40 members and friends of the Group braved Storm Doris on the evening of Thursday 23rd February for the second members’ meeting of the year.

Guest speakers, l-r, Kay Duffy; Lyn Campbell

Guest speakers, l-r, Kay Duffy; Lyn Campbell

September’s meeting on the theme ‘Who Cares?’ had looked at the experiences of those who care for family members with liver conditions.

The February meeting developed this theme by looking at help that is available for the carers themselves on their often lonely and stressful journey.

Lyn Campbell of Carers NI explained what was involved in undergoing carers assessments and outlined some sources of financial support, as well as programmes to allow carers  some time away for themselves.

Kay Duffy, founder of the RVH Liver Support Group, spoke of her experiences over 18 years of providing practical advice and emotional support for carers, particularly those travelling with patients to London for assessment or transplant surgery.

Both presentations were well received by the audience.  Several spoke warmly of how Kay and other committee members involved with patient care had helped them through difficult times.

The key message from both speakers was the need for self-protection: you’ll not look after a loved one if you don’t look after yourself.