Support is at hand for Hartlepool arthritis sufferers

Members of Hartlepool Arthritis Group HARK, who meet at Asda once a month.

Members of Hartlepool Arthritis Group HARK, who meet at Asda once a month.

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A group for sufferers of a painful condition in Hartlepool is looking for new members.

The Hartlepool Arthritis Group (HARK) meets monthly and provides support and social opportunities.

They meet once a month at the town’s Asda supermarket and there is room for new members who wish to get involved.

As well as providing emotional and practical support to sufferers it also works to raise awareness and money for research.

Member Gina Costin, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, said: “Up until I joined the group I felt I was the only person with this condition even though it is a fairly common thing.

“It is nice to talk to other people who understand how you feel.

“There is always room for new members. We provide support to each other and have a chat and cup of tea and if anyone has go any problems they can share it and we can try to help them.

“We also raise money for arthritis research by holding collections at Tesco and Asda.”

Members take part in information days where they raise awareness about arthritis and also raise money to support the work of the group.

Gina said as well as offering practical support the group is also very sociable with regular outings and trips out, the next a festive meal out on December 15.

There are around 10 million arthritis sufferers in the UK according to the NHS.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form that usually develops in people who over 50 years but can also be brought on by injury or another joint-related condition.

HARK formed in February 2014 and meetings take place once a month in the Community Room at Asda, Marina Way, Hartlepool.

The next meeting takes place on Tuesday, November 17, at 2pm.

Group leaders gave their thanks to the supermarket for their support of the group in providing the use of their community room.

It is free to join. For more details contact Gina Costin on 07757 207868.