Wonderful Wessex: Support Group Highlights

06 February, 2019

Colostomy UK : wessex stoma support group

This year we have been highlighting Stoma Support Groups up and down the country. Support groups get up to much more than just drinking tea and talking as is evident in this 2018 overview sent in by Wessex Support Group.

Michael Slater writes:

“It is a pleasure to take you through just four of the highlights of a very busy and successful year for the Wessex Stoma Support Group and thanks goes to a terrific Committee who makes these events happen.

The Wessex Stoma Support Group held our annual BBQ at Dairy House in Fifield Bavant on Saturday 14th July. The weather was stunning and the food excellent. Everyone had a wonderful time enjoying the spectacular Wiltshire/Dorset scenery and enjoying each other’s company in a relaxed setting.

During the BBQ, WSSG Committee member, Mel Rogers, completed a sponsored silence, raising funds for the Group. We know how hard this was whilst our more mischievous members were doing all in their power to get her to talk! Lunch was followed by a raffle. The first prize was a £50 John Lewis gift voucher kindly donated by our supporters, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.

We move on to August for our next event. We were invited by Fittleworth Medical Ltd to visit so on the 10th August, we took a dozen members to their new Head Office in Littlehampton. It had taken a long time to arrange due to holidays and such, which started during the tremendously hot spell, and with this in mind Suzanne Bridger of Fittleworth organised a BBQ lunch for us. Naturally this being england, the weather responded by throwing thunder, lightning and torrential rain at us all day!

Nevertheless Fittleworth are terrific at these sort of events and gave us a very special day with a tour of the facility and a really interesting presentation from Stoma Nurse Jacqui about her history that brought her to Fittleworth. After lunch we gathered in the conference room for a demonstration by Marie who cuts 900 flanges a day! Then we had a cutting competition – Boys vs Girls – finishing with a cut off between best girl Isobel and best boy myself and after a very exciting final the competition was won by the boys. I would like to say that I was most impressed with the caterer who despite the weather cooked the BBQ food outside.

Our third event was an early Autumn seaside trip to the Jurassic coast when on September 12th twenty-seven members of the Group piled onto a coach and headed to Lyme Regis for a day out at the seaside.  Although the weather was a little dicey to begin with, it soon cleared up and we were able to walk along the beautiful front. Some of us even went on to the beaches looking for dinosaurs (although everyone was pre- warned that we couldn’t fit a T-Rex on the coach home!)

Although when we got there we all went our separate ways, we ended up meeting up at various points throughout the day and sharing with each other what we had been up to.

Finally our Jewel in the Crown for the year was our annual Christmas Meal, held at the White Hart Hotel in Salisbury on 7th December with around 40 members this year we were treated to a festive delight, excellent food, terrific service and everyone in a party mood.

The staff at the White Hart were outstanding knowing who sat where and what you had ordered made the afternoon all the more enjoyable, after two hours of filling our faces and laughing  it was time to loosen the belts and ties and with Merry Christmases all round head for home.

Of all the events I have written about our members only have to pay towards the Christmas Meal, everything else is funded through fundraising and sponsorship. These are just a few of our events throughout the year we do so much more besides: meetings, coffee afternoons, craft fairs and the annual Christmas Panto (watching not performing!).”

If you would like to join the Wessex Stoma Support Group then just email Michael on: wessex.stoma@yahoo.co.uk or call  01722 741 233

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