A stoma should never be a barrier to a full and active life

Jackie Dudley Vivienne Johnson

The West Berkshire Ostomy Club is a small friendly group of Ostomates who meet every 3 months in Reading to enjoy the friendship of others who know how they feel.

‘The group was started many years ago as a social club for anyone who had a stoma and their family or carer.’ said Jackie Dudley, who hosts the club. ‘Receiving a colostomy, an ileostomy or urostomy can be quite traumatic and sometimes isolate the patient.

‘When we first receive the stoma we feel as if we are the only one, it is not until we meet with others who have the same problem that we begin to realise just how important it is to meet with others who know how we feel.

‘It is very important to share the knowledge that is gained from living with a stoma. Helping others to accept and cope with day to day living with their “bag”.

‘Attending the group meetings does just that, we find that new people to the stoma relax more when they realise they can ask us anything – other than medical questions – about how to cope day to day.

‘There are so many people now who say “I have got my life back” after years of being confined to their homes or once out in the community, forced to look for a public toilet “just in case”.

‘There is another saying – better a bag than a box – and that was so in my case.’ said Jackie. ‘Having the cancer removed from the bowel meant that I woke up from the operation with “le bag” and I can remember quite clearly not having the slightest idea what the surgeon was talking about when he said I had a colostomy. However, the wonderful nurse who was looking after me in said “it’s a bag on your tum – just ask for a pair of shoes to match”.

‘Life can be great when you are given that second chance.’

The West Berkshire Ostomy Club meets at Greyfriars Church, Friar Street in Reading between 11.00am – 1.00pm where coffee and light refreshments are served. Members come from all over Berkshire as the church is served by the bus and train services.

For more information about the club Jackie can be contacted on:

01344 426652 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ostomy Lifestyle also have a helpline for anyone who has questions about stoma surgery. The helpline number is 0800 7314264

The Colostomy Association www.colostomyassociation.org.uk

Ostomy Lifestyle www.ostomylifestyle.org

West Berkshire Ostomy Club www.ostomylifestyle.org/content/west-berkshire-ostomy-club-wboc

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 11:16