New Meeting Venue

RVS is still fighting it’s potential closure but to secure our meeting dates we have found a lovely new venue at Nucleus Arts Centre in Chatham.

They have a lovely roomy conference room with tables and chairs like RVS but it also has a little sofa area which will be nice for the informal half of the meeting!

We can still buy hot drinks like we did at RVS at the actual café and take them round to the Conference Room. Another added bonus is an outside decked area for the warmer months! This room is also a little bigger so will have the space for our group to grow and have more members at the meetings.

So all in all it’s another positive step forward for NKMEFF.

Our next meeting on Tuesday 27th February will be the last one at RVS and then all future meeting will be at Nucleus Arts Centre. The full address and details can be found on the Meetings page of the website.

Happy New Year!

I realise I’m a bit behind with this but I would just like to wish a Happy New Year to all our members and best wishes for a healthier year!

We had a lovely christmas meal at the beginning of December which marked a wonderful celebration to close our first year as North Kent ME and Fibro Family. We had a record turnout of 27 people! All squished round three tables with many laughs had and much food eaten!

For a second year in a row Sarah Ward surprised the committee with a huge donation of money that she had raised by doing another raffle for two beautiful Christmas hampers! This time she raised even more than last year with a grand total of £280! This fantastic news also meant that we had reached one of our targets which was to have £1000 in the group’s bank account by the end of year one!

At the start our second year there are a couple of changes. Katie will now be organising the group socials, the first of which is a trip to Playopolis Board Game Cafe in Rochester. Date TBC. If you have any ideas for socials please get in touch with Katie. Details of socials will be posted on the Socials section of the website and in greater detail in an event page on the Facebook group.

Sadly at the end of last year Emma Gapper stepped down as Secretary of the group and nominations are now open for her replacement. If you would like to put yourself forward for this role or would like some more information please message Jon. You can do this on facebook via the private message function or send an email to the address on this website’s Contact Us page.

In the interim period Nicky has done a fantastic job filling in and supporting Katie and Jon and we would just like to thank her for all her hard work.



Potential loss of meeting venue

The Royal Voluntary Service in Chatham has served us well as a venue for our group meetings over the past couple of years both for this group and the old group.

Unfortunately we have had the sad news that the centre will probably be closing after they have lost £35,000 funding from the council. Without this they will not be able to continue to run. Jon will keep us updated as to what’s going on at RVS but it is likely that they will be closing their doors at the end of March.

We are now looking for an alternative venue that meets the groups needs. This includes low fees to rent the room for two hours, disabled access, a meeting room with a table and chairs, a cafe selling hot and cold drinks. Nucleus Arts has been suggested to us and Jon is looking into this but if anyone else has any suggestions please comment on this post or on our Facebook Page.

We would like to thank all the staff and volunteers at RVS for everything they do and have everything crossed that there will be a way to avoid their closure.

Personal Message From Jon

Last weekends Quiz fundraiser exceeded all our hopes and expectations . 80 people all in the room laughing and enjoying the fun was fantastic in it’s own right but what we managed to raise during the raffle was the main bulk of the fund’s raised . We had hoped to pass the £250 mark but when people saw the quality of the prizes on offer it made a real difference and made people dig deeper to the tune of nearly £500 !!!

As we are a health based group we do not tend to advertise companies etc, but in this case I think publicly thanking those who supported us is totally the right thing to do . Julie contacted so many companies and all the ones listed below came back to happily support us.Not only that but many of them enclosed very kind letters wishing us every success which really kept us going to make the night the success it was . So from all of us who organised the night we would like to thank our friends at :

Wahl UK Ltd , Herne Bay.

Tesco , Gillingham.

Co-Op , Walderslade.

Shepherd Neame , Faversham.

Leeds Castle , Maidstone.

Spirit Health Club at Holiday Inn , Rochester.

Marks and Spencer , Hempstead Valley.

Thank you all for making the night the success it was . Without your help we would never have raised as much so you all made a huge difference.

