Action for M.E. Merger
Action for M.E. and The ME Trust have announced they will be merging on 1 February to improve access to services for people with M.E., and their families and Carers.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E., sometimes diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS/M.E.) is a chronic neurological condition affecting an estimated 250,000 adults and children in the UK. One in four people with M.E. is so severely affected that they remain house and/or bed bound.
All existing services currently delivered by the two charities will continue in the merged organisation, and there will be no redundancies because of the merger. The merged charity will continue to be known as Action for M.E. with Sonya Chowdhury remaining as Chief Executive of the merged charity. Helen Winning, the current Chief Executive at The ME Trust, will join Action for M.E. as the Director of Healthcare Services, a new role intended to oversee the newly created healthcare division within Action for M.E.
By merging, the charities hope to improve access to and increase the services available to people with M.E. Although 2021 saw some improvements for people with M.E., such as NICE updating their guideline advising of the treatment and management of M.E., there remains a considerable lack of understanding about the impact of M.E. on individuals. In response to the ever-growing public health crisis and ignorance towards the condition still existing, the two charities merging will combine and extend specialist services that are not readily accessible via traditional routes. From Tuesday 1st February 2022 the merged charity will offer; Information, Support and Advocacy plus peer support groups for all ages, alongside healthcare services such as Doctor, Physiotherapy, Chaplaincy and Counselling creating a single point of access for people with M.E. Bursaries will be available for the healthcare services.
Sonya Chowdhury, Chief Executive at Action for M.E. said ‘our merger will increase holistic and clinical support to a community that has faced major issues in accessing support despite having a disease that severely damages lives. Our hope is that children and adults have access to clinical services delivered by professionals who fully understand the impact of M.E. on individuals and their families’.