Support group to help arthritis sufferers in Hartlepool off to ‘flying start’

Members of the Hartlepool Arthritis Research UK group holding their meeting in the community room Asda, Hartlepool.
Members of the Hartlepool Arthritis Research UK group holding their meeting in the community room Asda, Hartlepool.

A SUPPORT group launched to help arthritis sufferers in Hartlepool and the rest of the UK is off to a “flying start”.

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.

Now the group – which already has six members but is looking for more – has already arranged its first fundraising event.

To kick off its fundraising drive, members are staging a collection at Tesco, in Burn Road, Hartlepool, on April 4, from 10am until 4pm.

Shoppers at the supermarket are being urged to donate their spare change, as all proceeds will be split 50/50 between HARK and the national charity Arthritis Research UK.

The group is also welcoming any new members who would like to join up.

Anyone interested in doing so can pop along to the next arranged meeting on April 15 at 2pm in the Community Room, within Asda, off Marina Way, in Hartlepool.

Peter Gowland, from Hartlepool Voluntary Development Association (HVDA), which has helped to set up the group, said: “The Mail kindly publicised HARK’s first proper meeting in the Community Room at Asda and because of that we attracted some aditional members.

“We are now in the process of sorting out a fundraising event, a collection, which will be at Tesco. We have decided that whatever amount is collected we’ll split 50 per cent to HARK and 50 per cent to Arthritis Research UK.

“We are very happy with that and so are representatives of the national charity.”

He added: “We’re always on the look out for new members who may find the group a big help if they, or indeed a friend or family member, suffers from arthritis.

“As well as the fundraising side of things there also the emotional side when people support each other by being there. They can talk about the condition because it is unbelieveable how many people it actually affects.” Ring (01429) 262641.

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.