The IMEGA electronic news group, founded nine years ago to provide a means of contact and information between officers of local and national ME groups, was closed without warning at the weekend.
In a brief statement, founder and list owner Colin Barton told IMEGA members: "After some consideration and consultation. I have closed the IMEGA-e Group. Hope that you found the service helpful over the years."
Later, he added: "The IMEGA-e News Group that linked up 160 support group and charity officers across the UK was closed on May 5th by its owner Colin Barton who had managed the list for nearly nine years."
Officers of local ME groups can ask to be subscribed to another well-established news groups called LocalME which is run by Connie Nelson, from Glasgow. And chartered psychologist Dr Ellen Goudsmit is promoting another group, IndependentME, to help fill the gap – again applications for membership must be approved first before participation is allowed.
This is how the LocalME and Independent ME groups describe themselves on their home pages:
LocalME is a friendly online meeting place primarily for local ME group contacts across the UK.
The main aim of the forum is to encourage communication across the country, in the knowledge that ME groups, large and small, can benefit from sharing local and national news, information, hopes and concerns.
* This members only group has no affiliation to any of the national charities but several charity representatives are members of the group.
* No flaming, bullying, intimidating, offensive behaviour or language will be tolerated on LocalME.
* If you wish to join LocalME please ADVISE WHICH LOCAL GROUP or ORGANISATION you REPRESENT or WORK CLOSELY WITH.
Wishing you well.
To subscribe, please GIVE YOUR NAME and LOCAL GROUP details.
To help U.K. based ME support groups nationally this groups aims are to encourage feedback and discussion on current matters relating to ME support. Please note that the group is intended for use by local support groups and medical professionals with an interest in M.E. Members of local support groups should ask their Chair / group secretary to register.
Please supply information about your group ie location on applying for membership.
The groups postings are unmoderated, but any postings that are deemed offensive, abusive or could lead to litigation will be removed and the author may be suspended or removed from the group.
Independentme accepts no responsibility for postings made by members and any postings do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Group Owner.
Please note that this group is in no way affiliated to any other e-group specifically any claiming to represent independent M.E. groups and anyone found to be copying information to other e-groups without the moderators express permission will be suspended.