Five of our group were at the British Lung Foundation Conference, held yesterday, November 11th, in the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. I always enjoy these gatherings, meeting people from other groups and making new friends. I was particularly happy to see Flo. who I met last summer in Aberaeron at the Welsh Cob Festival. We came face to face sporting our cannula's and said "Snap!" She told me she felt she was a long way from any Breathe Easy Group and felt very isolated out there in Pembrokeshire. And now she tells me she will be one of the founder members of a brand new group. Well done Flo, may your group flourish.
We started the day with a two minutes silence followed by various talks and discussions. Chris Mulholland, Head of BLF Wales, gave us an overview of the work done over the previous year and the aims for the coming year. The big project is the BLF Active Programme, aiming to get trained people to run exercise programmes accross Wales, available to all with lung conditions.
Then Dr Emrys Evans, Chairman of BLF Wales, talked to us about the benefits of exercise, improving muscle tone, feelgood factor, and the important fact that everyone can exercise, they just have to find their own level.
After that we split into two groups for workshops on getting the best from your doctor, Dr Noemi Eiser, Medical Director BLF, and your pharmacist, Andrew Evans, Pharmaceutical Adviser to Cardiff LHB. Always be prepared with questions you want the answer to and ask for written information to take away with you - they should all have the relevant BLF leaflet to hand. Use the medicines review offered by many pharmacies now. It's a new service which checks that we have the right medication - worth checking if you have been taking the same stuff for years. There may be something much better out there to try.
At lunch time we had a chance to mingle and chat and to see the exhibitions ranging from Pensions to Air Products and many things in between.
In the afternoon Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation talked about the need to continue raising money to fund the work of the charity - research grants, BLF nurses, Get Active programme, publishing information pamphlets, - I could go on for ever, so if any philanthropists are reading this blog, donations will be welcome at BLF Wales.
At the end of the day we had presentations and, as you can see, our group did rather well and I was thrilled to receive a personal award - many thanks to the group for nominating me and thanks to BLF Wales for these awards.