Has anyone found their Breath Easy group struggling to carry on since the closing of the area offices in the summer? We will sadly fold

after ten years at our January meeting. This also is due to illnesses amongst our members and a lull in new membership plus other factors but we have always pulled through before and become strong again with the help and encouragement of the area office. Sadly BLF can no longer sustain the area offices.

It will be a sad meeting.

Last edited by

15 Replies

  • Hi hypercat54

    Good to hear from you.

    We do have free use of a room. But unfortunately health and moral amongst members, and lack of new members is an issue.

  • We are having a hard time though that hardly makes us unique with many groups that used the same hall folding with no funds we are using more of our time looking for money than for activities that will improve the members lives.

    The assistance from area office is not key in our ability to survive that remains as the health of the committee and our bank balances liquidity as we go into another year with no prospects of improving our position.

  • Hello Everybody

    Butter-fly - I am sorry to hear that your group is going through a difficult patch at the moment. Sadly this does happen to some groups - group numbers fall due to the declining health of members - members not feeling well enough to take on the running of the group etc. Have you, or any other group members contacted your Group Support Officer at the BLF Direct office - 0300 3030 253. We (the Group Support Officers) are here to provide support to Breathe Easy groups - we are here to enable groups to continue providing the valuable support they do.

    Every group is different and each group needs a different level of support - but your group shouldn't feel that it has to struggle along thinking the support isn't there. Yes the Regional offices have closed and no one in the BLF was happy to see them go but as has been pointed out elsewhere there are many organisations experiencing tough financial times - the BLF is no different. However the future looks much brighter - the BLF looks very different to the way it did - and in a much stronger position to carry on doing what we do. We can still provide a lot of support to groups by telephone and email and we don't want you or any of the other groups to feel abandonned.

    So please give us a call - there are 3 Group Support Officers in the team

    Carole Carlisle - North West, Midlands and East of England

    Jo Newton - South West, North of England and Yorkshire, London

    Helen Chinnery - Scotland, Wales, South East


    The Group Support Team

  • Thank you for easing a lot of minds. It is nice to know that support is still there albeit in a different format.

    Could you please tell me if the two new Nottinghamshire groups are still operating and when and where are their meetings.(Ollerton-Beechdale)


  • Hi

    The two new groups you refer to are

    Ollerton - First meeting 27th Jan at 1-30 pm - St Paulinus Hall

    Central Nottingham - Next meeting 4th Feb at 11-30 - Beechdale Community Centre


  • Thank you very much


  • Thanks for the support. Will be in touch in the new year

  • Any response to my query please


  • I've only been to one or two meetings. without transport I cannot really attend. the group is made up of lovely devoted people. I receive their email letters. Being ill a lot means that it is difficult for me to go. I'm sorry about it, and I'm not adding much support! Sorry!

  • Our Group In Dumfries is still on the go. It is not a very big group but a good one. I have only been going since the beginning of the year as I did not know about it, until I read a card on the board when I was at Pulmonary Rehab. I did notice that quite a few of the members are quite ill, but we all make an effort to keep going. I myself and am sure the others too look forward to our monthly meetings. We have our Xmas dinner next Wednesday and I hope I get to it as I had to miss our Village Pensioners Dinner this week as I was still struggling with my chest infection. I do hope you all get something sorted out and can carry on meeting. Cheryl

  • I know that most breath easy groups are free to attend but at our's we all make a small donation to try to build up some funds in case funding is withdrawn .its a shame that people don't seem to support these breath easy groups has they are very good out of all the people who were on my pr course about 15 I was the only one who went on to join the breath easy group.

  • Just to clarify for anyone reading this - Breathe Easy groups are self funding, raising money to keep the group running. Funding isn't provided by the BLF to keep groups running - however some groups do raise money by applying for grants from local organisations.

    Every group is different and some groups have low running costs - whereas more active groups may have higher running costs and therefore have to be more active in their fundraising.

    All groups are free to attend and any contributions made by members is purely voluntary.

  • I used to attend a group twice a month that was originally set up for cancer patients, but had broadened the attendee criteria by including people with other illnesses. It was great, they picked me up and brought me home, provided sandwiches and biscuits, and on occasion a full meal. There were activities and chat and the volunteers worked really hard to make it a positive experience for all. However, when the tin was passed around for contributions I noticed on many occasions people putting as little as 10p in the tin. I don't care who you are, to get fed and entertained for 2 hours and brought and taken home, 10p is an absolute insult, everybody can afford more than that. As I was otherwise housebound I used to put £5 in and that would barely have covered the petrol and food used and if not for them I wouldn't have left the house at all. Every couple of months there'd be a day out organised, free,. I do know this group was funded but it was only minimal. Maybe breatheasy members should be charged, if only £2 and perhaps an appeal for members, in supermarkets etc., giving leaflets out with info to people who may know someone with lung disease. I am sure local supermarkets would comply, there are plenty people shaking tins for other charities and you wouldn't even be asking for money, I have no knowledge of breatheasy groups though, my nearest being too far away, so sorry if I'm teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here. Just feel these kind of groups need to be kept alive one way or the other, Libby

  • Hi Libby7827 Good to hear from you.

    I couldn't agree with you more. A lot of the hard work by

    volunteers and organisations is taken for granted as if a

    right and not a kindness.

    When I joined my Breath Easy group they were self sustaining and still are. With the help of a wonderful volunteer and a few willing members we raised money by holding jumble sales and raffles. Like you when we first joined my friend and myself each put £5 in the donations box at tea break. That was the last time when we

    did when we watched a few 20ps and 10ps go in, then nothing from the rest of the members. I agree that a small fee should be charged. The cost could be discussed and decided by members. Maybe £1 just to cover basic expenses. However our problem is not money and we have a free meeting room. Membership has fallen off and some of us are really getting on and the rest are too unwell to help

    a lot of the time.It's almost impossible to canvas for

    new members or raise funds

    I cannot stress enough that we are not looking for funds from BLF but we do miss the great hands on support we had.

  • Thank you all for your replies. We do hope to yet try and salvage something of our group if only to meet up now and then for a coffee and chat and we will stay in touch by phone, and like Helingmic, by email.

You may also like...