Wednesday 1 June 2022

Volunteers' Week 2022 - Why and How I Got Involved in Arthritis Research

Today is the start of Volunteers' Week (1-7 June), an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make in the UK through volunteering. Here's my volunteering story.

Living with a chronic health condition can be distressing. It can also be unpredictable; some days you feel good, others you don't. During lockdown, as I struggled with arthritis pain and poor mobility, I was feeling especially negative.

I contacted the charity Versus Arthritis and asked about volunteering. I was sure a new challenge and a better understanding of my own condition would help turn things around. I'm now a Research Partner for VA and use my lived experience of osteoarthritis, together with my background in journalism and PR, to help shape research the charity funds into MSK diseases.

My passion for patient involvement in research has grown, and now I also work directly with universities doing MSK research, as well as other funding bodies.

VA was a helping hand when I was struggling to cope, a great source of information, advice and support. Getting involved is partly my way of giving back, but it's also about doing something fulfulling, challenging and enjoyable. 

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