First kidney disease support group formed in North Essex

A NEW group has been set up to provide support and advice to people suffering with kidney disease.

The North Essex group’s first meeting took place in Dunmow on February 17, organised by Michael Smith on behalf of Kidney Research UK - with the focus on care and wellbeing of patients, and their families who have kidney disease.

Malcolm Whale, the regional manager for Kidney Research UK, said he was “over the moon” with the formation of the group and equally as pleased to have Mr Smith on board to help.

“We’re delighted to have Mike Smith as the initial leader of the group. He has supported Kidney Research UK in the past and he is a great influence in the community.”

Those who attended the meeting included Judy Barnard from Great Dunmow and Sonja Sinclair from Cambridgeshire, both of whom have had kidney transplants in the last 10 years. Sonja gave a talk on her family’s personal experiences of coping with the disease prior to, and subsequently, following her successful transplant.

The creation of the group comes as part of move by Kidney Research UK to have more local groups stretched out across the country.

“It is something that we have just started,” said Mr Whale. “The local focus is needed because organisations such as Round Table and the Rotary club prefer to support something that has a local, rather than a national, emphasis.”

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He went on to tell the audience that there are currently over 7000 patients awaiting a kidney transplant in the UK, and it was only through the direct efforts of patients, their families and friends that the charity could help the ever growing number of people who are affected by kidney disease.

Another meeting of the new group will be held in Great Dunmow during the latter part of March.

Anyone wishing to have more information about the support group in North Essex should contact Mr Smith on 01371 870335 or Georgia McCormack, community fundraising manager, on 01480 870335 or e-mail