Kidney Patient Conference

The conference is free to attend and is open to all people with kidney disease across Wales


Date & Time: 28th January at 6pm


Following the announcement of a Welsh national lockdown on 19 December and advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to not attend work or school outside of their homes, some positive news followed in the New Year with the approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, in addition to the Pfizer vaccine.


The UK wide Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCV&I) has identified those who are clinically extremely vulnerable as priority level four for vaccination, with a commitment to vaccinate this group by mid-February. In the meantime, government advice is to continue to shield and the ‘hands, face, space’ mantra will continue to be vital to our day to day lives throughout 2021.


Join our expert panel of speakers to hear about the latest vaccine developments for people with disease including clinical aspects,  vaccine prioritisation criteria and roll out plans.


Our guest speakers will include: Susan Spence Welsh, Renal Clinical Network Manager, Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee and Christopher Brown FRPharmS, Consultant Renal Pharmacist, South West Wales Renal Service and Honorary Professor, Cardiff University, National Pharmacy Lead.


The aim is to provide advice and guidance to kidney patients on the theme of the Covid Vaccine Update and to answer as  many of your questions as possible


To register, head to the Kidney Patient Conference website and please send your questions in advance to


One of our volunteers has reached out to players at his favourite football team, Swansea City FC, to help him raise money for our charity during the down-turn in fundraising opportunities which have come about as a result of COVID-19.

Paul Smith, from Gowerton, is a lifelong Swans fan and a keen runner with the Paul Popham Running Club (PPRC). Many of the club’s runners regularly take part in 10k’s, half marathons, marathons and triathlons – raising much-needed money for our charity in the process.

When the coronavirus lockdown first struck, Paul realised that many of the events which the club relies on to raise sponsorship would be cancelled or postponed, so decided to try alternative fundraising ideas.

So far, he has raised almost £400 by selling, auctioning and raffling off a variety of Swans kit – collected and donated by Connor Roberts – originally belonging to players including Jake Bidwell, Freddie Woodman, Nathan Dyer, André Ayew, Jay Fulton, Bersant Celina, Rhian Brewster and Matt Grimes – some of which were signed by the players.

Paul still has one shirt left to sell and hopes to raise yet more funds by selling it to the highest bidder on his Facebook marketplace page. He hopes that the sale of this piece of Swans memorabilia will take his overall total to well over his initial £500 aim. The shirt is from the playoff game against Brentford and features the NHS rainbow on the front, the playoff badges on the arm and, best of all, Connor Roberts has signed it.

Paul Smith, volunteer fundraiser at the Paul Popham Fund, said:

“I first made contact when I put a shout out on twitter to various past and present Swans players, looking for a pair of match-worn shorts for me to wear for the Cardiff Half Marathon in 2019. Connor Roberts replied, and we’ve stayed in touch since.

“With so many races cancelled this year due to the pandemic, I realised that the Paul Popham fund would have been very badly hit financially. The club was looking for alternative ways to raise funds and I wanted to help. I put a cheeky request in to Connor to see if he would help us out with some Swans kit and he got together a range of match-worn kit of his own, and a range of other players. I’ve sold it via Facebook and my own network of friends through raffles and direct sales.”

The country’s charity sector is reliant on volunteers, like Paul, to raise funds and help people when they are at their most vulnerable. The coronavirus pandemic has made this more difficult and more important than ever. A recent survey of 550 charities by the Institute of Fundraising states that 48% of charities risk losing a third of their income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, due to the loss of direct debit donations and fundraising event cancellations.

Swans player, Connor Roberts, said:

“The COVID outbreak has affected everyone’s lives, and after hearing of the challenges faced by the Paul Popham Fund with regard to fundraising through this pandemic, I really wanted to help out.

“The fund does so much good work and raises vital money, and I hope the money raised already from the signed Swans shirts is helping supply vital support to people with kidney disease and their families. Hopefully, my signed shirt from the play-off match against Brentford will take Paul over his original target.

“I’m a local boy and have been part of the Swans for most of my life, and one thing that really shines through at the club is just how important the community is to the club, and vice versa. So, I was really keen to do whatever was possible to help.”

Jo Popham, our CEO, said:

“We’re very grateful to Paul for his ingenuity and hard work raising funds for our charity, as well as to the players at Swansea City FC, particularly Connor, who so kindly donated their kit for us to sell. 2020 has been a challenging year for all charities, but the determination of volunteer fundraisers like Paul has meant that we’ve been able to continue to supply vital support to people with kidney disease and their families.”

The Paul Popham Fund Counselling Service provides support to patients with kidney disease and their families.

Due to COVID-19, our Counselling Service is currently being provided remotely, via the telephone or zoom. However, face-to-face support within our service area will resume when appropriate.

We are currently looking for volunteer counsellors to join our expanding team.

Counselling volunteers must be either qualified counsellors or counsellors in training.

Applicants should have passed their Fitness to Practice and be either about to start their final year of degree or diploma, or be working towards their 100 hours placement or accreditation hours.

Applicants must also have BACP membership, or membership with another counselling regulatory body.

Lived experience of kidney disease, or experience of supporting in a chronic illness setting is desirable, however full training will be provided.

Supervision is provided, as well as various CPD opportunities.

For more information or to apply, please contact Hayleigh Isaac by emailing

Here at the Paul Popham Fund, we just wanted to let you know of some communications that have been released last week in the run-up to the 16th Aug, after which those of you that have been shielding will no longer need to do so.

From Monday the 10th and every day last week the Chief Medical Officer of Wales has been appearing in a video answering questions from those that have been shielding. These videos appeared on Facebook and Twitter and are still available to view. Please see links below.

Links to Mondays video – Shielding will be paused:

Links to Tuesdays video – Question: Can I cuddle my grandparents?

Links to Friday’s Video – Question: Is it safe to go back to work?

On Tuesday 11th an infographic was also published on WG social media with helpful tips/advice for those who will no longer be shielding.


Also, on Sunday 16th August the updated WG guidance and an FAQ’s doc was published on the Welsh Government Website.

We are pleased to share our very first Kidney Patient Information Virtual Q&A. This virtual discussion is a general overview of home therapies, where one of our Peer Mentors, Hayleigh Isaac, shared her personal experience of home hemodialysis with Gail Williams, Lead Nurse of the Welsh Renal Clinical Network, and Joanne Popham, CEO of the Charity.

The video clip is 30 minutes long. Please give us your feedback and let us know what other Q&A’s you would like us to provide information on.

We also have a downloadable pdf of this Q&A which you can get by clicking on the link below.

Click here to download the PDF

Please bear in mind that this Q&A is based on personal experiences and is not to be used as a clinical guideline. The opinions provided throughout the discussion and within the document reflect personal views of participants and should by no means be used to change dialysis prescriptions without seeking professional consultation.

We advise all patients to seek approval from their appropriate supervisors and their renal consultants before making any changes to treatment or care.