Catherine a 53 old year mother and granny, had been known to the Centre staff for many years, as she suffered from long term conditions. She would often call in for a chat, however, was shy about joining groups or receiving therapies. Staff knew that Catherine used to be a Gaelic Mod singer and needing a strong voice to encourage those who were less confident singers in our group Catherine was asked if she could help.
Since that day Catherine, despite often feeling tired, sore and suffering from ‘brain fog’ has led the our singing for fun group every week.
Clip of Singing for Fun
Catherine has made very close friends and is very popular with all Centre members. She comes to our Wednesday ‘Happy Café’ group and receives monthly massage.
Two years ago Catherine established a group for people with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, arthritis and similar conditions as there was no current peer support for these specific conditions.
The MS Centre offered two hours every Monday for the group to meet and 4 staff hours to help Catherine facilitate her group which has grown and developed over the past two years into our Brain Fog Friends Argyll.
We were asked to become involved in a recent Loch Fyne Viking Festival and Catherine saw this as another challenge and another project to get involved with. She came in everyday for 4 weeks to work on creating a Viking man and shields to put in the Viking longboat that her dad built for us. Catherine dedication to this project was remarkable. Even when feeling fatigued and sore she would push herself to come in for a few hours as she knew the positive impact the festival would have on all Centre members. On the day she worked hard with another 6 of our Centre members selling handcrafted wares at our stall and even joined the Vikings as they raided and pillaged the shops.
Catherine's self confidence and self esteem have grown and being involved in our work has helped her focus on other activities and less on symptoms of her condition enabling her to self manage her own condition better. Catherine recently provd how far she has come when she became a Centre director of our Board.
Catherine now cannot live without the Centre and we cannot imagine the Centre without Catherine. Many of our members and members of the community also benefit from Catherine’s volunteering within the MS Centre and with Mid Argyll Transport Volunteers as she stays upbeat when with others, is enthusiastic, is full of fun with an excellent sense of humour.
She is also sensitive, understanding, supportive and empathetic to others with long term conditions helping them feel reassured and welcomed in the Centre.