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Groups

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 helpline@eczema.org.

Northern Ireland

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.

North East

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 barbara.mohan@stees.nhs.uk.

North West

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 hurdsfieldchildrenscentreadmin@cheshireeast.gov.uk.

Liverpool: The group do not hold regular meetings but hold information events. If you would like more information please contact Mike Birch at mikebirch@blueyonder.co.uk.

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:

August 4th: Dr Tomaz Garcez, Consultant Clinical Immunologist, Manchester Royal Infirmary - Rhinitis / Hay Fever: Question & Answer Session

1st September – Mark Butler, a volunteer from NW Air Ambulance Service, is speaking about the vital role this service has in the NW.

6th October – Consultant Dermatologist Mary Judge from Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, is talking about eczema.

If you would like more information, please email Michelle Byrne at byrnemichelle@btinternet.com.

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 Anna at the centre on telephone number 0161 226 5412.

NEW: Leigh, Greater Manchester

Following from the success of the first meeting, founder Rachelle has decided to hold monthly meetings at the same venue - Costa Coffee, Spinning Gate Shopping Centre, Ellesmere Street, Leigh, WN7 4PG.

These will be held on the last Monday of every month from 10 am to 11.30 am.

Please note there will be no meeting on Monday 25th August. Usual meetings resume Monday 29th September.

If you would like to find out more about the group, please contact Rachelle by email rachelle.lawley@gmail.com.

East Midlands

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’.

West Midlands

New Birmingham Eczema – Meet & Share Group

Founder of the group, Kirpal Phull, has eczema and his aim for some time has been to meet other eczema sufferers and their carers to share experiences in an aim to support one another.

Kirpal is hoping to find a more regular meeting place very soon.

If you would like more information, please contact Kirpal by email kirpal.phull@outlook.com.

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. Next meeting is Saturday 13th September.

For further information, contact the Society’s Helpline on 0800 089 1122 or helpline@eczema.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: dw.price@btinternet.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 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 franasims@gmail.com for further information.

East Anglia

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 ann@ascareers.co.uk or Sarah Ward at sriwp@hotmail.com. Catch up with the group’s news at  www.facebook.com/#!/groups/212136705472382/ or visit their website norfolkandnorwicheczema.wordpress.com

South West

Devon Support Group - A new drop-in group is starting in Paignton for eczema sufferers of all ages. The aim is for sufferers and their families of eczema to meet discuss exchange views and experiences of this debilitating condition.

Parents and carers of children of all ages are welcome to ‘drop in’ every Friday morning between 9.30 am and 11.30 am to the New Devon Clinic, 55 Hyde Road, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 5BP for advice, support and literature.

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 info@thedevonallergyclinic.co.uk 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:

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 rebecca.bowyer@rcht.cornwall.nhs.uk or rebecca.bowyer@live.co.uk

South East

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 rachaeleczema@hotmail.co.uk.

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 eczemahelpgroup@gmail.com.

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 nescards@yahoo.co.uk.

Saturday 19th October - The group are selling refreshments on Apple Day at Milford Farmers Market, Secretts Garden Centre, Milford, Surrey, GU8 5HU. To volunteer to help and find out more, please contact Tracy via tracy.backhurst@virginmedia.com.

Wednesday 29 October - Quiz night at Mayford Village Hall, Saunders Lane, Mayford, Woking.  Doors open at 7.15pm, teams of six to eight people, £5.00 per person. Tickets in advance from Sarah Lovegrove, email sarah.lovegrove@idnet.com. Raffle prizes very welcome and funds raised to go to the National Eczema Society.

Saturday 9  November - Lord Mayors Show in London. We are again invited to sell programmes. The NES receives £1 for each programme sold by one of our volunteers.

Apart from helping to raise funds for the National Eczema Society, you will have the chance to witness one of London’s great spectacles. If you would like to help or would like more information please contact Helen by email  hflovegrove@gmail.com.

Saturday 15 November - Combined Charity Fair, Guildhall, High Street, Guildford. (Under the clock) 10am to 3pm.  Amongst other charity stalls, the group will be running a tombola and welcome donations of prizes.

There will be the opportunity to buy refreshments and purchase gifts. If you would like to help either display posters or have an hour or two to spare on the day, please contact Vicky via nescards@yahoo.co.uk.

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 naomiscaife@gmail.com.

*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 eczemaiow@yahoo.co.uk.

Groups...