Emma Jefferies, who lives in Andover and suffers from Fibromyalgia after developing glandular fever has started a local branch to raise funds for and raise awareness of the disease. Emma also works as a volunteer for FibroAction, a charity that campaigns on behalf of the 2 million sufferes.
(Fibromyalgia and M.E are both very debilitating and disabling conditions. Fibromyalgia is an illness that causes mental / physical fatigue, widespread pain & a heightened response to painful stimuli. Other symptoms include joint stiffness,nerve pain, numbness & tingling and many more. M.E (chronic fatigue syndrome) is extreme mental & physical fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain and chemical / light sensitivity among others.)
Andover FMS & ME Chatterbook, the organsiation that Emma has started, aims to encourage people living with Fibromyalgia & M.E in the area to chat via Tumblr and attend regular meetings (if they are able) so members can support each other & their families. "I was delighted to hear from Emma that members are finding the group beneficial and are happy with it's success."
Emma organised a fundraising event at St Pauls Church Smannell Road, with a Grand Christmas Raffle. Local businesses have donated generously and the Andover community has been very supportive. Emma said "We have been overwhelmed that the community can pull together in this way. Many, many businesses who kindly donated verbalised they had a Daughter, Sister or Auntie living with FMS and / or M.E and this is another reason to donate."
The Mayor of test Valley, Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, attended to do the raffle draw, and Andover Town Band played Christmas Carols