The community led ‘Hope and Cope’ group successfully brings together local people with chronic, debilitating or long term conditions, encouraging them to support one another. The group which runs weekly welcomes anyone from Millom and the surrounding areas who would benefit from extra support whether they are directly experiencing an illness or are supporting someone who is.
Local community member Emma who attends the group regularly said: “This group helps people going through a hard time. It’s about connecting and supporting people with conditions which are both similar to and different to the one you are living with. I feel the meetings provide people with companionship when they feel alone so that they don’t need to keep going to the GP surgery. Everyone is welcome to the group; we try to remain as positive as we can”
Around 30 people aged between 21 and 75 regularly attend the group with a variety of conditions including depression, diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and also for support post-surgery.
The meetings provide varied benefits for everyone including interaction and company, sharing advice and coping mechanisms and passing on knowledge of other services available. Attendees also use the sessions to talk about personal health related goals, giving them something to work towards with the support of others.
The Millom Health Action group set up the Hope and Cope support sessions at the request of a fellow community member who was looking for support. Jenny Brumby from Millom Health Action Group said: “The Hope and Cope friendship group brings together like-minded people and allows them to share their stories and help others who feel isolated due to their illnesses. The group is extremely positive and can help people in so many ways from friendship to providing one to one support.”
Denise Davison, Care Co-Ordinator at Waterloo House GP Surgery regularly attends the meetings offering her support. Denise said: “I feel the group enables people to support each other and share experiences in a confidential environment, nothing more is expected of any individual member than they are willing to give. The support given to each other is phenomenal.”
The Hope and Cope meetings take place every week with both afternoon and evening sessions available.