Chronic illness support group marks ME Awareness Day at St Albans Museum + Gallery

Members of Hertfordshire ME/CFS Support Group raising awareness of the #MillionsMissing campaign in St Albans last year. Photo credit: Hertfordshire ME/CFS Support Group

On Sunday 12 May, the Hertfordshire ME/CFS Support Group will be hosting a day of free activities at St Albans Museum + Gallery including live music, poetry readings, and crafts to mark International ME Awareness Day.

The group have been Community in Residence at St Albans Museums for the past year and throughout May there will be additional displays, including a large installation in the Assembly Room, video art, objects in St Albans on Demand and a display on the railings outside the museum.

The displays will include information about ME, CFS and other chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, long covid and post-viral fatigue syndromes.

ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is a complex and chronic medical condition that affects multiple body systems, and usually develops after a viral or bacterial infection. There is no cure, however symptoms can stabilise over time with careful management and specialist support.

Maxine Ellis from the Hertfordshire ME/CFS Support Group, said: “Being creative and having opportunities to stay social and connected can be really important when you are living with chronic illness. People who suffer with ME/CFS or other related illnesses are often 'missing' from society due to extreme fatigue, pain, and post-exertional malaise. This series of events will help to give them a presence in support of the annual #MillionsMissing campaign.”

Elanor Cowland, community engagement officer for St Albans Museums, said: “Working with the ME/CFS Support Group over the last year has helped us to understand our communities better and to develop new and inclusive ways of working, for example by developing new opportunities for remote volunteering. We are delighted to be able to play a small role in highlighting the experiences of those living locally with chronic illness.”

On 12 May, the opening celebration will run from 11.30am - 12.00pm, and there will be drop-in activities for all ages from 11.30am - 4.30pm. The exhibition will run until 15 May, admission is free.

For details about Hertfordshire ME/CFS Support group please visit their website: https://www.hertsmecfs.org

 

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