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August Monthly Meeting and BBQ

posted 6 Aug 2018, 13:20 by Gemma Richards   [ updated 6 Aug 2018, 13:27 ]

Good evening,

I hope that you are keeping as well as can be expected and not struggling too much in the heat now that it is back. I believe it is going to get cooler again soon so for those of you struggling with the heat I hope there will be some relief soon. Just 2 notices;

Tomorrow is our monthly meeting. Just a reminder that our meetings run from 13.30 till 15.30pm and for THIS MONTH ONLY we will be using the classroom at Galaxsea Divers, which is at 22 Hines Road, Ipswich, IP3 9BG, which has parking available. In light of being at a different premises this months meeting will be more of a social with nibbles and a raffle and time to talk to each other. If possible can I ask you to bring something to share with the nibbles and a raffle prize but only if you can.  If you get lost or need anything I will be available on my mobile, I will call you back if I am driving.

I would like to invite you and your family and friends to join me this Sunday the 12th August to the CFS Unite annual BBQ. It takes place at mine (I live in IP2) from 1pm till 5pm, stay for as long as you are able.  We will supply rolls, burgers and sausages  (including Veggie), and a couple of cheesecakes for dessert however we ask if you want more to eat please bring it along with your own drink and if feasible a chair (I have about 8 to use). I do ask that you let me know if you intend to join us and if you have any dietary requirements so we have enough burgers and sausages etc....I need to know final numbers by Saturday night so I can go shopping Sunday morning.

That is it for now. I hope to see you some time this week either tomorrow or Sunday or even better both.

Take care and as always thinking of you.
Kind regards, best wishes and gentle hugs

Gemma and The CFU Team

Information from our June meeting

posted 9 Jun 2018, 05:08 by Gemma Richards

On Tuesdays meeting there was quite a lot of information given out so I have listed it here for those who attended, this information will also be sent out in an email later on today.  G x

1) Gemma thanked everyone who came along to the Christmas meal. It was a great afternoon and we turned some heads wearing our Christmas hats. Look forward to the 2018 one in December. 

2) Events coming up:
        a) Coffee morning 10.30am till around noon at Gemma's house, contact Gemma for more details. 
        b) CFS Unite BBQ is on Sunday 12th August at Gemma's house from 1pm. We supply the burgers and                 rolls. 
        c) Trip to Aldeburgh coming up so we can give them the cheque from the monies raised from the April             quiz, please join us for an afternoon at the beach with fish and chips. Details to be confirmed. 
        d)Bryan is going to look into hiring a beach hut at Felixstowe for the day soon so hope you can come             along for the day by the sea. 

3) The Springfield Follies are holding their 70th Anniversary event (details in the picture below). A group of us are going on Saturday 9th June so please do join us. If you cant make the 9th please do go to another showing you will be entertained. Contact us if you would like more details. 

4) The data email was sent, thank you to those who replies. For those who did not reply you were sent an email to confirm you have been taken of out mailing list, however should you change your mind please contact us via email providing consent and we add you back onto our mailing list. 

Finally we were really lucky to have Caroline from the Disability Advice Services (DAS) attend our meeting and talk to us about filling in paperwork for PIP, Universal Credit, appeals, tribunals and also what to do and what not to do when claiming benefits as well as what support people might be able to receive. For more information, the details for DAS will be posted on our helpful links page shortly. Please always seek support for claiming benefits as they can help you claim but will also support you should your claim go to appeal or tribunal. Also Caroline shared with us a document from Action For ME titled 'Personal Independence Payment: filling in the form' which you will find attached to this blog and on our information page.   Caroline also suggested filling in an activity log to provide with your claim, she will be sending this to me shortly and once I receive it I will share with you. 

The only other thing not mentioned at group is that I am going to a Car boot sale on the 8th July to get rid of some stuff, all monies will go towards group, if you have any items you are willing to donate please let me know so we can arrange collection/delivery. 

Speak soon and remember always here if you need us. 

Gemma x

Not receiving our emails but want to?

posted 9 Jun 2018, 04:46 by Gemma Richards

If you wish to receive our emails then please email and request to be added to our email list.

Our emails usually inform you of what we have upcoming or what we have been up to however we also like to keep you in the loop about Chronic Fatigue related stuff so on occasion we will update you with what we think is important.  

If you don't wish to receive our emails then just check back on our blog for up to date information or join our Facebook and Twitter pages, details of which can be found on our contact us page.  

Kind regards


GDPR Data - Email sent

posted 19 May 2018, 09:37 by Gemma Richards

We have sent out an email today regarding consent. If you currently receive emails from us, please respond so that we can still email you. 

The emails sent can be found below. Should you have any questions please let me know. If you wish to be added to our email list please get in touch. 

