Darren Randon, a poet, qualified teacher, community builder, facilitator, host and co-founder of Well Versed Ink from Thornton Heath, is launching a new group aimed at supporting Black and Black-mixed people with ME and/or long Covid in the UK. The group plans to create a safe space to share experiences and create community with the aim of improving our wellbeing.
Group members will be invited to share their skills, and to lead parts of the group if they feel able to.
Darren says: “There is no pressure to do so though; contribute as much or as little as you are comfortable and able to.”
Darren’s diagnosis of ME took 13 years to come about after suffering from Glandular Fever at the end of 2000, at age 15, and presenting symptoms of ME in 2001.
Diagnosis was crucial for Darren in dealing with the physical and mental impacts of the condition. Getting support during COVID-19 was heavily delayed, which exacerbated his symptoms during an already difficult period.
These findings and experiences resonated and motivated him to find other Black and Black-mixed people living in the UK with ME to hear their stories around diagnosis and treatment and build a community of support for one another.
This is especially important in this era of COVID-19 where it has been widely reported that people from minority ethnic communities have been disproportionately affected and with Long Covid patients set to add to the 250,000+ people living with ME in the UK.