Galloway News, 15 March (future of D+G ME Network)

ME group faces uncertain future

A SUPPORT group for ME sufferers is facing an uncertain future.

The Dumfries and Galloway ME network has over 250 members across the region.

But failure to secure funding from the council’s voluntary sector sub-committee has left the group extremely concerned.

The network was formed in Castle Douglas in 2000.

For two years, regular meetings were held in the town’s St John’s Church Hall.

But the network’s chairman, Denis Turner, has told the ‘News’ that there may be no service left in less than a year’s time if they don’t receive financial support.

The group applied to the council for £14,660 to assist them during 2007/08.

But officials – who distributed the cash on the basis of a points scoring system – recommended they did not receive a penny.

Tory council leader Neil McKay pleaded the group’s case and asked for some funding to be provided but his calls fell on deaf ears.

Mr Turner – who runs the organisation with his wife Norma from their own home – said: “We appreciated the support we had from Mr McKay but it wasn’t to be.

“I would say that at the moment we have enough money to keep going for another 9-12 months.

“It was devastating to be told that our bid for council funding proved unsuccessful.

“We have a sizeable group of members and a lot come from the Castle Douglas area where the network originated.

“We are concerned. We had hoped to maybe open an office Dumfries and employ an administrative assistant but that has been knocked on the head now.”

Mr Turner added: “The network has been built up and a lot of hard work has been put in over the past few years.

“I am doing between 30 and 40 hours per week voluntarliy.

“People ring us up and tell us about the problems they are facing and having to deal with.

“I don’t want to walk away from it all but unless things change I may have no alternative.”

Email the group at: norma@dgme.co.uk

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