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M.E. Awareness Month 2017 - the difference you made

May 31, 2017

As M.E. Awareness Month 2017 draws to a close, we’d like to thank everyone who helped us raise awareness and share some information on the difference you helped us make.

Some of you volunteered to be media case studies for us, giving you an opportunity to tell your story about living with M.E. to the national and regional media. Several of these were featured in newspaper articles, interviews and online blogs, delivering your stories to around 1,270,000 people. Following our Chief Executive’s appearance on BBC Radio Shropshire last week, a number of listeners contacted us for information and support about M.E.

More than 30 publications in Scotland covered the launch of our new Inform M.E. Scotland Project, and/or the debate in parliament in which it was highlighted. Our letter highlighting the impact of M.E. and our call for people to support our #MEmatters pledge was featured in 60 newspapers across the UK.

Altogether the information about M.E. that we were able to get into the media had the potential to reach an estimated 2,053,000 people, and help them understand M.E. better.

We used our work with people who have M.E. in Scotland to feed into a debate on M.E. in the Scottish Parliament on M.E. Awareness Day. As a result of this, the Chief Scientist Office (part of the Scottish Government Health Directorates) invited Action for M.E. to meet with them, while the Minister for Public Health directly expressed her support for our work which aims to improve health and care services for people with M.E. in Scotland. Gail Ross MSP offered to help us get health boards involved with our Inform M.E. project, and as a result of the debate, MSPs from across the parties have expressed an interest in M.E., giving us an opportunity to engage with them directly.

Our team in Scotland also took part in the Missing Millions Protest in Edinburgh on Friday 12 May, joining our voice to the call for improved access to appropriate services and support.

To those of you who supported Walk with M.E, including our Chief Executive Sonya Chowdhury, Senior Fundraiser Bella Whately, and teams across the country: thank you for helping this brilliant fundraising initiative raise more than £3,000 to support Action for M.E.’s vital services.

Nearly 200 people have so far pledged to show the world that #MEmatters by sending our awareness-raising information to their local GP, school and/or parliamentary candidate, and our awareness raising posts have reached nearly 170,000 people on Facebook alone. On Twitter they reached even more – our tweets highlighting your experiences of M.E. were seen around 216,000 times.

We have also launched a toolkit for pharmacists, thanks to the hard work of our volunteer pharmacist, Emily Beardall. This aims to help pharmacists across the UK to better understand M.E. and its impact, and offer improved support to their patients living with the condition.

None of this would have been possible without the input of people affected by M.E. who worked alongside us to inform our work, tell their stories and pro-actively share our content. To all of you who helped us to help you, we’d like to say a big thank you.