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Blog: Blig-Blog

Nov 21, 2018


Welcome to the first BLS BLOG!  This has been kindly written by Margaret Sneddon, it is an honour to have Margaret write the first blog for us and we hope you enjoy reading it.  We will be inviting others to contribute to future blogs. 


Blogging is a new experience for me and it is very exciting to be the first blogger for BLS!

Those of you who have been involved in Lymphoedema care in the UK for many moons will understand the title, as the organisation now well recognised as the British Lymphology Society, or BLS, started in 1985 as the British Lymphology Interest Group, or BLIG. At that time it was a humble interest group with a handful of enthusiastic health care professionals across the UK who offered peer support. What the members of this group shared was their hunger to learn more and work together to improve the management of Lymphoedema, a condition conspicuous by its absence in health professional textbooks or journals, but which we had all encountered and struggled to provide any effective or helpful treatment.

Over time the group faced many challenges, at one point even considering disbanding the group. However, with each setback, the group seemed to rise to the challenges and grow stronger and it was soon clear that it had outgrown its status as a simple interest group and became a Society.

We certainly owe a great deal to those early pioneers, some of whom are still working their socks off for the cause of Lymphoedema! However, I would like to pay tribute to the current members. I have served many roles in BLIG and BLS - never being able to work or focus solely on Lymphoedema as my main professional - at least until I retired from paid employment when I could indulge my passion and use my wider leadership experience for the benefit of BLS as a trustee and chair.

I feel both privileged and proud to be part of the BLS of today. Members still recognise that the only way to change things is to grasp the nettle and do it ourselves, rather than wait for others to come to our aid and we are a pretty resilient and tenacious bunch, thank goodness! The challenges persist, and may not be very different from the early days of BLIG but our members are stronger, more confident and just as determined. So I have every confidence in the future of a bigger, stronger BLS with even greater impact.

During my time as chair, I have felt supported by the other trustees and by members (individual and corporate), who have listened, responded, contributed and risen to the challenges we face. It has been an uplifting and inspiring experience, and it has never been clearer to me that to achieve the changes we want, we need to be collegiate and mutually supportive. Together we can move mountains and one day I hope we will!

Kind Regards

Margaret Sneddon
Trustee, British Lymphology Society

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Become a valued member - be part of the most dynamic organisation in the UK for Lymphoedema Professionals! BLS currently has over four hundred members. Nurses and Physiotherapists form the major section of the membership along with doctors, Occupational therapists and Manual Lymphatic Drainage therapists. Membership is open to all healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in lymphoedema and its treatment, and to corporations and industrial groups that contribute to the advancement