Free online group to support people in Northampton living with arthritis
Interact with other people who suffer with arthritis, learn some helpful exercises, mindfulness and even do some cooking together
Free online groups are taking place to help people in and around Northampton living with arthritis.
The online groups, organised by UK charity Arthritis Action, will take place on July 27 at 2pm with further groups planned every six weeks.
Paralympian archer, Leigh Walmsley, 52, lives with Rheumatoid Arthritis and has attended a previous group.
Describing her experience, she said: "Meeting online certainly adds a new aspect to having a group meeting. It’s nice to be able to see people safely during the pandemic and make sure they’re doing well!
"The possibilities are now endless on how this platform can be used. Once you get setup, it’s easy to use. We could do exercises, cooking, and mindfulness online together!
"I’m very happy Arthritis Action found a way to keep their group meetings going during the current situation – it was lovely to connect with the group again and I certainly feel less lonely than I would without them.”
Research from the Versus Arthritis Local Authority Data 2021 shows that there are 14,968 people over the age of 45 who have knee osteoarthritis in Northampton alone.
This equates to 18.6 percent of Northampton's population aged over 45, while 16.2 percent of the population live with severe back pain.
The online groups are held over Zoom. The meetings aim to offer a safe and friendly environment for people living with arthritis to speak with each other and share their stories, questions and tips.
Speakers also detail local resources near Northampton as well as information on how to better manage the symptoms of arthritis through healthy eating, therapies, mindfulness, exercise, and pain management.
According to a recent YouGov poll by Arthritis Action, two thirds of people living with arthritis in the UK have found techniques, such as those taught in the group, helpful in managing their pain and fatigue.
This group is made possible by Arthritis Action's partner, Western Power Distribution (WPD), who are sponsoring the event.
Corporate communications officer for WPD, Stella Hayward, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Arthritis Action, we believe it is the responsibility of large organisations like ours to play a full and active role in the communities they serve.
"Supporting charities such as Arthritis Action is a good example of our commitment to that. We hope partnering with the charity will help us to reach out and support customers who are affected by arthritis, and increase awareness of our Priority Services Register (PSR)."
The PSR is there to help elderly, ill or disabled customers who rely on electricity for medical equipment. It is free to join and enables WPD to look after customers who have extra communication, access or safety needs. It additionally assists the company to tailor their services to support households who may need extra help during power cuts.
Stella continued: "Sometimes power cuts can happen for reasons beyond our control and we know this can be particularly worrying especially for our vulnerable customers.
"We hope that working with Arthritis Action can help us to reach out to people affected with Arthritis and encourage them to visit our website to find out more information and to sign up to our free PSR Register.”