The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded the Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases (BIRD) £9,000 for its Patient and Public Engagement (PPE) programme.
The funding will be used by Programme Director Mel Brooke, in running patient research activities as well as a series of free information days, patient support hubs and newsletters.
Mel said: “People can feel very anxious or isolated when they are diagnosed. Finding other people to talk to, and share experiences with, is an important means of support.
“Feeling less lonely can contribute to a better sense of wellbeing and understanding the latest research and treatment can be transformative for patients and their families.
“BIRD helps facilitate this through a range of events and services for a growing network of over 4,500 patients.”
Chris Johns, Chair of BIRD, added: “Receiving this award is a mark of the quality of the work we are doing, we believe the patient engagement programme is unique and significant.
“The core purpose of BIRD is to support arthritis research, education and patient engagement with far reaching impact, given that only one person in fifty escapes some form of rheumatic complaint in their lives.
“We are very grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for this award”.
There are three more free information days planned for this year in the areas of Osteoarthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia.
Support hubs meet monthly in central Bath and in Wiltshire, with everyone welcome.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page.