MANCHESTER Tourettes Support Group will hold a meeting and Christmas Fair at Sale West Community Centre on Saturday December 9.

The support group will meet from 11:30am to 1:30pm and the Christmas Fair which follows will be open until 5:00pm.

The fair aims to raise funds to help the support group hold more meetings and raise public awareness about Tourettes.

The group was set up by Tracy Atkinson whose son George suffers from Tourette Syndrome. Tracy’s husband David said: “After George had an issue in a local pub/restaurant regarding his condition, my wife Tracy set up Manchester Tourettes Support Group and has had four large group meetings so far.

“During these groups the Tourette sufferers are very relaxed, knowing that they are, for a short time at least, in the majority, rather than in the minority. The meetings have been very successful and allow sufferers of this condition to meet one another and basically realise that they are not alone.”

The last meeting was in October when about 50 people attended.

Tourette Syndrome is best known as a condition which makes people swear, or say socially inappropriate things. While it is true that ‘coprolalia’ – the clinical term for involuntary swearing – can be a symptom, it only affects a minority of people and 90% of people with Tourettes do not have coprolalia.

More information about the condition can be found on the Tourettes Action Website:

Tracy is now raising awareness, meeting up with parents who do not know where to turn to for help, and giving them advice.

She has also met with school teachers to help explain this condition and advise on best practices for helping students with Tourettes, in order to reduce anxiety and keep sufferers in education.