TENANTS and housing association staff have raised hundreds of pounds for a new support group for people suffering chronic pain.

MyPainFibro was set up last year by a group of Cestria Community Housing tenants, following a £300 donation from the landlord.

The group, which already has more than 20 members, aims to support people in the Chester-le-Street area suffering Fibromyalgia or other chronic pain conditions.

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The new group recently held a fund raising event at Chester-le-Street Cricket Club featuring entertainment from local musicians, including the Cestria band, made up of housing association staff including chief executive Paul Fiddaman.

The event raised more than £600 for MyPainFibro on the night.

One of the group’s founders Angela Walker, who herself suffers from fibromyalgia, said: "I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported the event - the food and band were fantastic and special thanks to everyone who donated prizes for the auction, without which we couldn’t have raised the money.

"Fibromyalgia is a condition which not many people know about and events such as this help us raise awareness, as well as raising much needed funds to allow us to provide support to people living with the condition locally". MyPainFibro was established in September following a donation from Cestria’s Community Fund - an annual grant-giving scheme set up following a drive by the association to make efficiency savings within the business.

Cestria’s Head of Finance Julie Clarke said: "It’s great to see that a group set up thanks to funding through our Community Fund is doing so well.

"Cestria has a close connection with MyPainFibro as so many of our tenants are involved and so we were only too happy to support the fundraising event.

MyPainFibro meets at Bethel Church Hall, in Low Chare, Chester-le-Street, at 2pm on the second and last Wednesday of each month.