A table showing a range of our resources and leaflets at the Heathfield craft fair.

Community event: Raising awareness of JIA at Heathfield Craft fair

Last weekend we were invited to have a charity stall at Heathfield craft fair which runs on the first Saturday of each month in the State Hall in Heathfield, East Sussex.

We had some art and craft activities including colouring sheets and origami from Kipo's corner as well as a fun "guess the number of items" in a jar activity.

It was a scorcher of a day weather-wise so it was nice to spend the morning in the cool hall meeting members of the community as well as seeing such talented people with an amazing selection of hand-crafted items available. Definitely a great place to visit in the run up to any birthdays or to buy unique and special Christmas gifts.

We were hugely impressed with Simply Sew Good's beautiful children's dresses and accessories, particularly when we heard how this little business had only been set up around a year ago.

And we adored the eye-catching lino-print art by talented Polly Mandell so much so that, thanks to Polly's kindness, we've ended up with this stunning butterfly piece of art at JAR HQ. Thank you Polly!

Community events such as these are a great way of raising awareness of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) as many people are simply not aware that arthritis can affect babies, children and young people.

This low awareness means that many children remain undiagnosed for a long time, living with months or years of pain and uncontrolled inflammation. Left untreated JIA can cause permanent joint damage as well as the risk of developing JIA-related uveitis. Uveitis, if untreated, can have devastating consequences including sight-loss.

So awareness really is the key in changing lives of children and young people with JIA.

Many community events will welcome having a charity stall so if you are attending an event in your local area and need some banners, posters and leaflets, get in touch and let us know and we can send some to you.

You can look out for any community noticeboards to put up awareness posters about JIA. You'll often find that coffee shops, libraries, community centres and even supermarkets will have a noticeboard. Again, please get in touch and we can send you some posters.

We also have packs available specifically for GP surgeries which include posters for the waiting room and information postcards for GPs reminding them about the signs and symptoms of JIA. If your GP practice would benefit from these, please send us their postal address details and we'll get some resources in the post to them.

A pull-up stand with a young girl standing next to a height chart with the words "How old do you have to be to get arthritis".
Raising awareness that you can be any age to get arthritis
Craft materials and origami Kipos
Colouring and origami from Kipo's Corner
A lino print called "Butterfly Blues" kindly donated by Polly Mandell. The artwork is of many blue butterflies in a frame, with some appearing to fly out of the confines of the frame itself.
"Butterfly blues" art by Polly Mandell