Juvenile Arthritis Research is four years old. Image of 4 cupcakes with the words Happy Birthday.

Happy 4th birthday to Juvenile Arthritis Research

This month, Juvenile Arthritis Research turns 4 years old. We began in 2018 to help fill the gaps in research, awareness and support for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

As a small, but agile, charity we are made up of parent-volunteers who are passionate about making a difference.

Over the past 4 years we have partnered with national and international research projects in JIA as well as conducting and publishing studies of our own.

Our support resources have reached hundreds of children and families in the UK who have needed it at the point of diagnosis and beyond. This includes our Little Box of Hope support packs for younger children and the new Little Box of Hope Teen packs which launched last year for those aged 10 and over. Both these packs are complemented by online resources which can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

"My JIA" is our information booklet to support those with JIA, their families and schools and has proved to be immensely useful covering all the key areas you need to know about when you have a child diagnosed with JIA. This was developed in conjunction with parents as well as a multidisciplinary team including rheumatologists, ophthalmologists, and pharmacists.

We've sent books to schools about JIA including "Kipo" for younger children and "Peg-leg" which was written by a young person with JIA. This helps those with JIA understand their condition better and feel less alone as well as helping increase awareness about JIA amongst other children and teachers in schools.

We've raised awareness on social media with our shareable thought-provoking images accessible from the WORD day hub on our website.

We've developed our #ThinkJIA campaign website. This gives parents and frontline healthcare professionals the information they need so that they know what to do if they are worried that a child may have JIA.

And we've done so much more in these past 4 years. You can see how these resources can help at every step of the JIA journey at www.jarproject.org/journey

But all this is STILL just the tip of the iceberg. Awareness of JIA remains low. Understanding of the needs of those with JIA remains poor. So we know that there is a lot still left to do and we have exciting plans for this year and beyond to keep making things happen to improve the lives of those affected by JIA.

And we always remember that YOU are at the centre of what we do. It is thanks to every single person who has supported us as a small charity, that we have been able to, and continue to, make a big difference. Thank you!