How We Operate

MK MEG

MK MEG is a small self-help group, run mostly by people with ME/CFS/PVFS/FMS, with the help of a few carers. The group is affiliated to Action for ME.

Meetings

We meet regularly – most meetings are informal get-togethers, where we chat and catch up on each other’s news, and share information, moral support, etc.  Sometimes we have a speaker, on a subject related to ME or on a topic of general interest – topics so far have included everything from Welfare Rights to Bird-Watching.  We ask speakers to keep their talks fairly short, as we know that members sometimes cannot concentrate for long periods.  We can record meetings for members who cannot attend.

We meet at Wolverton Community Centre, Stratford Road, Wolverton, MK12 5RL.  The Community Centre is across the road from the “North-Western Hotel” and next to the entrance to “Tesco”, with parking at the west end of the building.  The entrance to the Centre is at the “Tesco” end of the building.

Our meetings are from 7.45 to 9.15 pm on the third Tuesday in every month (except December).

For details of our next meetings and their locations go to Members’ Meetings or check Latest News.

Other Activities

If enough members are interested, we may be able to organise the occasional group outing or social event.

Those members who wish to contact others directly by telephone (whether or not they are able to come to meetings) can have their numbers passed to other members in a similar position.  We will never give out your phone number without your permission.  Those of us who are online also use the internet and email to keep in touch with each other.

Our Committee aims to send out an occasional newsletter, keeping members informed about meetings, speakers, etc. as well as their own news.  This will depend on our energies and time available.  We welcome ideas/articles for inclusion.  If you spot something, let us know or bring it to a meeting.

Library

All members are welcome to borrow ME/CFS/PVFS/FMS related books, videos and tapes from our library, which is kept at the Wolverton Community Centre.

Promoting Awareness of ME/CFS/PVFS/FMS

As a group, we also try to promote awareness of the illnesses.  We do this by sending information to local doctors and handing out leaflets at various events in the city, and by placing articles in local newspapers, parish newletters etc, when possible.

Membership

We are a friendly, informal group, and are very much aware that some members are restricted in what they are able to do, while others wish to be more actively involved.  Whatever your level of ability, you are assured of a warm welcome, and there is a good chance that another member of the group will know exactly what you are going through – it’s always good to feel that you’re not alone in coping with this illness.  Membership is open to anyone living within Milton Keynes or its surrounding area affected by, or with an interest in, ME or its related conditions.

The annual subscription is currently £10 for new members, with a reduction for those who join part-way through the year, and £7.50 for renewal of membership by the due date – this covers both the person with ME/CFS/PVFS/FMS and his/her partner/carer (at the same address) where applicable.  Anyone unable to afford the subscription charge may have it waived, or pay in instalments, at the discretion of the Committee.  If you are not yet sure whether to join us, you are very welcome to come along to one of our monthly evening meetings and “check us out” before deciding.

Equal Opportunities

MK MEG believes that in every area of its activity and influence it should ensure equal opportunities for all.  In pursuing its aims, MK MEG will be active in promoting fair treatment and equality of opportunity for all individuals regardless of age, disability, ethnic background, family status, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or social status.

The Committee

We have a Committee to deal with matters such as booking speakers, fund-raising, mailing information to members and keeping our financial affairs in order.

The Committee consists of a maximum of 9 members, and is elected for the year at the Annual General Meeting in July, although extra members may be co-opted at any time.

The Committee usually meets once a month, and Committee members stay in touch on-line between meetings.  The Committee deals with membership information and ideas for fundraising, and drafted a constitution for the group, which was accepted by the members at the AGM in 2001.  We are also working towards applying for registration as a charity.

Fundraising

When the group was re-formed in 1999 we received a start-up grant from the Council of Voluntary Organisations.  Over the past years we have received funding from several sources.  For example, the Stony Stratford Lions’ Club held a sponsored swimarathon – from which we received part of the proceeds.  Other sources have included a sponsored walk by a member and the MKCF Annual Car Raffle.

MKCF is also our local contact for funding sources, such as national organisations that have grants available at certain times of the year. In some cases, every amount donated to us may be matched by a similar amount from their funds, so receiving donations at these times can be very effective.

We are very grateful for these organisations’ contributions to our funds, and continue to seek funding from other charitable and welfare-related bodies.  However, reliance on one-off donations makes financial planning difficult, and therefore we are also trying to find ongoing sources of funds.  Ultimately we must rely on members’ subscriptions to cover our essential running costs (website, room hire, office supplies, insurance).

One successful project has been the re-making of greetings cards of various types.  We try to find outlets willing to sell cards for us and also sell them ourselves.  They can been seen at meetings.

On year we were successful in applying for a receiving a grant from the “Sport Relief” national fund and administered locally by MKCF.  This money was used to improve access for our house- and bed-bound members, using our own Video Camera.

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