Help needed to start new charity

11:36 19 November 2012

A Budleigh woman is looking for help setting up a new charity to help people with a chronic pain condition.

Anya Darr is behind Fibro Fighters, which will provide services for people with fibromyalgia

Anya has suffered from the condition herself for 21 years, and while there is no cure, she says she is now able to manage the pain thanks to structured exercise, and sessions with an acupuncture and massage therapist.

The aim of the charity is to provide these services to fibromyalgia sufferers in the Exmouth and Budleigh areas.

Anya already has the therapist on board, along with someone to run the exercise sessions, but she is now looking for a charity chairman, secretary and treasurer, along with other steering committee members.

Anya said: “What they have to offer at hospitals [for fibromyalgia] is very limited. What tends to happen is people get very isolated as they stay at home in pain and get more immobile, and one of the things you have to do is stay as fit and active as you can or it causes a downwards spiral, which is easier said than done as often fatigue accompanies it.”

Anya says the exercise sessions will be tailored to individual patients, who will be given stepped exercise programmes.

“Most exercise classes which are recommended, start at a level that’s too high, so people just drop out.

“We will give every person a personalised activity plan. If they can only walk 100 yards, we’ll try to get them to 105 yards.

“The long term aim is to help people get to the point where they can access mainstream provision and could have the confidence to do that.”

Anya says that for committee members, commitment and enthusiasm are more important than experience, and, having seen similar schemes in London, she hopes that Fibro Fighters will be a pilot project for spreading the idea to other areas.

To get involved, contact therapist Ali Coledge by calling 01395 443274 or 07516 422379, or email


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