Volunteer tinnitus support group coordinator Fiona blogs about building mutual support networks amid warming drinks and a warm atmosphere…
Coffee and cake
Shropshire Tinnitus Support Group hosted a coffee morning at Signal: The Hub in the Riverside shopping centre in Shrewsbury during Tinnitus Awareness Week 2015 this week.
It was lovely to see a number of regular group members from both the Shropshire and the Telford support groups, many of whom had travelled from far flung parts of the county on a cold and chilly day! We also welcomed a number of people who experience tinnitus but had not known about the support groups previously.
The morning was also supported by Signal staff members and trustees who were able to introduce themselves to people and talk about their roles in the organisation. The Links Café, based at The Hub, did a fabulous job in providing much needed warming drinks and, of course, cake!
Whenever the group meets, there is always a lovely warm and friendly atmosphere. This occasion was no exception with lots of conversation and sharing of thoughts about individual experiences of tinnitus and coping strategies.
I had a very interesting conversation with a group of people about the causes of tinnitus. Many of us concluded that we were of the opinion that our tinnitus did not result so much from any problems with our hearing, but was rather more to do with ‘brain function’. The topic of anti-depressant use was discussed with many of the conversation participants observing that they had been prescribed medication to assist in the management of their tinnitus.
A raffle of some fantastic prizes was held to bolster the group funds. Prizes were kindly donated by local businesses, The Wellbeing Centre and the Links Café. Support group member Reg’s wife also provided a couple of delicious cakes. This is a useful additional source of income for the group and goes towards the costs of communicating with members through the post, venue hire and fees for guest speakers. So, thank you to all who bought tickets!
In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed the morning, both appreciating the support of existing group members and meeting some lovely new potential members, who I am hoping will come along to our regular meetings!