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Breathe Easy

The Breathe Easy Group is a breath of fresh air and it’s looking for new members!

By Katie Read, Marketing and Communications Manager, Community Action Suffolk.

Picture: Philip Gladwell, Breathe Easy Group

A warm welcome is offered to all whether you are living with a lung condition or not.

On a cold and crisp Wednesday afternoon in February, I found my way to Southgate Community Centre in Bury St Edmunds to meet in person the lovely people at the Breathe Easy Group.

The group is facilitated by Philip Gladwell who was on hand straight away to offer a friendly welcome and to take the all important tea and coffee order! Breathe Easy meets on the last Wednesday of every month, it is primarily for those living with lung conditions but their door is open to anyone including family carers and supporters.

Lung conditions cover a wide range of diagnoses and issues but there are also commonalities including the anxiety and sometimes isolation that comes with it. The Breathe Easy Group offers support and friendship in a number of ways. Historically the group has invited along guest speakers, provided information and support and offered as safe a friendly space to chat.

Sadly, the Covid-19 Pandemic has affected the numbers of the group. Understandably the vulnerability of those living with lung conditions during and post covid has made some feel unsure about attending in person groups. Philip is aware of this and asks members of the group not to attend if they are feeling unwell to make the space as safe as possible. As time moves on Philip is keen to grow the group and welcome new members. 

Currently the group offers a fun and friendly place for those living with lung conditions to meet. What struck me was the warm welcome I received not only from Philip but from everyone in the group, I immediately felt at ease and was inundated with friendly faces to chat to. During my visit the group was getting ready for a pub quiz but there is wealth of activities of hand from raffles to bingo. The most important aspect of the group is the friendship and conversation available. We all know that a diagnoses of any illness can bring questions and worries, it is also easy to feel alone and unsure where to turn. The Breathe Easy groups offers people the opportunity to meet with others in a similar situation, share information and build meaningful friendships.

For those that would like more than a monthly group Philip also offers ‘Singing for Lung Health’ group every Wednesday afternoon. There is increasing evidence that signing is beneficial for those with lung conditions most notably COPD, however singing in a group also brings social benefits ideal for lighting your mood. Can’t sing, it doesn’t matter! The group is open to all and enjoys belting out 60’s pop classics, Elvis ballads and John Denver tunes, what better way to spend a Wednesday afternoon!

Joining any group can be daunting but the warm welcome you will receive at Breathe Easy will make you feel at home straight away, so why not give it a try.

Breathe Easy- affiliated to Asthma -Lung UK

Last Wednesday of every month, 1:30-3:30pm, Southgate Community Centre, Caie Walk, Bury St Edmunds. IP33 2QA.

Free to attend but donation of £1 suggested for refreshments

Singing for Lung Health

Every Wednesday apart from the last Wednesday of the month

1:45-2:45pm, Southgate Community Centre, Caie Walk, Bury St Edmunds. IP33 2QA.

Price- £5

To find out more about either Breathe Easy of Singing for Health contact Phil Gladwell, 07803078182 [email protected]

About CAS

Community Action Suffolk (CAS) had the pleasure of meeting Phil and his group after learning about him as a user of Funding 4 Suffolk. Funding 4 Suffolk is a completely free portal allowing those who use it easy access to hundreds of grant options. It includes a useful filtering system and alerts function. The portal is a great way to save time when looking for grant opportunities and makes the whole process so much easier. To find out more visit

CAS is available to offer VCFSE groups across Suffolk a wealth of information and support, from help finding volunteers, to safeguarding training, DBS provision and more. Find out more at

With thanks to Philip and the Breathe Easy Group for welcoming us to his group.