Next year we plan on making it a bigger and better event and hope you don’t mind if we ask for your support again. You are star’s one and all.

Thank you.

Music Quiz raised £500!!

The first NKMEFF fundraising music quiz can only be described as a great success! In total after expenses we raised just under £500 for the group.

This money will help the group move forward in ways such as starting a befriending scheme so that we can help people who are housebound because of ME and Fibromyalgia.

The group as a whole would like to say a massive thank you to Martin “Fish” Fisher for volunteering his time and skills as quizmaster to us free of charge. Also a big thank you to his family for marking all the answers and running up and down the hall collecting them!

Thank you to Sarah for yet another batch of delicious cupcakes which she sold on the night to add to the funds. Julie thank you so much for all your hard work sourcing the fabulous prizes for the raffle and well done to the lucky winners!

John we would also like to say a massive thank you to you for all the hard work you did organising the event, this will definitely become an annual event! You know exactly what to do now so next year should be a breeze 😉 Nicky thank you for keeping us on track and organising the hall hire as well as all your help on the night.

This has been such a positive event and has us so excited for the Christmas meal next month! I can’t believe we will be taking over Poppyfields with 24 people attending! For those that haven’t paid yet please see the facebook post for details of how you can get the money to Jon. Fingers crossed we’ll see just as many members at the December meeting which will be a social lunch with food and silliness!

Take care everyone!



New article on BBC website about ME

Today the BBC have published an article about ME and it’s effects. Specifically it talks about Jennifer Brea and the documentary called ‘Unrest’ that she made about her experiences of living with ME in which she also interviews other sufferers.

Please use the link below to read the full article:

4 days until the first NKMEFF Music Quiz!

We’re so excited (and nervous!) that it’s only 4 days until our first fundraising music quiz. Everyone has been working really hard to make sure things will run as smoothly as possible.

We’ve got a great selection of prizes for the raffle so don’t forget to bring some extra change! Bring your own drinks and nibbles, for the drivers we’ll be able to supply the hot water for teas and coffees but bring your own tea bags etc!

It’s sure to be a great evening and we hope that this will become an annual event. All of the tickets are sold out unfortunately but keep an eye on the website to find out about next year’s music quiz!

Katie to take over organising Socials!

Hi everyone,

As of January 2018 I will be in charge of organising the group’s socials. Emma and Jon have done a fantastic job so far, I hope I can adequately fill their shoes!

If you have any ideas of ME and Fibro friendly activities that the group could do as a social please do let me know, I’m open to ideas! I’d like to do another Playopolis social as that always seems popular and I think it’s our intention to make the quiz night and annual event!

So watch this space 🙂

Katie x


National Fibromyalgia Awareness Week 3-10 September

An insight into living with Fibromyalgia from one of our members, Alison Temple:

I will be real and honest about how Fibromyalgia affects your life. These are just a few personal examples….sometimes it’s too painful and exhausting to wash and dry my hair, I find socialising with lots of people too much, I can’t tolerate alcohol, shopping is so tiring, standing and sitting too long causes fatigue and pain, I have to have regular routines, it’s difficult to deal with lots of different things, I have to limit what I do, housework is hard to keep up with, cooking a meal is sometimes exhausting.

You lose so much, relationships with partners, family and friends are affected. You are not able to be the person you once were. All your strength is being used to get through the day, there’s nothing left for anything or anyone else afterwards. You feel like you let people down. I had to give up the things I enjoy, dance classes, walking, travelling, cycling, I have to conserve all my energy for work and finances are reduced.

You end up worrying about the future and feel your life is worthless which leads to anxiety and periods depression. I hate to be negative but this is the reality of how it is. I know because this is how I felt and on occasions still do, however there is hope and ways of managing life with Fibromyalgia that makes you feel happier and boosts your self confidence again. It means changing how you think and feel about yourself which is a tough journey but worth taking the time and effort to make.

Thank you for reading this if you made it to the end your support for those coping with an invisible illness is greatly appreciated.