It’s provided an escape for many people over the years but the Nowra Pain Support Group has come to an end.
The group officially folded in December.
Fay Gray, group coordinator said a lack of members and her continuing illness meant she was no longer able to keep the group running.
“It’s a big loss because there’s a lot of people out there who do seek help and it was a wonderful escape for many people,” Ms Gray said.
The Nowra Pain Support Group began at the Shoalhaven Hospital in 1991.
The numbers quickly grew and in 2000 the group moved to Bomaderry, meeting once a fortnight at the Bomaderry AFL Club.
“Fay made me realise you live with what you’ve got.
Ms Gray said members always arrived early, keen to catch up with friends and hear from the regular medical guest speakers.
“It just helped so many people,” Ms Gray said.
“I had one man who doctors said would never work again and now he’s driving trucks.”
That man is Greg Hunter.
“I’ll never forget the day I walked into Shoalhaven Hospital and she was there,” Mr Hunter said.
“I had a busted shoulder, depression, the whole world against me and Fay said to me ‘you think you’ve got problems, wake up to yourself’.”
The tough stance worked and Mr Hunter said he realised he was capable of more than he thought.
He initially attended the Nowra Pain Support Group on the recommendation of his insurance company but soon found it made a significant impact on his life.
“Fay made me realise you live with what you’ve got,” he said.
“Nothing her beats Fay; for what she’s done for the community she should be given a medal.”
Ms Gray’s own illness meant it’s been too hard for her to maintain the group in recent times, particularly during a six month break last year.
After dropping to four members she made the decision to end the group in December 2016.
“It’s very sad but I’ve made lifelong friends out of it,” Ms Gray said.
“I also want to thank the Bomaderry AFL Club because we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”