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Crisis, Support and Advocacy Service

Crisis, Advocacy and Support Service

In April 2020, we launched our new Crisis, Support and Advocacy Service for anyone living with or supporting someone with M.E. of any age, anywhere in the UK. We can:

  • share information and support around all aspects of living with M.E., for adults, parents, children and young people, including welfare benefits, social care, symptom management, accessing health services, liaising with your child's school and getting reasonable adjustments at work
  • offer understanding, empathy and emotional support, particularly during these challenging times
  • source practical assistance local to you, such as your local mutual aid group, parish council and/or community hub; we can also source local producers/food outlets who are making home deliveries
  • offer one-to-one advocacy by phone, email and video call; we will explain processes in an accessible way, and support you to challenge the opinions of others in situations that affect you, including supporting you to contact your GP to ask them to refer you for support for vulnerable people
  • offer peer-mentoring support (in Scotland only), to share experiences and insights into living with or caring for someone with M.E.

Please call 0117 927 9551 (10am to 5pm Monday to Friday) or email us to speak with a member of the team, or donate to help us reach even more people with M.E.

Please note that our team are not medically trained and are unable to offer specialist legal, employment or medical advice, though we can signpost to specialist organisations which can provide these services.

Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, has helped our Crisis, Advocacy and Support People reach more people with M.E. Thank you to these funds and to the Government for making this possible.

Action for M.E. team and resources

Working from home, having closed our Keynsham office, our staff team continue to provide the services and support you need. We are hugely grateful to our volunteers, who continue to support our work from home.

  • Our staff team are calling all our Supporting Members to make sure you have the information and support you need. Calls are taking place on weekdays from Wednesday 15 April onwards.
  • We are keeping our website up to date with the latest on Coronavirus and M.E., and sharing these updates on social media, specifically Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Please do use social media to share your thoughts, ideas and concerns with us, and we will do all we can to support you and others with M.E.
  • Don't forget you can also join one of our peer-support forums for adults with M.E., parents of children and young people with M.E., and 18s and under with M.E. They are all completely free and users tell us they feel better supported, and less isolated.
  • Given the Government measures asking everyone to stay at home, sending resources by post is taking much longer than usual. You can always download our booklets and factsheets for free.
  • The spring issue of our membership magazine, InterAction, was published in mid-April, full of news and research updates, as well as information and support regarding the Coronavirus. The next issue is due in September.

Employment and welfare benefits

The UK Government has published guidance on Statutory Sick Pay, Jobcentre appointments, health assessment appointments, changes to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits, Local Housing Allowances and Housing Benefit.

Face to face assessments for all welfare benefits have been cancelled for three months (from Monday 16 March), and this may be extended. UK charity Scope advises:

  • If you have a face-to-face benefits assessment appointment, do not attend.
  • Your assessor will contact you to discuss what happens next. This could be an assessment over the telephone or through the post.
  • You will continue to receive your current rate of benefit.

Help us support more people with M.E.

Now, more than ever, people with M.E. need support. With all our major fundraising events rightly postponed or cancelled to protect citizens and the NHS, we are facing an uncertain few months when it comes to donations. Our Board of Trustees and Chief Executive are working with the team to put plans in place to address this, so we can continue providing the vital support that makes a difference to so many. If you can help, please consider making a donation or joining us as a Supporting Member.