The Regional Support Groups are run by volunteers and some of them are supported and facilitated by healthcare professionals.
The groups offer people with eczema and carers an opportunity to share information, experience and support. However, they are not a forum or substitute for medical advice from a doctor or other healthcare professional.
The Regional Support groups are independent of the National Eczema Society and therefore the Society has no responsibility for them, nor will the views of groups necessarily reflect those of the Society. If you are interested in setting up your own eczema support group in the UK, we'll be able to offer some advice via our Helpline on 0800 089 1122 or email at email@example.com.
Belfast eczema support: an informal support network that offers people affected by eczema the chance to keep in touch. For more information, please phone Myrtle Johnston on 028 9066 6393.
Newcastle: The Children’s Outpatient Department at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne runs an eczema support group for parents /carers of children with eczema : all welcome, not just patients of the Department.
The group meets 10am to 12 noon in the Children's Outpatient Department, The Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP and is currently compiling its meeting dates for 2014. For further information, contact Helen, Jenny or Marion on 0191 282 0400 at the Hospital.
Teesside eczema support group is hoping to relaunch at the Dermatology Outpatient Department, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesborough. For more details or to register your interest, please email Barbara Mohan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Macclesfield: The group meet the last Thursday in the month between 10am and 12 (excluding May, August and December). Please feel free to come along to the next meeting at Hurdsfield Children’s Centre, Hulley Road, Macclesfield, SK10 2LW and meet other parents or carers who are experiencing caring for a child with eczema. Children welcome. No need to book.
For more information please contact the centre by phone on 01625 378081 or by email email@example.com.
Manchester: This informal friendly group meet on the first Monday of every month from 7pm – 8.30pm at St John’s church, Irlam Road, Urmston, M41 6AP. The group offer support to people with eczema, asthma and allergies. The group's next meetings are:
7 April 2014: Topic to be confirmed
5 May 2014: Informal sharing
2 June 2014: Laura Grewer, St John's Ambulance - First aid training
7 July 2014: Rachel Wood, Paediatric Dietician, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital - Dietary considerations for those with allergies
If you would like more information, please email Michelle Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manchester: Moss Side Allergy & Eczema Group
Regular readers of Exchange may remember Kathryn Humphreys, the National Eczema Society’s Training Coordinator, visiting The Kath Locke Centre during National Eczema Week last September. She spoke about caring for someone with eczema and the role of the National Eczema Society.
As a result of this talk and a lot of hard work from the Community Development Team at the centre, a new support group has been formed.
Meetings will be held on the first Thursday of the month between 6pm and 7.45pm. All are welcome to share their experiences, seek advice and talk to other people going through the same hurdles they are. There is limited parking at the rear of the centre.
If you would like to find out more about the meeting please contact Catriona Smith on 0161 226 5412 or email Catriona.Smith@BigLifeCentres.com.
NEW: Leigh, Greater Manchester
This is a new group which is having its first meeting on Monday 24th March at 10am. Costa Coffee, Unit 12, Spinning Gate Shopping Centre, Ellesmere Street, Leigh, WN7 4PG has kindly offered to host the meeting.
Local mum Rachelle Lawley, who has a child and close relatives with eczema, has decided to set up this group to offer support to other families struggling with the condition.
All welcome to pop along for a chat, swap tips on living with eczema and collect information from the National Eczema Society. Kathryn form the National Eczema Society will be at the meeting to offer support and advice.
If you would like to find out more about the meeting, please contact Rachelle by email email@example.com.
Nottingham: This group of carers of children with eczema and healthcare professionals was set up to offer support and information on an informal basis. The group meets infrequently, responding to local need as appropriate.
For details, visit the group’s website http://www.nottinghameczema.org.uk and sign up to its web alert (emailed news service) or contact the group through the website. The group can be followed on Twitter under the name ‘eczemasupport’.
Birmingham adults’ support group: This informal, friendly group of adults with eczema meets every three months, on Saturdays, 2pm–4 pm at The Priory Rooms, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AF.
The first meeting of 2014 was on Saturday 1 March at 2pm.
For further information, contact the Society’s Helpline on 0800 089 1122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birmingham children’s support group: This group has been set up by the dermatology team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Steelhouse Lane, B4 6NF and meets regularly at the Hospital’s Education Centre. You don’t need to be a patient of the hospital in order to attend. For more information, phone Dermatology Nurses Arlene Brown or Sheila Richards on 0121 333 8229.
Cheltenham: This group aims to support people with eczema of all ages and their carers. Wendy Price welcomes ideas and suggestions for the group, which is not currently holding regular meetings but is keen to offer support as needed. Please contact Wendy for further details and offers of help at: email@example.com.
