Re-launch of Norwich and Norfolk eczema support group

A group of mums is re-launching a support group for people with eczema in Norfolk.

The Norfolk and Norwich Eczema Support Group has been defunct for a few years, but Ann Starkie and Sarah Ward are helping to get the group back up and running with a meeting next month.

Mrs Starkie's 11-year-old daughter Rebecca has had severe eczema since she was nine months old and it has dramatically affected her attendance and school life, as well as meaning she cannot swim and has to spend three hours a day applying thick cream to her skin.

Mrs Starkie, 41, from Lakeland Way, Hethersett, said: 'People think eczema is a small condition - you might get a bit on your knees or grow out of it. But it can actually be quite severe. It's an inherited problem and it's very unlikely Rebecca will grow out of it.'

Rebecca, a pupil at Little Melton Primary School, said she was frustrated at being unable to learn swim.

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She added: 'At one point I had to go into hospital because it had got really bad. It's quite annoying when people say don't itch because I really can't help it.

'It does hurt, ususally quite a lot of the time and my skin stings in water and dries out very quickly.'

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Mrs Ward's three-year-old son Thomas has had severe eczema since he was six weeks old.

The primary school teacher, from Bailey Close, Hethersett, said: 'Even now he wakes up sometimes 10 to 15 times a night. At least now he can tell me he needs more cream. When he was a tiny baby he just cried for the first three months and it was an utter nightmare.'

The mums hope the support group will bring people together to share ideas on how to cope with eczema, and it could also lead to other mothers of children with eczema to have someone they can contact when they are going through a bad night.

There is no commitment to attend meetings, which will be every three months, with a guest speaker each time. The group will also arrange specific events for children.

The first meeting of the group will be on Tuesday, June 14, from 6pm to 8pm in Room 12 of the Education Block of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Consultant dermatologist George Millington will speaking about eczema and its causes and treatments.

A children's event is planned to take place from midday to 4pm on Sunday, August 7, at Wroxham Barns.

The second meeting will include a talk about alternative therapies and it will be from 6pm to 8pm on Tuesday, September 13, in in Room 12 of the Education Block at the N&N.

Please contact Ann Starkie if you are interested in attending, by emailing or calling 01603 810569.

The group has also set up a Facebook group under the names of Norfolk and Norwich Eczema Support Group.

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