Hartlepool Arthritis Reasearch UK group set to hold first meeting

Peter Gowland of HVDA.
Peter Gowland of HVDA.

A FLEDGLING support group is holding its first meeting today to discuss plans for its future.

The Hartlepool Arthritis Research UK (HARK) group was formed last month following a meeting held at The Grand Hotel, in the town’s Swainson Street.

And now the group – which already has six members but is looking for more – is to meet in the Community Room within Asda, off Marina Way, in Hartlepool, at 2pm, to discuss how it can go from strength to strength, and plan events for the future.

Peter Gowland, from Hartlepool Voluntary Development Association (HVDA), which has helped to set up the group, said: “The meeting today follows on from a successful launch we had at The Grand when we got six people who wanted to push it and form a group.

“We had a presentation from a representative of the national charity Arthritis Research UK about what the local groups do up and down the country.

“They fundraise and do various activities in a bid to make as much as money as possible for the cause.”

He added: “As well as the fundraising side of things there also the emotional side when people with this condition, or family members of sufferers, come together to support each other by being there. They can talk about the condition because it is unbelieveable how many people it actually affects. They can gain strength from each other by being there, and listening to each other’s problems and experiences.”

Peter said the group can expand and evolve as much as the members see fit.

And as well as fundraising activities, there could well be social events on the cards or even weekends away.

“It’s very fledgling so there are a lot of possibilities and opportunities,” he said. “It’s still open for people to come along to. Any new faces and new ideas can only be a good thing.”

Anyone interested in joining the group should pop along to the meeting today or telephone Peter on (01429) 262641 for further details.