Email sent today: 

To make sure you continue to receive our emails, please reply to this email, otherwise, we won't be able to contact you after the 25th of May 2018!

As a valued member of Chronic Fatiguers Unite, we currently send you newsletters and emails about all the events and information we have upcoming or we have been given.

From 25th May 2018, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be coming into effect. In order to remain compliant with the law, Chronic Fatiguers Unite needs to have new consent to be able to continue to send emails to our members.

This email is to gain your consent for Chronic Fatiguers Unite to have your email address, to send you information regarding upcoming events and new information related to Chronic Fatiguers Unite. 

If you wish to give your consent please reply to this email with the following information before the end of the 25th:

Your name - 
I consent for Chronic Fatiguers Unite (CFS Unite) to send me emails in relation to upcoming events and information. 

Once we receive your consent, from the 25th of May 2018 you will continue to receive our emails. You can update your preferences at any time by emailing us to let us know of any changes or if you wish to unsubscribe. 

Finally, I will be adding a page on our website about how we handle and protect your information. I will send this out in a separate email in the next few days. 

Kind regards


Christmas in May

posted 8 May 2018, 04:34 by Gemma Richards   [ updated 8 May 2018, 04:34 ]

Hi all, 

I hope you had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend and that the sun and warm weather helps. 

On Tuesday the 15th May, we are holding our belated Christmas meal which we would love for you to join us. The meal will be at The Mermaid in Ipswich, arrive at 12.30. We ask you to wear or bring a Christmas outfit/jumper/t-shirt to celebrate. We will also be running a secret Santa. For the secret Santa, we ask it to be both a male/female friendly wrapped present and spend no more than £5. Also seeing as it is ME Awareness month we would like it to be a Blue themed present if possible, please.

If you intend to come please let me either by email, message or on Facebook. Please let me know no later than 6pm on Friday 11h May so I can reserve your place and ensure you get a cracker. Looking forward to it. Hope to see you all.

Gemma x

Taking a break!

posted 21 Apr 2018, 06:55 by Gemma Richards

Hi all, 

I am just sending a little email to inform you that I am taking just over a week off from
today until the end of next Sunday 29th April. 

For those of you who don't know, I had my beloved dog and best friend Bailey put to sleep yesterday which has left me heartbroken and I feel I need a bit of a break to grieve. I will probably still be floating around on Facebook but there will be no updates to the website or emails sent out until after this date unless I feel I am able that includes posting on facebook and twitter. I will also be limiting my phone calls and texts for this time. I hope you can all understand this difficult decision but at this time I am going to struggle to support others when I need to support myself and my family. Please use facebook for a sounding board if you need to talk to others and please be reassured I will be back and ready on Monday 30th April. 

On my return, I will update you all on the excellent news regarding our quiz held on April the 7th and share all the awesome pictures take from what was a lovely afternoon. 

Of course, I will see you all on Tuesday 1st May in our monthly meeting at the hall. We have a visitor coming in to talk to us about the benefits of Aloe Vera. Our meetings run 13.30 until 15.30. 

Also on Tuesday 15th May at 12.30 we are having our belated Christmas meal, it is currently looking like we will go to the Mermaid for a carvery and I am hoping to get you in (or to just bring depending on the weather) your Christmas Jumpers and a secret Santa (max value of £5). Please do let me know if you can join us, I will send out more details after my break but in the meantime may I ask you kindly SAVE THE DATE for our May Christmas meal. 

All the best and thank you for understanding.

Gemma X

Cake and raffle plea for the quiz!

posted 27 Mar 2018, 09:08 by Gemma Richards

Hi all, 

I have sent out an email out today regarding our April meeting, Jo Feakes information from last month and also our upcoming quiz on the 7th April. Let me know if you didn't receive the email but want to.

Regarding the quiz, I have sent out a plea...We are hosting a raffle and cake sale and I am asking/begging if anyone would be willing to donate some cakes for us to sell and/or an item for the raffle. If you are able to please let me know by the end of the 3rd April and let me know if you can deliver to the church on the day at 13.00 - 13.30 or if we need to arrange collection on the Saturday morning.

G x

Easter and April meeting

posted 24 Mar 2018, 07:41 by Gemma Richards   [ updated 24 Mar 2018, 07:42 ]

Happy Easter (nearly)!

Firstly, a reminder that our clocks go forward tonight so don't forget to get into bed an hour early tonight to make up for the hour we lose tonight. 

I cannot believe that next weekend is Easter, the year is flying by. On Tuesday 3rd April we have our next meeting. It will be at our usual time of 13.30 until 15.30 and this month we will be having a buffet, raffle and get together as well as our annual Easter Bonnet competition. We would love to see you there. 

