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National Osteoporosis Society

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Support Groups in the Spotlight

Our President, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, has visited the fictional Borsetshire Support Group on Radio 4's The Archers. Find out about the work of one of our Support Groups below.


Gwent Support Group

About Gwent Support Group

The group is entering its eleventh year and is proud to celebrate the successful lobbying of politicians, healthcare professionals and organisations with the opening of a dedicated osteoporosis clinic and DEXA scanning unit for the population of Gwent, based in Panteg hospital. During the last 18 months, the group has raised £1200 to donate to this clinic, for the provision of patient chairs and leaflet racks.

Throughout the year they hold awareness days at:
• Local shopping precincts
• Local authority leisure centres

and provide stalls at:
• Age UK events
• GP surgery flu jab sessions
• Local Authority health awareness days

The group are welcomed at three major Hospitals and four Primary Care Units where they provide leaflets, set up stalls and offer advice and help. Every month, they attend a local fracture clinic where they aim to make patients aware of the National Osteoporosis Society and its work.

Every six weeks they give talks to a falls prevention course, WI or other voluntary organisations in Gwent.Fundraising and awareness days are held at five supermarkets each year and the group rattle their tins and offer help and information to those who suffer from the disease or who are interested in finding out more about it. They regularly attend meetings with other local voluntary health organisations.

Sheila Fox – Chairlady (living with osteoporosis). Sheila fractured hip at 53 years of age and it made her realise the importance of early diagnosis and fracture prevention. She has one daughter, a beautiful grandson, an understanding husband and a faithful “Scottie” dog. She enjoys furniture restoration and is a member of the local quilting and sewing group. Time permitting, she grows flowers and vegetables from seed.

Pauline Lewis – Secretary (Pauline has osteopenia and osteogenesis imperfecta). Pauline has two daughters and three grandchildren. As group secretary, she writes a quarterly newsletter and is heavily involved with the organising of speakers, events, awareness days and fundraising. Pauline spends at least 3 days per week on group and national charity business.

Gwyneth Catley – committee member (living with osteoporosis). Gwneth is married with three sons and three grandchildren. Although she has osteoporosis, she travels several times a year to the historical cities of Europe. Her weekends are spent visiting national trust properties. She also finds time for U3A, Probus and the local Art Society. Gwyneth is an extremely talented artist and the group benefits from the paintings she donates to raffles throughout the year.

Jenny Davies – committee member (living with osteoporosis). Jenny has 5 grandchildren and is extremely diligent at improving her bone health. She is a member of a local walking club and leisure centre. Jenny is a very spirited lady who will take off to Australia at the drop of a hat! Jenny is always prepared to model for the group’s fashion show.

Jasmin Garland– committee member (living with osteoporosis). Jasmin was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2001 after having debilitating back pain.  She now eats a bone-healthy diet and is an avid walker. She has raised money for the National Osteoporosis Society and has trekked to Peru, the Himalayan mountains, Everest and the Great Wall of China.

Joyce Hickenbottom– committee member (living with osteoporosis). Joyce is one of the longest serving committee members and has grown up children and grandchildren. Joyce runs the group’s monthly raffle. She has been involved with the Town Twinning society for over 40 years.

Eileen Seer – committee member (living with osteoporosis). Eileen has a grown up son and daughter and young grandchildren. She enjoys Church activities and does volunteer work in a charity shop. Eileen helps with refreshments and is involved with group fundraising.

Kay Jones – committee member (living with osteoporosis). Kay is married with four sons, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Kay was shocked to be diagnosed with osteoporosis in 1998 as she has no family history and has always led a healthy lifestyle. She became involved with the group after meeting some members at an awareness day at a local supermarket.  Invited to attend the group meetings, she brought a friend along and became a member of the charity. Kay is involved with collections and preparing refreshments for fundraising events.

Pat Hulston – committee member (living with osteoporosis). Pat is a married mother of grown up children and is also a grandmother. She is a volunteer at the local hospital and helps to raise funds for the group with market stalls and supermarket collections. Pat helps with awareness days and organising refreshments for fundraising events.

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