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7th Fibromyalgia Conference cancelled - information from the Organiser

The 7th Fibromyalgia Conference in Chichester has been cancelled - please find below information from the Organiser (FMA UK is not the organiser): 

Jeanne Hambleton, the Conference Co-organiser: ‘’I am not here this week with news of the future but rather to talk about the bad news … the loss of the 7th conference. There was I thinking 7 being my lucky number, the 7th would be a conference to remember. 

Since February 20 our final deadline, I have been undoing all the work I have put in since May 2015 to prepare what I hoped would be the “best yet”.  

As the programme coordinator I have been unbooking the conference. With cap in hand I have written to 16 speakers and therapists who had all agreed to entertain our delegates. . Unbooking a conference is destructive and far worse that booking for a conference. 

All I can say is get the tissues out, as no one feels as bad as I do about cancelling the conference which was founded by my late husband and `I way back in 2010 when we had 375 delegates with partners. Tis time we could even get 50 interested delegates.  

But in the end of the day we, Simon, Nicki and I, can blame the country’s financial down turn, the in house political battles and problems with the EU leading folks to worry about their jobs and their investments. 

So we believe the problem laid with costs which we could reduce - even with our August £25 discount.   We even worked out a ‘bogus” offer with a free room for groups but it was not to be. Maybe it was just the inability of delegates to afford it. Those who did want to come have now had their full refund or it is on its way. 

But we still think 4 days 3 nights at just over £56 a day is good value, with all found except for drinks from the bar. Dinner for two with wine can exceed that cost in a nice restaurant. There was always something to do, good food, entertainment, workshop and the conference. We tried hard to meet the demands of delegates with new speakers and fresh ideas.  

While we have great regrets that even after announcing our problem, we still only raised three yes three extra bookings, in just under a month.

Already folk are asking about a 2017 conference but along with the team we feel unless we get a written demand by 100 delegates with bookings, we cannot persuade the hotel to let us in again. We would not get the same date and the chances are if we had to find alternative accommodation, it would be more expensive. The hotel has been kind to us and the costs have increased by just £5 a year since we have been at the hotel.  In London we would pay over £300 for a lunch with a mid morning and afternoon tea break and maybe two speakers for something like £325 for part of one day. We know we are offering good value. 

My thanks to Beth, the Editor of Fibro Flare magazine for posting the bad news.  When it happened it was what must we do first and who will do it. We have been pretty busy in the last week.

I do intend to start a FOLLY POGS FRIENDS OF FIBCON with newsletters.  I am hoping the Friends will do some fund raising so we can continue to support research and FIND A CURE. We ALL need a cure. Having said that it is difficult to believe, but on speakers told me there are folks she can cure who do not want to give up being 'not well’ or change their life and feel better. It is certainly not me. I need a cure as soon as possible so I can do more and get more involved.  After our great start in the research projects. 

If you want to become a FRIEND and support research please email me and I will add you to the mailing list write to jeanne @ follypogsfibro.org advising you wish to become a FOLLY POGS FRIEND FOR FIBROMYALGIA,  (FPFFF). Please write FPFFF in the title of the email. Thanks.  I get some 200 emails for my journalism each day and it is easy to miss an important contact. ''

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