ME Research UK exists to inform, influence and invest in ME/CFS research and, to date, we have invested over £4 million in biomedical research worldwide on 66 distinct projects and funded 5 PhD-level researcher studies. In addition, we have, alongside the Daphne Jackson Trust, launched a Fellowship to encourage post-doctoral researchers to return to their work and study ME/CFS. There is more to do and we are determined to do more.
During 2022/23, the charity continued its role as an independent, science-centred provider of high-quality information and education for key decision-makers, healthcare professionals and those affected directly or indirectly by ME/CFS. Most widely known is ME Research UK’s Breakthrough magazine which is provided free of charge to all who request it and is normally dispatched on a biannual basis, in both hard and electronic form. The magazine not only informs the reader of the charity’s newly funded research but also describes and interprets the results of ME Research UK projects. Breakthrough also reports non-ME Research UK published studies presented in a form which aims to ensure that readers have a holistic perspective of worldwide research and of findings which may be relevant to them. The magazine is also available online ensuring as wide a readership as possible without any barriers to access. It is often cited as being especially useful to people with ME/CFS when speaking to GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals about their symptoms.
Our Facebook page strives to balance postings relating to fundraising activities of our active supporters with a more scientific focus with summaries of the most important worldwide research into ME/CFS and news of ME Research UK funded projects. In this way, those affected by ME/CFS can be kept abreast of recent developments. This, it is believed, results in a lively but informative realm that is both engaging and educational.
ME Research UK’s active X (Twitter) account further drives the successful dissemination of our research news and it will act as a further avenue to engage more fully with potential donors and create a new community of supporters. In August 2023, the charity launched an ME Research UK – Researcher Zone X/twitter account to cater for the distinct needs of researchers. This feed provides links to new research, funding opportunities, meeting, conferences and the like as the charity seeks to raise its profile amongst researchers at all stages in their careers.
As part of the evolution of the charity, ME Research UK continues its brand review to ensure maximum impact of its news and output to ensure supporters and the wider public are aware, trust and engage with the charity. The Board’s decision to appoint two new members of staff in the year has significantly increased our capacity and capability in these areas.