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12 September 2016

An Evening At The House Of Commons

On Wednesday the 29th of June, my mum and I had the honour of attending Action For M.E.'s Five Year Strategy launch at The Speaker's House, House Of Commons. Action For M.E are a charity that are very close to my heart after discovering them in early 2015 from watching a video on YouTube of Sonya Chowdhury talking about M.E at a conference. So when I received an email from Sonya with an invite for my mum and I to attend such an important event, I was overjoyed.

Photographer - Andy Colbourne

Action For M.E.'s latest project is made to tackle the ignorance, injustice and neglect that very wrongly comes with the illness M.E. This will help our generation of unfortunate sufferers but most importantly the future generations of people, who are going to one day have their lives turned upside down by becoming unwell with the extremely misunderstood illness that is M.E. 

The past does lay down foundations for future generations and by talking up and having plans like this put into place now, the future generations of sufferers will not have to go through the disbelief and neglect that unfortunately all of us sufferers have experienced in this day and age. 

There will be help towards an end to isolation by newly developed services and most importantly change and support for people who have to share and give up their everyday lives to M.E. So instead of many more lives being turned upside down, sufferers will instead have support and a helping hand when they need it the most.

Photographer - Andy Colbourne.  Photographed - Catherine Hale, Sonya Chowdhury and Alan Cook
The evening opened with speeches by Action For M.E.'s chairman Alan Cook, Chief Executive Sonya Chowdhury and Catherine Hale. It was extremely inspiring to hear what change is going to happen in person and also their individual stories.

I asked Action For M.E how they feel the five year plan is going two months on from the launch and how they feel the plan will help sufferers with M.E, Sonya Chowdhury, Chief Executive of Action For M.E, says- "Our Speakers House reception offered a wonderful opportunity to highlight the impact of M.E. and celebrate those who take action to make a difference. We are putting together detailed plans that set out how we aim to achieve the targets set out in our strategy to improve the lives of people with M.E, to inspire action at all levels, and to invest in change. We know what needs to be done, and we have the drive to make it happen. With support from people like you who share our ambition to end the ignorance, injustice and neglect experienced by M.E, we have a real opportunity to create lasting change."

 Not only did I get the chance to step into the most fascinating building, full of history. I also got to be in a room full of people who understand M.E, most who suffer themselves. To anyone who may be reading this from the event, I want to say it was an honour to meet and talk to you all in person. You are all so strong and inspiring and I wish you all health and happiness.

Photographer- Andy Colbourne. Photographed - Action For M.E's President, Clare Francis 

With fellow sufferers - Lizzie Guntrip and Pippa Stacey 

Photographer - Andy Colbourne.  Photographed - Helen Buckenham, Liz Smith, Sonya Chowdhury and Michael Xavier 

Photographer - Andy Colbourne.  Photographed - Fiona Wright and Clare Ogden

Also a big thank you to Sonya, Clare and everyone at Action For M.E for inviting me to such an important event!

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