Group has 50 members from Cardiff and the Vale
THE Cardiff and Vale Fibromyalgia Support Group has been granted official charity status, after receiving its charity number on December 30.
“Having the status will allow the group access to funds and have the credibility to be listened to,” said Alan Winning-Wyatt, group founder.
Fibromyalgia is a “hidden” illness with over 200 symptoms. Among those most common are severe nerve and joint pain, memory loss (often called “fibro fog”), and insomnia.
Mr Winning-Wyatt, 52, started the “fibro-fighters” in Barry 18 months ago, after his wife Linda, was diagnosed with the illness.
Since then, the couple have set up two more groups in Fairwater and Penarth – with a fourth due to open in Cowbridge later this year.
“When I was diagnosed, I was given a booklet and told ‘there you go, get on with it’,” said Mrs Winning-Wyatt.
“For a year we were just a coffee group, and then for the past six months we’ve been applying to be a charity,” she said.
They now have around 50 people on the books: ranging in age from 24 to 81.
Mr and Mrs Winning-Wyatt applied for charity status in April and had to answer around 26 clarification questions before being given their number.
“Now we have the charity number, many companies and researchers will work with us when before they couldn’t,” said Mr Winning-Wyatt.
“We’ll have access to larger organisations, to help back us with funding or information so we can improve our chances of awareness and support.”
Since April 2019, South Wales Police have used the fibro-fighters’ PowerPoint to train officers on fibromyalgia at their annual first aid course.
“Over the next few months we’ll re-visit old contacts and chase others, then create new groups to push the awareness and help as many sufferers as possible,” Mr Winning-Wyatt said.