AYME members are currently between 3 & 26 years of age with its older members going on to join AYME Grads. To date AYME has helped and supported over 7,000 children and young people breaking the isolation which is often described by members as the worst impact the condition has on their lives.
AYME volunteers of all ages carry out the day-to-day membership services. AYME has joined forces with Make a Difference (MaD) to get the accreditation and recognition for volunteering for AYME that members deserve! MaD is the awarding body for young people aged 13-25 who volunteer their time.
Five members of staff work in the office. They support the work of the volunteers; take responsibility for special projects, staff the information/helpline, send out information; maintain the databases and all of the financial aspects of the charity. They give heed to the development of the charity, raising funds through trusts and company giving and communicating with the media.
Our CEO, Mary-Jane Willows, spends most of her time working on your behalf to raise awareness of ME/CFS at government level (including the Departments of Health and Education and attending All Party meetings at House of Parliament) to make sure that the stories of children and young people with ME/CFS are heard. At present, much of her time is also spent supporting crisis cases - those members and families who are facing particular hardship and challenges, such as Child Protection issues where professionals don't believe or understand the condition.
Three professional advisors help AYME in the fields of medicine, education, psychiatry and diet.
The Board of Trustees meets bi-monthly and provides governance and legal responsibility for the charity.
Working for its members
Being the voice of children and young people with ME/CFS is a serious responsibility, and it's our job to represent our members' best interests with the government, local authorities, health authorities and other professional organisations – as well, of course, as the press. This can mean involvement in research projects, acting as advisors, or actively lobbying on our members' behalf.
AYME is also involved with a significant number of working groups e.g. Education Children with Health Needs document
The AYME information/help line is manned by an experienced team that can give confidential and impartial support on 08451 23 23 89. Our line is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm.
Charity no: 1082059