Light Cinema.  That session will now take place virtually on Facebook.  Details are still being formulated but details will be available in our Facebook Group in due course.  We will keep you updated for our June, July and August meetings but do not be surprised if some or all of them end up taking place “virtually” so we can all be practicing safe social distancing.  Our other services (newsletter, equipment hire and rental, library etc.) will still be continuing as close to normal as possible.

People with ME/CFS may be particularly vulnerable to the virus because of an altered immune systems and the fact that illness of any sort has a tendency to worsen their ME/CFS symptoms.   At times such as this, the internet can become awash with misinformation (albeit often well intended) and therefore we would encourage members to stick to well established respected sites such as the NHS website, the ME association, Action for ME etc

In addition, https://www.stockport.gov.uk/coronavirus-supporting-the-community-response/receiving-help has some excellent information for those who are needing help at this time.  They might be overloaded with the massiveness of the undertaking but Healthwatch Stockport are also offering to put those self-isolating alone or as a couple in touch with checked and trusted staff and volunteers in your area on (0161) 974 0753. There are also many Mutual Aid groups starting up that might be able to provide a lifeline to those in need.

These are undoubtedly challenging and unsettling time. We encourage everyone to keep safe for themselves and others and to remember that we are here if you wish to reach out to us.

With Love,

Stockport ME Group Committee

The Solidarity Drop-In

(benefits support).


The Solidarity Drop-in which was formerly located in the now closed Sir Joseph Whitworth Centre is now taking place in Disability Stockport's Centre for Independent Living, at 23 High Street, Stockport, SK1 1EG. It is on Mondays from 10 am to 4 pm.


They offer support with completion of applications for Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance and information on social security sanctions. They can also help with referrals to the appropriate service in cases where advice, or representation in appeals is required.


High Street is on the route of the free Stockport Metroshuttle bus, service 300.


Anyone who is interested in volunteering to work with Solidarity Drop-in, is very welcome to drop in and chat to their team. They have two roles - reception, and support with forms and referrals. Training by an experienced professional in the field, is available for the latter role.


http://solidaritydropinstockport.webs.com/


Stockport CFS/ME Service


Information regarding Stockport CSF/ME service can be found here


Stockport ME group is on Facebook!


If you are on Facebook come and join the conversation.

Find us on:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/stockportmegroup/

or just search for Stockport ME Group.

You will be able to ask questions and chat with other members of the group.



Hope to see you there!

The next Zoom meeting will be held on Friday 14th August 2020

It will be an Online Garden Party and Quiz, more information nearer the date.

Living well with ME/CFS course


Following on from our meeting in June, we are now pleased to let you know that Heather from Stockport Healthy Minds has been given the go ahead to look at running a course specifically tailored to PWME... provided she gets enough interest. Please take a look at the attached poster. Unfortunately, the course is only open to those with a Stockport GP.I Heather is hoping the course can get started as soon as possible, so if people are interested she recommends that they self refer via our website as soon as possible so that they can get an idea off numbers and hopefully get something running fairly quickly (maybe starting at the beginning of August?). The online self referral portal is https://www.penninecare.nhs.uk/services/stockport-healthy-minds and she asks that they quote the 'Living well with ME/CFS course - for attention of Heather Restall' when they complete the online referral form.