A support group which helps people suffering from a debilitating illness celebrated its 17th birthday in style.
The Nene Valley Fibromyalgia Support Group was set up in May 2000 to offer a lifeline to those affected by the musculoskeletal condition, which causes pain and chronic fatigue.
Heather Butterick, who was diagnosed with the condition in the early 90s, founded the group to help others who suffer from fibromyalgia and to raise awareness of the illness.
This month, the group organised a celebratory party at St Mark’s Church Hall in Kingsthorpe to mark its birthday and both past and present members were invited, along with Deputy Mayor Tony Ansell and the Deputy Mayoress.
Mrs Butterwick said: “We came together at my request to my GP to pass on my telephone number to other fibromyalgia patients. I had been diagnosed six years before this and had come to the conclusion that there wasn’t much help out there for me and decided to help myself.
“Our support group was formed in 2000 with just five members who were just originally a small contact group meeting up for coffee. Since we started we have supported over 230 people and we currently have over 40 members.
“We have a fantastic and multi-talented committee with many volunteers to call on for extra help.
“The necessities of administering a group and fundraising can be very demanding, particularly as we all have fibromyalgia.”
Around two per cent of the UK population suffers from fibromyalgia, which is currently incurable and lifelong, but not life threatening.
The Nene Valley Fibromyalgia Support Group meets on the third Tuesday of each month in Kingsthorpe 2pm-4pm and at Nuffield Health, Northampton Fitness and Wellbeing Gym in Walter Tull Way, from 6pm-7pm on the first Tuesday of each month.
For further information please contact the group on 01604 751890 and 07484 669505