‘I certainly feel less lonely’ - Paralympian Leigh Walmsley on benefits of new Zoom groups for arthritis sufferers

Paralympian Leigh Walmsley (left) with Team GB in 2012 Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Paralympian Leigh Walmsley (left) with Team GB in 2012 Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Arthritis sufferers in the Bury St Edmunds area will be able to meet up and chat over Zoom to help them manage their condition.

UK charity Arthritis Action has organised the free online groups on Tuesday, October 27, at 2pm to provide a safe and friendly environment for people living with arthritis to speak with each other, learn from one another and share their stories, questions and tips.

The charity wants to help people manage their condition during the coronavirus pandemic and further groups will take place every six weeks.

MORE: What questions do you want to ask about coronavirus in Suffolk?There are more than 10 million people living with some form of arthritis in the UK, making it the leading cause of pain and disability nationwide.

According to recent studies from Arthritis Action, 85% of people living with arthritis socialised less during the pandemic, while two thirds found a self-management approach helpful in managing their pain and fatigue.

Leigh Walmsley, a Paralympian and member of Arthritis Action, has attended a previous online group and found it helps to improve her quality of life.

She said: “Meeting online certainly adds a new aspect to having a group meeting. It’s nice to be able to see people during the lockdown 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.”

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Arthritis Action speakers will also provide information on local resources for people living in and around Bury St Edmunds, as well as information on how to better manage the symptoms of arthritis through healthy eating, therapies, mindfulness, exercise and pain management.

Arthritis Action already runs groups in other areas across the country, including London, Coventry, Derby, Birmingham and Nottingham.

For more information or to register attendance for the Bury St Edmunds online group email here or call 020 3781 7120.

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