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People with lung disease offered support

22 June 2011

A new self-help group has been set up to help Islanders with lung disease.

The group is being run by volunteers with support from Health and Social Services and is named ‘Breathing Space’. It is aimed at people with diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, asthma or chronic bronchitis and its first meeting will take place on Thursday 7 July 2011 at 6 pm at the Elim Oasis Community Centre in St Saviour.

Lung disease and associated breathing problems can be difficult for people to cope with during daily life. Breathing Space is intended to help people to learn from one another how to live well, and is run by volunteers, some of whom have lung disease. The group has been established with funding from the Jersey Asthma and Respiratory Society, which already runs an information drop-in clinic at Jersey General Hospital on Saturday mornings.

Respiratory Medicine Consultant, Dr Andrew Luksza, said Breathing Space was intended to give people a chance to share their knowledge and experience, as well as to make new friends.

He said "I strongly believe that a support group will help people to come to terms with their chronic lung problems and the group ethos should be to strive for a better quality life for all. Through having a good understanding of illness and the ways of coping there is more likelihood of individuals being able to remain at home and live independently.”

Chairperson of the Jersey Asthma & Respiratory Society, Elaine Maton, said "We were delighted when Head of Healthcare Programmes, Dr Linda Diggle, asked if we could provide the funding for the setting up and running of this new group as it is another avenue through which we can provide help and support for those who have to cope with difficult respiratory conditions. We are looking forward to being involved with the group on a regular basis as we feel it will be of great benefit to those who go along.”

Meetings will be held on the first Thursday of every month. There is no charge to attend and all are welcome including family members or carers.

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