A SUPPORT group that has helped hundreds of men and women deal with diagnoses of lung diseases and conditions has started to celebrate an important anniversary.

Breathe Easy Darlington was set up in 2009 by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) to offer a sympathetic ear and a helping hand for those struggling with lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and mesothelioma, among other diseases.

The group meet to have lunch together, listen to guest speakers and take part in exercise classes.

And now coming up to the 10th anniversary of the support group, a range of other activities have been on offer for group members over the last few months.

A spokesman for Breathe Easy Darlington said: "March 5 saw us party in style with over 30 of us enjoying a meal together, with cake, at The Copper Beech.

"We welcomed guests who had been with us from the start of our group in Darlington including Vicki Bailey without whom there would be no Breathe Easy Darlington.

"Also joining us were Bev Wears and Margaret Tait who worked with the BLF to support us in those early days and some of the original members of the group."

The spokesman added: "April’s meeting was a slightly quieter affair as we welcomed Debbie Philipps, from the BOC Home Oxygen service to give us a valuable insight into this service.

"We also had a group visit to see ‘Top Hat’ at Darlington’s Hippodrome Theatre. Also in April, we recommenced our Walk in The Park, which is to be held on the first Wednesday of each month, meeting at the clock tower in South Park at 11am, unless the weather is poor.

"On July 11, we will travel from Stockton to Yarm and back again on The Teesside Princess."

Last year, the support group held an art competition with children from Gurney Pease Academy, challenging them to paint air-themed pictures to adorn the corridor walls of Ward 44 at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

And for 2019, schoolchildren are being asked to design art inspired by a 'Love Your Lungs' theme, as well as learning more about air quality and pollution. The creative youngsters have used bottle tops to put together a piece for Breathe Easy Darlington.

The support group members meet on the first Tuesday of each month in the Copper Beach, off Neasham Road, Darlington, at around 1pm for lunch, followed by a talk from a guest speaker.

  • For more information, email breatheeasydarlington@hotmail.com or call 03003-030253.