Solihull support group: Arranged by Fran Sims, the group meets at the Solihull Library Café, which is behind Touchwood Shopping Centre, Library Square, Homer Road, Solihull B91 3RG.
Dates for meetings in 2014 will be Saturdays 12th April, 21st June 2014, 13th September and 15th November. If you would like to come along and meet people with eczema and their carers for an informal meeting or would like to know more, please contact Fran at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Norfolk and Norwich eczema support group caters for all age groups. The group’s meets in Room 12 of the Education Block of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UY, 7pm-9pm. Those attending are asked to park in East Inpatients, which is the nearest car park. The group also holds a number of special events for its younger members.
For further details, email Ann Starkie at email@example.com or Sarah Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch up with the group’s news at www.facebook.com/#!/groups/212136705472382/ or visit their website norfolkandnorwicheczema.wordpress.com
Devon Support Group - New: People living in the Paignton area of Devon will be pleased to hear that from the New Year they will be able to receive support by way of two new groups, one for adults the other concentrating on children.
Parents and carers of children of all ages are welcome to drop in for advice, support and literature. The meetings will take place at The New Devon Clinic, 55 Hyde Road, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 5BP.
Group founder Marlene Hochstrasser is hoping to arrange for local health professionals to come along and talk about concerns and offer invaluable advice. To find out more, please contact Marlene by email email@example.com or by phone on 01803 401001.
Truro PEGS (Psoriasis and Eczema Group) meets at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske at the Dermatology Department, from 6.30pm - 8pm on a Wednesday on the following dates:
April 23rd, July 23rd, October 22nd.
An opportunity for people with similar skin conditions, their families and carers to get together informally, talk and share tips and experiences. For more information, please email organiser Rebecca Bowyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Buckinghamshire: Busy mum of a child with eczema, Rachael James, has set up a support group based in Farnham Common to share her experiences with other parents, carers and adults with eczema living in the area.
The group meets 3-4pm on Saturdays every other month. To find out more about the meetings please email Rachael at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kingston and Richmond support group is run by Lulu O’Hagan who has eczema herself and who has also lived through one of her daughters having terrible eczema for 7 years, which is now happily resolved.
The group discusses different viewpoints and techniques, and tries to spread the word that saying ‘no scratching’ should be stopped. Meetings are on the first Wednesday of each month, 8pm-10pm at The Canbury Arms, 49 Canbury Park Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 6LQ.
The group fluctuates between five and 15 people according to who needs what at the time but everyone can always be accommodated and anyone outside the area is also welcome. See the group’s Facebook page and add your views at www.facebook.com/eczemasupport or email Lulu for more information on email@example.com.
North London support group: Meets in the Dermatology Department at the Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, London N19 5NF. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Surrey and North East Hants : centred on Guildford, this group’s principal activity is to support the NES, especially through local fundraising. For further information on the group or events below, contact Vicky Robinson via email@example.com. Future events include:
Saturday 22 March: An information afternoon in the education Room of Guildford Cathedral, Stag Hill, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7UP, from 2 pm onwards. Karen Pett, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Children’s Dermatology from St John’s Institute of Dermatology, will be talking about ‘Eczema – Practical Strategies for Coping.’
The event is free but there will be a raffle and contributions are very welcome. Contact Vicky Robinson if you would like more information or you are able to distribute posters.
Monday 28th April - Local Group AGM 8pm. We would welcome some prospective new committee members come and find out more.
Sunday 11 May - Annual Sponsored Walk organised by the Rotary and Surrey Advertiser.
This pleasant walk, mostly off road through the bluebell woods and the rolling hills of Surrey is approximately 10 miles long. Join the group or walk by yourselves.
Sponsorship forms are published in the Surrey Advertiser and can be downloaded from the Guildford Rotary website or available from Vicky.
Saturday 21 June - Festival Market, High Street, Guildford.
The group will be there with a stall to fundraise and promote the work of the National Eczema Society. Donations of good quality second hand books will be very welcome.
West Sussex: Organised by Naomi Scaife, the group will meet on the first Friday of every month, 9.30am - 11.30am, at Kingston Buci Children and Families Centre, Middle Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 6GA. To find out more, email Naomi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*NEW* Isle of Wight - Busy mum Jacqui Towle knows how hard it is to care for a child with eczema.
She is in the process of setting up a support group to share experiences, offer advice and information and would welcome contact from other parents or people with eczema living on the Isle of Wight.
The date and venue of the first meeting will be advertised here as soon as this is organised but in the meantime, if you would like more information or perhaps can offer Jacquie some assistance with the group, please email her on email@example.com.