by Jeanne Hambleton©

The good news is the southeast Fibromyalgia Conference with Pampering will go ahead next April 2012.

I was offered loads of real help and support for the Folly Pogs FM Cause for a Cure research fund (my passion), so I told myself the male members of my family who raised the most objections to more work and more conferences were wrong. I rewrote our rulebook. It now reads we should do it again, and possibly again and even again, as long as the delegates enjoy and support the conference. Backed by the FMS SAS Sussex and Surrey charity trustees who are now involved with the work with Folly Pogs, we have a date to keep next Easter.

The Fibromyalgia Conference & Pamper Weekend will happen April 6/9 2012 (Easter weekend) at a hotel in Chichester. Our original venue was fully booked for 2012 so we had no choice but to move. We appreciate it is the first Bank Holiday of the year when families get together but why not bring your partner/sister/mother and dad with you. There are loads to see and do in Chichester, Portsmouth and Brighton and you know where the beaches are – Bracklesham Bay and West Wittering.

The venue offers in-house pampering for a fee, with free use of the spa, steam room, great ‘warm’ indoor pool, comfy beds, en suite, TV, tea making, telephone etc. We even have a special vacation offer for couples who want to stay on for an Easter break until the following Friday with a list of tourist attractions to visit.

We will again offer a full programme of interesting and keynote speakers, workshops and some exercises plus therapies, books and a modest exhibition – all being well. Plans are underway. The weekend – 3 nights 4 days from Friday to Monday will cost £179 per person sharing a double room.

We also have a special bridal suite and two bedrooms with four-posters available for the ‘romantics’ among you. We only have the three so payment secures your choice. Sadly there are no single rooms and the hotel requires a £50 single supplement, so bring a friend and share. This time we only have 70 rooms – beds for 150 people – less accommodation than usual – and already more than half these are booked. So hurry and get in touch if you want to come and learn about your condition plus enjoy the fun.


Your fee (£179) for the weekend pays for accommodation, full board, 3 meals plus tea and coffee breaks, a choice of approximately 12 speakers, 12 workshops, exercises (some of this may be subject to change depending on the availability of those providing the presentations etc.), evening entertainment, some laughs and giggles.

Many delegates who came before are already booked to come back to Chichester. The Fibro Fillies Race Night is back too – horses to name and races to sponsor for research…. and the raffle for research too – prizes always welcome – thanks.

It will be another memorable weekend to make new friends with like minded folk, the chance to speak one to one with our speakers, learn more about your condition, join one of the informal workshops where you can ask questions and relax, and take part in fun competitions – the Easter Bonnet Parade; the Fibro Duck with Appropriate Owner competition (FDAO); and the ‘Olympic’ challenges when we have worked these out. Any ideas? These may be a bit challenging but nothing too hard for a fibromite. One might include knitting squares for a good cause – how quick and how many maybe? Stella Bernardi will highlight knitting as a diversion from pain in one of our workshops.

For more information and a conference booking form email me at jeannehambleton@me.com with CONFERENCE in the subject line please.

A big thanks to Pam Stewart – without her input we might still be floundering and wondering what to do and I would not have a new family rule book. Hooray. Thanks Pam – your heart is in the right place. We all appreciate what you do for the FM community. Also big thanks for the FMS SAS charity and it’s trustees for its help and support.

After expenses remaining funds will be donated to the Folly Pogs Fibromyalgia Research Uk (Cause for a Cure). I believe we all need a cure – if only for the next generation as it is hereditary.

Statistic already show 2.7 million folk in the UK have been diagnosed with FM and we believe the same number have our pains which many GPs cannot diagnose due to lack of training in fibromyalgia. It can take two years to get a diagnosis. Stress is our enemy and a prime trigger for fibro flares which may put fibromites in bed for a week. The USA claim fibromyalgia is reaching worldwide epidemic proportions.

For some fibromites coming to conference can be an escape from their four walls, plus depression and isolation which so many fibromites suffer apart from the pains, chronic fatigue, sleep disorder, cognitive behaviour, IBS plus 50 other nasty symptoms. Thanks must go to a number of UK Rotary Clubs who so graciously funded the conference fee and trip for several fibromites on benefits at the last conference. You made a real difference to those gloomy lives. A big thanks to those Rotary Gents on behalf of the FM community.

Hope to see you at conference. Get in touch for a booking form. Take care. Keep well. Jeanne

About jeanne hambleton

Journalist-wordsmith, former reporter, columnist, film critic, editor, Town Clerk and then fibromite and eventer with 5 conferences done and dusted. Interested in all health and well being issues, passionate about research to find a cure and cause for fibromyalgia. Member LinkedIn. Worked for 4 years with FMA UK as Regional Coordinator for SW and SE,and Chair for FMS SAS the Sussex and Surrey FM umbrella charity and Chair Folly Pogs Fibromyalgia Research UK - finding funding for our "cause for a cure" and President and co ordinator of National FM Conferences. Just finished last national annual Fibromyalgia Conference Weekend. This was another success with speakers from the States . Next year's conference in Chichester Park Hotel, West Sussex, will be April 24/27 2015 and bookings are coming in from those who raved about the event every year. I am very busy but happy to produce articles for publication. News Editor of FMS Global News on line but a bit behind due to conference. A workaholic beyond redemption! The future - who knows? Open to offers with payment. Versatile and looking for a regular paid column - you call the tune and I will play the pipes.
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