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NHS GREATER GLASGOW CHEQUES OUT COMMUNITY GROUPS

April 16, 2003 4:19 PM

TWO Glasgow community support groups were in the money this week when NHS Greater Glasgow gave them the thumbs up for patient care.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

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The Glasgow Association of Family Support Groups (GAFSG), based in Kingston, and Glasgow Central Arthritis Self Help Group, in Maryhill, each scooped £500 to boost their valuable public services.<o:p></o:p>

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The grants were awarded by NHS Greater Glasgow's Patient Advocacy Fund which serves as a means of recognising and assisting worthwhile groups that contribute to patient care in the community.<o:p></o:p>

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GAFSG consists of 39 groups spread over Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and North and South Lanarkshire, and provides a lifeline for the families of drug misusers.<o:p></o:p>

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Rita McClory, Association Administrator, explained: "We work hard to advise, support and counsel the parents and extended families of drug misusers.<o:p></o:p>

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"Members constantly request advice on everything from GP and hospital follow-up treatment, to pregnancy and alternative therapy, so with a staff of only four people it's difficult to keep up with the demands. However, our NHS grant will allow us to recruit someone to produce vital information sheets for our members."<o:p></o:p>

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Fiona Blackburn, of the Glasgow Central Arthritis Self Help Group, added: "It's a brilliant boost for us as we deal with sufferers aged 24-60 who really need our help to fight their problems, create a positive attitude and live life to the full.<o:p></o:p>

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"Part of the grant will enable us to produce informative newsletters that will reach all our members, as well as hospitals and doctors' surgeries so that those who need us can find out about our work."<o:p></o:p>

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Fiona went on to explain that the group works closely with consultants and rheumatology specialists at Glasgow Southern General Hospital, consequently devising self help courses and pain management strategies.<o:p></o:p>

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NHS Greater Glasgow Board member, Peter Hamilton, who presented the cheques to the groups, said: "The two groups receiving the awards today were excellent examples of people working in the community for the community.<o:p></o:p>

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"Although in very different fields, both groups make a valuable contribution to the people they serve. This is the type of community work we in NHS Greater Glasgow wish to encourage and support."<o:p></o:p>

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Jim Hamilton, the Board's Assistant Director of Finance, agreed, adding: "We're delighted to present a cheque to groups that work tirelessly to provide such important support and advice to those in our communities who need them."<o:p></o:p>

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Information on applying for Patient Advocacy funding is available by calling Jim Whyteside on 0141 201 4445 or emailing: [email protected].<o:p></o:p>

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