Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week: Day 2 = helpline

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week: Day 2 = helpline

It’s day two of Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week and today we are showcasing the work of the NRAS helpline team and what our three members of staff can offer you. Our helpline exists to support anybody affected by rheumatoid arthritis:

“Our aim is to provide callers with up to date information, give emotional support especially for those going through a difficult time and help people understand more about the disease and the treatments available. We aim to keep well-informed of developments in the field of RA and will always try to answer your questions as fully as possible. We provide information and support on a range of topics including getting a diagnosis, side effects of medications, issues with work, the financial impact of RA, possible benefits available, diet and exercise, pregnancy, complementary therapies and surgery“ – Victoria, the Helpline Team.

If you ever need the support of our helpline team, or would like more information on what they can do, then click on the link: nras.org.uk/help_for_you/he... Alternatively you can call them directly on 0800 2987650 and speak to one of the team.

The helpline team goes beyond our three members of staff as sometimes it is more helpful to talk to someone else who understands what it is like to live with RA and has firsthand knowledge of what it is you’re going through. NRAS is able to connect you with a trained Telephone Support Volunteer who has been diagnosed with RA and we will match you as closely as we can with someone in a similar position to you so they can share their experiences and put you at ease. We can arrange for them to telephone you at a mutually convenient time about whatever aspect of your RA concerns you the most.

- You may be a young woman planning to start a family or a mum finding it difficult to cope with young children – perhaps chatting to another mother who has had to face similar challenges and choices would help you

- What if you are someone concerned about balancing work with the fatigue caused by RA or communicating with work colleagues about your disease? Lots of our volunteers are in full or part time employment and can talk to you about their experiences in the workplace

- Going onto a new medication may concern you. Would it help to talk to someone else who has been taking that medication for some time? Or perhaps you’ve been told you need an operation and have some questions that only someone who has experienced it can really answer

Today we need your help. We need new volunteers to help us with our volunteer calls, if you would like to be considered as a volunteer then please complete the expression of interest form here: 123contactform.com/form-611... By completing this form you won’t be signing up to anything, it is just an expression of interest so we can tell you more about it.

With 690,000 people in the UK living with rheumatoid arthritis, there are a lot of stories to tell and each one is different. Today we are launching a new video titled Katy’s Journey which tells the story of a young woman and the impact rheumatoid arthritis has had on her life. It is just one person’s story but we hope it will provide encouragement to others. We think videos like this are especially important to people who have been newly diagnosed with RA, it helps to show that people can lead a relatively normal life and remain active. Let us know what you think.

A lot happened yesterday during the first day of RA Awareness Week and we were very busy on social media and responding to requests for information. Did you get a chance to read the report we published – Breaking Down Barriers? Do let us know what you think and be sure to sign up to the e-action.

Breaking Down Barriers: nras.org.uk/includes/docume...

E-action: act.nras.org.uk/

We also published a new infographic to bust some of the myths that exist regarding the disease. Make sure you share the mythbuster with your friends so they may get a better understanding of the disease, and be sure to look out for further releases today.

Mythbuster: nras.org.uk/includes/docume...

4 Replies

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  • I have only phoned the helpline a couple of times and the operators are fabulous. Very calm, understanding and professional. It's not like phoning a big call centre but more like phoning a friend. A friend that will listen and help. I can't recommend and thank them enough. A fabulous resource and brilliant service - I feel lucky to know they are there if I need them.

    Thank You! :D

  • i can only add my thanks like Cal for the wonderful helpline service. It got me through some very tough times and I am very grateful xxxx :)

  • I too can't thank you enough for the times I've needed to call and your support and advice has been amazing.

    I've just filled in the form to volunteer myself.

  • I must add my thanks to the helpline - it has really been a god send xx

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