If you're living with a rare condition and being supported by either of the charities listed below, whether you have it yourself or you're supporting a close family member, you will likely be dealing with a lot of stress and uncertainty. Brought to you as part of the Better Together Alliance Project, this course is designed to help you to deal with the emotional burden of living with these conditions. 

What does this involve?

This six-week course will help you learn techniques to help you face the challenges of living with the conditions supported by the six charities above. The course uses ACT, an evidence-based therapeutic approach, that people say makes immediate sense. The strategies are straightforward and easy to build into your day.

Topics include understanding stress and uncertainty, learning how to respond to difficult thoughts and emotions, how to use everyday mindfulness, and how to live life in the way that matters to you despite. stress and uncertainty.

To join the course, you will need access to the internet to join the six Zoom sessions (dates below). Ideally you will also need WhatsApp, to join the discussion group and keep in contact with your tutor. We will add you to the WhatsApp group using the number you provide when you register. If you don't have WhatsApp or need technical support, please feel free to give our support line a ring on 0300 102 3202.

About Lesley Howells

Lesley is Research Lead for the Maggie’s network of twenty-one centres across the UK (maggiescentres.org), Hong Kong and Tokyo. She is also Centre Head for Maggie’s Dundee and the Maggie’s Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist for Scotland, where she develops Maggie's support programme, trains their staff and manages a research portfolio.
Lesley worked as a Clinical Psychologist in the NHS for 18 years before joining Maggie’s. She specialised in working with people juggling the demands of chronic physical health problems such as cancer, diabetes and cystic fibrosis.

She is an NHS Accredited Trainer in Advanced Communication, Accredited Mindfulness Teacher and has specialist expertise in the teaching and supervision of NHS Specialist Palliative Care professionals. Since qualifying in 1991 her research and clinical focus has been families, individuals and couples facing life-changing trauma and transitions, primarily those prompted by changes in physical health.

The group helps you to deal with the fact that your plans from before the disease go away and you need to collect the pieces. I also learned how to deal with feelings of guilt and to understand that you come first. I became so much more confident...you feel that you are valid and it is normal to feel in a certain way."

- Feedback from previous support sessions with Maggie's Psychologists

Session dates 

Please add these dates to your diary! You will receive an email the day before each session as a reminder, with the Zoom link.  Please take careful note of the dates where there are no sessions.

  • 9th January 2024 - 7-8pm
  • 16th January 2024 - 7-8pm
  • 23rd January 2024 - 7-8pm
  • 30th January 2024 - 7-8pm
  • 6th February 2024 - No session
  • 13th February 2024 - No session
  • 20th February 2024 - 7-8pm
  • 27th February 2024 - 7-8pm

How to join

Register for the course below. We will add you into a WhatsApp group, so you can communicate with Lesley and the group, and send you a reminder email the day before each of your sessions which will include the link to join the session on Zoom. 

Thank you

We would like to thank the following organisations for making it possible for us to deliver these courses to you. 


The Industry Partners are not involved in the delivery of this course, and do not have access to any personal data. 


Our Better Together Alliance charities are able to work together and offer you this course because of support from The National Lottery Community Fund. Thanks to players of The National Lottery. 

Your Data 

In order for us to be able to deliver and evaluate the success of the course as part of the Better Together for Healthy Bone Marrow Alliance Project, the data you provide will be shared with The Aplastic Anaemia Trust, Maggie's and Insley Consulting.  Please check the box on the next page to confirm you understand this and are happy to proceed. Privacy Policy | The Aplastic Anaemia Trust (theaat.org.uk)

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