Celebrating membership milestone for J Pouch support Facebook group

Amanda Nash does not give much away on her Facebook profile.  She is a Senior Project Manager for a global software development company and lives in South Lincolnshire.  But she has something very special which marks her out as “rare” and which identifies her as one of us.  Amanda has an ileo-anal pouch which she has had for 29 years and for most of that time she has cracked on with life without any non-medical support.  She is a member of the Red Lion Group and it was there she noticed references to the J Pouch Support (UK Specific) facebook group and decided to join up. As chance would have it, Amanda is the 1,500th member of this small but perfectly formed group and offers us the chance to celebrate this membership milestone for this super-supportive group of pouchees.

Amanda writes that she has indeed been on a journey but considers herself very lucky and that she and her pouch have had many happy years together and continue to do so.  She comments that blips are to be expected of course and when they do happen it is great to be a part of a supportive community of fellow pouchees who can help out with support and advice.  Amanda is full of praise for the facebook group – “the support from the group is already wonderful and matches my current thoughts – I try to self-care when I can and only seek help when absolutely needed from the NHS – who have been amazing.  I am a very grateful patient for them giving me my life back”.  She adds that the group helps to keep her positive and strong, a fitting and lovely tribute to this special community.  Amanda lives in South Lincolnshire, an area of the country where pouch surgery is no longer undertaken, with presumably a lack of surgical hands-on knowledge about long term, post operative pouch care.   This makes the facebook group all the more valuable in providing hints and tips and providing reassurance that Amanda and pouchees everywhere that they are not alone.

Amanda Nash – 1,500th member!

About the J Pouch Support (UK Specific) Facebook Group

The J-pouch support (UK specific) group was founded some 10 years ago by two pouchees – Sam Wainwright and Sahara Fleetwood-Beresford.  Sam is still a moderator and was joined some 7 years ago by Gary Bronziet and David Davies, who are respectively the Membership Secretary and Chairman of The Red Lion Group, a pouch support charity which is very closely affiliated to St Marks Hospital in London, where the operation was first conceived by Sir Alan Parks and Professor John Nicholls.     With over 1,500 members, the group continues to grow at a pace and is now the largest pouch support Facebook group outside of the United States. 

The name J Pouch Support (UK Specific) is just a little misleading as we have members with all pouch configurations (W-, S- and J-) and although the name implies membership is limited to UK-based pouchees, in practise the group has a truly global membership, not unlike the Red Lion Group. Not surprisingly, the most common location for members is the United Kingdom but we have members from all over the world including USA(54), Ireland (26), Italy (9), Australia (6), Canada (6), India (6), South Africa (5), Gibraltar (4) and Switzerland (4)

J Pouch Support (UK Specific) facebook group membership hits 1,500 in April 2024

Demographics and activity

There are twice as many women than men in the membership and the demographics show that two thirds of members are aged between 35 and 54.  In the last 60 days, at time of writing, there had been more than 2 posts per day with 1,565 posts from 1,171 active members.  This gives a phenomenal activity level of over 70%, reflecting the very high engagement amongst this close-knit group.  The most popular days for posts are Tuesdays and Thursdays and the most popular times are 8am on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday and 7.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.   Any correlation to the Coronation Street schedules is (probably) mere chance, but you never know! 

The J Pouch

Pouch surgery involves the surgical re-plumbing of our bowels following life-saving surgery and which avoids the need for a permanent stoma and allows us to pooh via the bottom in the normal way.  The outcomes of surgery are variable and hence the appeal of advice, guidance and support for pouchees and potential pouchees, particularly for members who live in the more remote areas where they might never have met another pouchee and where the medical professionals might not know much about pouches, let alone have the detailed experience and knowledge required to resolve common pouch issues.  The group is hugely supportive and kind and very well informed from their own personal experiences.  Every new member receives a personal welcome message which is tailored to their personal pouch circumstance.    

In recent years Gary Bronziet has added an option to view the Facebook Group activity directly from the Red Lion Group website. See However, to post to the group, or respond to posts, it is necessary to submit a join request to the group. (It is not necessary to be a member of the Red Lion Group to join the Facebook Group (and vice versa!).

We look forward to many more years of growth and to many more years of pouchee support and advice via this very special group.

Welcome to Amanda and here’s to the next 1,500 members! 

Best wishes

David Davies
Gary Bronziet
Sam Wainwright

Click on button to go to Facebook group and submit a join request.

Gary Bronziet