AYME Graduates is for young people who are over 26 and are no longer eligible for membership of AYME, but who still have ME/CFS and still benefit from the type of support AYME offers.
Set up in 2003 by three members who had just reached 26, the group has gone from strength to strength. As well as aiming to support those members who are too old for AYME, the Graduates also aim to keep members involved with AYME and to work as a group for the benefit of AYME.
Members of AYME who are 24 years or older are eligible to join the group as well as past members over the age of 26 and other people of a similar age interested in getting support and being involved with AYME.
Members receive a newsletter which includes:
- articles covering their experiences of things such as residential treatment, anxiety and panic attacks, working with and studying with ME/CFS and using a wheelchair, CBT, independent living
- member profiles, favourite quotes, poems, inspiring song lyrics
- other features including a regular 'laughter therapy' column
Members can get to know other members through the members message board and contact services that AYME grads offers.
A SAMs co-ordinator ensures that members who are severely affected receive special attention with birthday and Christmas cards and access to the Buddy scheme, while another volunteer rounds up the message board every month for those who are too ill to access it regularly.