Meetings

Informal Meetings for people with ME in Leeds

We hold monthly informal meetings for people with ME/CFS and their friends & carers at the John Lewis store 4th floor cafe in central Leeds. The cafe is called 'The Place To Eat'. (This is a new venue because the Playhouse, where we previously met, is closed for 18 months for renovations.)

** Important - please note! Our previous venue, the Playhouse, will be reopening early this autumn. Our meetings will probably be returning to the Playhouse but there is also the option of staying at John Lewis if that's what people prefer. Please let us know if you have any preference.

Someone has also been in touch to ask if we could hold our meetings somewhere quieter. I am sure this must also be an important factor for many other members. We have previously selected the Playhouse and, more recently, John Lewis because they don't have piped music, but we wouldn't have described them as exactly quiet, nevertheless. So does anyone have a quieter venue to suggest? Ideally they would also want to be city centre and close to buses, parking etc, but we realise this is a bit of a tall order. Any suggestions would be welcome.

So our August meeting will take place at the John Lewis store 4th Floor Cafe as usual. For the time being, our September and subsequent meetings will be ‘venue to be announced’. Naturally, I will put this information in our regular email as soon as we have it (please send us your email address if you would like to be included) and the website here will also be updated accordingly. Watch this space…

Our meetings take place on the third Tuesday of each month, starting at 1pm. They tend to last for about two hours but it's fine if you need to leave earlier.

The idea is for people to share their experiences of living with the condition and enjoy general chitchat in an informal environment.

Please see below for information on how to get to the John Lewis cafe (including for those of you who can't walk far or who use a wheelchair or scooter.).

New members are very welcome! Look for the tables in the cafe with the green LMETG signs.

The next meetings are on the following dates starting at 1pm

  • Tuesday 20th August 2019 (John Lewis 4th Floor cafe 'The Place to Eat')
  • Tuesday 17th Sept 2019 (Venue TBA - see above)
  • Tuesday 15th Oct 2019 (Venue TBA - see above)
How to Get to the Cafe

The John Lewis store is only a short walk from the main Leeds bus station, either up Ludgate Hill (which runs alongside the market) or (a bit longer) up Eastgate. But the walk is uphill and 'short' means different things depending on how severe your ME/CFS is of course.

If you have a car and a disabled badge, there are disabled parking spaces near the first entrance you come to up Eastgate. Once you get inside that entrance, there are six steps to climb. As an alternative to the steps, there is also a formidable-looking lifting machine for wheelchairs and (presumably) scooters. Hopefully there will be someone in the store who knows how it works but it seems like the best idea will be to phone up in advance to ask what the procedure is for using this.

Once you've used this impressive lift (or alternatively walked up the steps), you turn left and go about 50 yards till you see the lifts on your left. Take the lift up to the fourth floor. When you get to the fourth floor, go straight on past the toilets and then turn right. About 55 yards on, you come to 'The Place to Eat' which is where we're meeting. Then see 'when you reach the cafe' below...

A slightly longer way to go is to take the entrance just a short way higher up Eastgate. This is at level, so there's no need for a lift. The first door takes you into the 'Victoria Gardens' shopping mall. You then look for the first door on the left which takes you into the John Lewis store itself. Once inside, turn left and go about 35 yards (which unfortunately goes through the perfumes and cosmetics department so bear this in mind if you have sensitivity to smells). By way of a landmark, you should find that at the end of the 35 yards you are near the lifting machine which I mentioned above. Now turn right and go about 50 yards till you see the lifts on your left. Then please follow the directions in red above.

A final option: if you prefer to go up Ludgate Hill (alongside the market) the John Lewis entrance is on the right with quite a lot of steps leading up to it. Once inside, turn left and go about 110 yards (which unfortunately goes through the perfumes and cosmetics department so bear this in mind if you have sensitivity to smells). At the end of the 110 yards, you should find you are near the lifting machine which I mentioned above. Turn right and go about 50 yards till you see the lifts on your left. Then please follow the directions in red above.

This all sounds a lot more difficult than it really is! So you may prefer to ignore my attempts at giving directions and go to John Lewis and ask the staff to direct you to the fourth floor cafe. (Note that there is also a cafe on the second floor. If you end up there you are in the wrong cafe!)

When you reach the cafe

Finally, when you get to the fourth floor cafe, turn left if you want to immediately order something to eat and/or drink. There are several little counters each dispensing different things: cakes, main meals, coffee, other beverages etc... When you've taken what you want (most of it is help-yourself) take it all to the checkout counter and pay. Then take a right turn past the checkout and look for our table, which will have green signs on it (some things don't change...)

On the other hand, if you get to the fourth floor cafe and don't want to order anything just yet, it's probably best to turn right as you enter and then look for our table which has the usual green signs on it.

If you would like to correct or improve the above directions, then please get in touch with your suggestions, though please try to remain polite :-) I'm doing my best!

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