The Enfield Lupus Support Group was founded in 2003 by Carlotta Scott (pictured). With the support of family and friends Carlotta formed the group to help those diagnosed with lupus living in her community, as well as their families and friends, by offering support and information. The group, which began with 3 local members, has now grown into 30+ participants from local and surrounding areas. All members are met with a warm, empathetic and enthusiastic welcome – which I experienced myself when I joined their January online meeting.
Unfortunately, in late 2019 ill health meant that Carlotta had to make the difficult decision to step aside from running the group and the reins have been taken up by Susan, Vickey-Ann, Laura and Edie – during a recent chat with Carlotta, she described to me how Susan has done an amazing job throughout the pandemic of keeping in touch with all the group’s members, using her eloquent style of writing to make sure everyone knows that the group is still holding virtual meetings and is there to provide support during these difficult times.
Vickey-Ann is the group’s resident “tech-whizz” and makes sure the online meetings run smoothly – together with Laura who keeps the paperwork in order and Edie who helps out wherever she can – these ladies are the committee who have picked up where Carlotta left off – who wanted us to publicly pass on her thanks on behalf of the group members and herself, as this lovely group have been a huge support to Carlotta personally and she feels that “thanks should be given where it is due”.
In more normal times, the Enfield meetings regularly have speakers and events with advice on health and well-being – and always end with a plate of comforting food, laughter and new friendships formed! Members have the opportunity to discuss their concerns, whether they be about symptoms, medication, hospital treatments or employment issues. The meetings also provide family and friends with a place to meet others who support someone living with lupus.
Throughout the 19 years since Carlotta began the group, it has helped to raise awareness of lupus within the wider community by hosting talks and events, and by participating in community events such as summer fairs, hospital health awareness events, and fundraising opportunities.
We are hoping that the Enfield group will go from strength to strength during 2022 with a revamped website and Facebook page – and they have already welcomed one new member to the group this year.
I’d like to leave the final word to Carlotta, whose simple message to Susan, Vickey-Ann, Laura and Edie is – “Thank you!!”
Written by Alida Horne, Volunteer Co-Ordinator