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In April 2015, our Founder, Chris Bridgeford from Forres, having lived with chronic pain for 38 years, decided to create a closed Facebook Group to give information to fellow sufferers and to let them chat with each other. At that time the only Pain Clinic in the Grampian Health Board region was 78 miles away in Aberdeen. This required chronic pain sufferers or “chronics” (as we call them) to make an arduous, round-trip journey of over 150 miles, sometimes on public transport. The group campaigned to re-establish a Chronic Pain Service at Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin and on 3rd March 2016 a Pain Service opened up there, though some aspects of care still had to go to Aberdeen.
Affa Sair has gathered around 380 members now (Dec 17) and strives to ensure that NHS Grampian maintain a suitable Pain Service at Dr Gray's Hospital In Elgin. We provide an on-line safe haven for chronic pain sufferers, where they may freely discuss their condition and pick up hints and tips from other sufferers, together with articles and documents researched by the Group. As well as our virtual presence we also hold exclusive monthly meetings, in Room 14, Alexander Graham Bell Hub, Moray College, Elgin IV30 1JS.
You will get the most from affasair by joining in our chats and discussions on our closed Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/groups/affasair. A closed group means that only members of that group can see any posts. Please note that you MUST read and understand our Membership Rules before applying. You MUST also answer the simple questions we ask about you and your condition before your application will be accepted. We don't hold this information in a database for future use; it is merely to help us confirm that the applicant is genuine. You can view the rules from here before you log onto Facebook.
Ultimately, we aim to provide a strong presence for “Chronics” and to educate everyone, including politicians and NHS Staff, on the needs of chronic pain sufferers.
This is what Malcolm Wright, Chief Executive of NHS Grampian said about 'Affa Sair.'
"I would like to commend the Affa Sair group for its hard work and commitment since 2015. The group has done excellent work in terms of raising awareness of chronic pain and the impact it can have. Knowing that local support is available from people who understand what they are going through is very important to patients. This leaflet provides useful and relevant information and I hope that it is made widely available to complement all the other support that the Affa Sair group provides including monthly meetings and the use of social media."
This is what NHS Grampian Pain Service has said about ‘Affa Sair.’
“Chronic pain affects around 800,000 people in Scotland. Medical treatments may benefit some of those dealing with long-term pain issues, however for many, pain remains a daily challenge, affecting all aspects of life. Affa Sair offers a place of support for those struggling with pain, providing understanding, social support and a platform to learn important coping strategies which are central to improving quality of life in the long-term. Flexible access to this support is available through group meetings and a social media forum. NHS Grampian Chronic Pain Service recognises and highly values the contribution that the Affa Sair group provides to the local communities.”
This is what Douglas Ross, MP has said about ‘Affa Sair.’
“Affa Sair do fantastic work for those who suffer from chronic pain, a condition that is often termed as an invisible illness because, despite no obvious visible signs, sufferers are living with chronic fatigue, aches and pains and often struggle on a daily basis. Affa Sair is seen as an excellent patient led group which is highly regarded across Scotland.”
This is what Richard Lochhead, MSP has said about ‘Affa Sair.’
“Affa Sair do a fantastic job raising awareness of the challenges facing chronic pain patients in Moray and have played a key role in the reinstatement of pain clinics at Dr Gray’s. I know that Affa Sair has been a huge comfort to many people with the group providing support to each other and also offering a safe place
for chronic pain patients to share their experiences with people who understand what they’re going through.”