For those of you who attended last months meeting, I hope you enjoyed the talk carried out by nutritionist Jo Feakes. Jo emailed me to say how much she enjoyed our group and has asked to come back to do a Question and Answer session later on in the year. Jo very kindly treated us to some healthy cake at the meeting and has shared the recipe with me which you will find at the bottom of this post. 
For those of you who took a feedback form please would you kindly bring it with you to the next meeting so I can pass them back to Jo. 

I think that is all for now. Not long till our meeting and also our quiz, which is on the 7th April. 

A very early Happy Easter!

Love and hugs Gemma


This is a great paleo bread recipe. It will help stabilise blood sugar and keep energy levels high.

Serve plain or spread with a little coconut butter.

Makes 1 loaf - can be sliced up and frozen


4 bananas, medium                                               

3 large eggs

60g coconut oil                                           

1 TBSP lemon juice

125g ground almonds (almonds are easy to grind/mill yourself in a food processor or Nutribullet - use whole almonds for the extra fibre)       

60g coconut flour (I use organic unsweetened desiccated coconut and I grind/mill it in my food processor/Nutri-bullet to a flour consistency)

1 TSP bicarbonate of soda                                    

2 TSP baking powder

2 TSP ground cinnamon

2 TBSP cocoa powder


Heat oven to 180C. Grease a 2lb loaf pan with coconut oil and line it with greaseproof paper.

Combine bananas, eggs, lemon juice, coconut oil in a food processor.

Add ground almonds, coconut flour, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon, cocoa powder and mix well.

Transfer to loaf pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes .

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out

March Meeting - Important

posted 28 Feb 2018, 02:22 by Gemma Richards

Happy snow day!

 I hope like me you are staying safe and keeping warm. Rebecca and I are playing stranded at home, which is providing me with a nice couple of restful days.

I am emailing you with important information about our March meeting next Tuesday.

1.Time Change -  For this month only our meeting will need to start at 2pm instead of 1.30pm. The church are using the hall till 1.30pm so this will allow time for them to pack up and us to set up.

2. Guest Speaker - I am delighted that we are being joined by Jo Feakes who is registered nutritional therapist who has an interest in supporting people with CFS. Her website is  if you wish to take a peek.

That is it for now. Look forward to seeing you next Tuesday at the later time of 2pm.

Gemma x

How to Make Your Home More Accessible

posted 6 Feb 2018, 13:42 by Gemma Richards

We all want to feel comfortable in our homes, but when we become unwell or as we get older, it can become more difficult to get around.  However, there are many ways that you can redesign your home so that you still have access to all parts of it.  All it takes is a bit of planning and guidance.  In this article, we’re going to suggest a few ideas that can be added to your current property to make it more accessible.


If you have mobility problems, it can be hard to reach each floor of your house.  Unless you are keen to move to a bungalow, the ideal solution is to install a stairlift.  A stairlift can provide you with a great deal of freedom and independence.  The modern versions are reliable and can be operated with a joystick.  They can also be fitted to curved stairs if required.  The seat and footrests are comfortable, and most come with a backup battery pack so that you won’t be stranded should the power cut out.  And, if you have stairs at the front of your home, you can also find outdoor stairlifts!  There’s no reason to move to a single storey property when you install this gadget.

Here are some useful articles on Stairlifts:

-          What is the Best Stairlift to buy?

-          How Much Does a Stairlift Cost?

-          Grants for UK Stairlifts

Accessible Kitchen

If you are confined to a wheelchair, having your kitchen remodelled to be more accessible is a great idea.  The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the home, and it can be easily redesigned to allow for wheelchair access.  Consider making your current kitchen open plan so that it’s easy to get around.  You can also have your cabinets lowered so that you can prepare food while sitting down.  Workstations can also be designed with knee spaces under sinks and countertops.

Easy Access Bathroom

The bathroom is another room that can be a pain to get around in when you have a mobility problem.  Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to turn things around.  For starters, you can have your bathroom door widened to allow for easier access to the room.  You can also have a walk in bath or walk in shower installed, or even turn your bathroom into a wet room.  Mobility rails can also be installed next to the toilet and the bath to make it easier to stand up or move across into a wheelchair.  Finally, your bathroom sink can also be lowered if required.

Wireless Intercom

If you find it hard to answer the front door in time, a wireless intercom may be the ideal solution.  These provide you with a handset that can be carried around, and when someone rings the bell you can instantly see who is at the door and respond to them.  Some intercom systems even enable you to open the door remotely.  This is a great disability aid that is definitely worth considering.

Motion Sensors

Another technological advancement you may want to consider installing is motion sensors.  These can be set up so that lights turn on when you enter a room, and turn off when you leave.  They can also be rigged up to appliances too and work in the same way.  Some sensors can also be linked up to a smartphone or tablet so that you can operate other devices remotely.

There is no reason to feel trapped in your home.  Consider making a few changes, and regain your freedom and independence.
For more information visit and contact

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