Sometimes life can throw a complete and utter curve ball and it can easily feel like you are facing things alone; no matter how many loved ones are there to support you.
When first diagnosed with a long term medical condition, it can be completely bamboozling and more questions can be brought up than are answered... I know from personal experience!
The opportunity to meet people who understand what you are going through is invaluable.
Peer support is not about constantly discussing your condition, in fact far from it! It’s about building trust and friendships with people who know firsthand what you are going through.
Individuals who are just as interested to hear about a good book you’ve been reading and that your nephew passed his driving test at the weekend as they are to listen about your most recent hospital visit or symptom flare up.
In its simplest terms – and apologies to Shakespeare for this questionable rehash – the condition does not maketh the man (or woman).
Calderdale has many peer-led support groups and in this column, I would like to introduce a few of them in the hope that someone reading this who may have been recently diagnosed, knows they don’t have to face it alone.
Different Strokes is a charity run by younger stroke survivors for younger stroke survivors.
A national organisation, Different Strokes has local support groups across the country including at Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre in Halifax.
The group meets on the second Thursday of the month between 1pm and 3pm.
Offering a welcoming environment, the group empowers young stroke survivors and their carers to reclaim their life with the support of others including the group facilitator who is a stroke survivor themselves.
The group is primarily aimed at those of working age or under though they do have people who come in their 70s; The Different Strokes Leeds group has been described as youth club for people of all ages!
For more information, about the group visit the www.differentstrokes.co.uk website
Halifax MS Society Group
Whether you have MS, or care about someone who does, the Halifax MS Society Group is there for you through the highs, lows and everything in between.
They understand what life is like with MS and look to help people live more positively with MS.
Whether living with an MS diagnosis, a carer, supporter, family member or friend, all are welcome.
The group holds a variety of events including a monthly ‘Coffee with Friends’ (pictured) held on the second Monday of the month and a ‘Tea, Sarnies and a Natter’ on the last Wednesday of the month.
Social events provide an opportunity to get together with other people affected by MS, make new friends and talk informally.
For more information about the MS Society Group please email firstname.lastname@example.org.