Action Plan

Preliminary:    Autumn 2019

We have carried out an extensive campaign in the Stoke Cimsland area, which we plan to extend more widely in the area, identify people affected by ME/CFS  in the area who would like to engage with us.  This has involved press releases, articles in the local press, requests to local radio, regional TV stations, contribution to local journals, e.g. Stoke Climsland Old School News, church magazines, offer of talks to local Rotary Clubs, Lions, W. I. organisations etc, and negotiating with the local health centres to distribute leaflets/posters etc.

Mutual support

As there is no cure for ME/CFS we will work with sufferers, carers, Invisible ME  volunteers and appropriate agencies to clarify what support we could develop to help ourselves – to be ‘thre’ for each other.  We will also work with agencies such as Citizens Advice to offer support, if requested, in relation to welfare, insurance payments and other issues. We will also begin work with our partners to promote Invisible ME as a focus for promoting awareness of the condition within the community as a whole.

Social media such as Facebook will also be used to help build an ME/CFS sufferer and carer network within the initial target area of East Cornwall and surrounding area

We will explore a range of ways in which support can be offered through volunteer visits.  This may, for example, involve the identification and engagement of volunteers who are willing to spend time with isolated sufferers/carers.  Volunteers may offer to accompany ME/CFS sufferers on visits to medical appointments. This process may also involve creative ‘thinking out of the box’ initiatives, such as ‘pet’ visits  – for some people time spend with a dog, for example, can be a source of comfort – and opportunities to engage in activities such as mindfulness/meditation practices and complementary therapies : such approaches can help build coping strategies and enable sufferers to handle their situation with more equanimity.

Part 1:  The exhibition  Spring 2020

Expression of personal experiences and narratives will be encouraged and potentially shared using a range of expressive forms such as autobiographical writing, art work and poetry.  These stories and experiences will, with appropriate permission, be used as resource material for a multi arts exhibition to tour the area in Spring 2020.

Stage 3:  Touring theatre production Autumn 2020 and New Year 2021

Building on the research done for creating the exhibition we plan to devise, write, rehearse and perform an original theatre production communicating this lived experience to a wider audience. The play will integrate the exhibition into its structure so that exhibition and play become eventually one organic, artistic event. There will also be a supporting inter-active workshop created to visit schools, colleges in each target area.

There will be two pre-pilot performances to invited audiences of people affected by the condition, re-writing and a pilot tour to target towns and villages which have already hosted the earlier exhibition.

Together with material from the exhibition the intensive process of research will provide an informed platform to create a unique and authentic theatre piece bearing witness to the lives of people affected by ME/CFS from sufferers to health professionals and benefit office personnel.

(Later, stage 3 will consist of an extended tour of exhibition and play to towns and villages in the wider region and to medical schools and conferences across the UK.)

.Target Audience

  1. The level of awareness of this condition amongst the general public is low. We therefore plan to target community audiences in the chosen area.
  2. There is also a low level of awareness and understanding of ME/CFS within the medical profession. The illness hardly appears in the process of medical education with the result that many doctors do not recognize ME/CFS as a distinct and serious illness.  Our longer-term proposal is to develop a version of the play specifically targeting medical schools and other forms of medical education.

We have assembled an experienced company of theatre practitioners to devise, write, rehearse and tour the theatre production raising key issues arising from ME/CFS and created from interviews, stories and experiences of ME/CFS sufferers, their carers and medical practitioners.

devise, write, rehearse and perform an original theatre production communicating this lived experience to a wider audience. The play will integrate the exhibition into its structure so that exhibition and play become eventually one organic, artistic event. There will also be a supporting inter-active workshop created to visit schools, colleges in each target area.

There will be two pre-pilot performances to invited audiences of people affected by the condition, re-writing and a pilot tour to target towns and villages which have already hosted the earlier exhibition.

Together with material from the exhibition the intensive process of research will provide an informed platform to create a unique and authentic theatre piece bearing witness to the lives of people affected by ME/CFS from sufferers to health professionals and benefit office personnel.

(Later, stage 3 will consist of an extended tour of exhibition and play to towns and villages in the wider region and to medical schools and conferences across the UK.)