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Support group formed to help sufferers

PUBLISHED: 17:04 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 July 2010

A NEW local support group is being formed to help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis,

The group will cover people in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney areas and will meet for the first time on July 23 at the James Paget University Hospital.

A NEW local support group is being formed to help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis,

The group will cover people in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney areas and will meet for the first time on July 23 at the James Paget University Hospital.

It is being supported by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and aims to increase people's expertise about the condition, so they can play a bigger role in optimising their own health. It also hopes to provide mutual support and encourage new friendships through social activities.

The new group has been welcomed by the consultant rheumatologist, Joegi Thomas.

Dr Thomas said: “The rheumatology service at the James Paget is rapidly developing, with the appointment of a new consultant at the beginning of July and our own dedicated occupational therapist. We recognise the invaluable role played by voluntary and charitable organisations and support groups.”

The meeting on July 23 will include a question and answer session led by Dr Thomas and specialist nurse Sandra Bruce-Leggett and occupational therapist Sarah Small will give a brief talk and answer questions.

Sonia Peart, 45, from Gorleston, has had rheumatoid arthritis for eight years. As a mum of three teenagers, she is keen to encourage young people to the meeting.

She said: “I'd encourage anyone whose life is affected by RA to go along, but especially young people with families. RA affects the young and the old alike, and we all need support.”

The event is between 4pm to 6pm at the physiotherapy gym at the JPH. Parking will be in the main public car park - free exit passes will be given to everyone attending. Anyone interested in attending is asked to use the therapy and dietetics entrance.

For more details, contact the NRAS on 0845 458 3969 or call Sarah Small on 01493 453849

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