The founder members of The Future Clinic at the Lunch in November 2018
Our first blog is a reflection on our first year
In November The Future Clinic will be celebrating one year since its launch at the Quay Arts Centre. We have achieved many of our aims set after that meeting, but there is much more to do. I wanted to outline some of those objectives and introduce our Autumn Webinar Series starting in October.
We have established ourselves as a place where people can come and feel confident they will be heard and get accurate, up to date information on fibromyalgia. Many people have attended our clinic and been following us on Facebook. Our Mini-Film Series has started, via facebook, which people are enjoying and finding useful. It has been a pleasure making partnerships with a wide variety of people, from those interested in ecology and health to laboratories in Germany.
I think the most exciting aspect of the year has been successfully collecting data for our Lyme and co-infections study. This work has linked us into several significant collaborations, including ArminLabs and Professor Puri’s laboratory in Cambridge. An aspect of this research that I did not anticipate fully has been the considerable kindness and support offered by the Fibromyalgia and Lyme communities. It has been genuinely moving for me to receive the messages and offers of help we have had throughout the year. The sadder side of this is the realisation that so many people are feeling alone with their condition.
One of the critical things learnt this year is that we need to bring better information and support to more people. We have become aware that many cannot access funds to see us face to face or are confined to their homes and cannot get out. With this in mind, we are planning to develop several ways to improve this.
First, we will be opening a YouTube and Vimeo channel to run our Mini-Films, alongside the Facebook platform we currently use. These will be free short films introducing different topics linked to chronic pain management and fibromyalgia. I have no doubt that we will be expanding these topics as we go on in response to your suggestions and feedback.
In addition to the channels, and our Facebook page, we will be opening a blog on our website as an added way for people to keep updated on our ideas. By linking these to our Twitter and Linkedin, we hope to encourage as broad a community of people as possible to share ideas with us and each other.