Compilation collage of children on WORD Day 2023.

WORD Day 2023 Debrief

THANK YOU for making a difference this year for WORD Day 2023. 

WORD Day happens on 18th March each year and this year, you helped to make it more amazing than ever by getting involved and spreading the word that children and young people can get rheumatic diseases like Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA).

Here are just a few of our highlights from WORD day 2023

Bookmarks from Juvenile Arthritis Research.

WORD Day packs

We sent out over 200 of our WORD Day packs containing posters, our new badges and stickers and bookmarks to share at schools and community clubs. With 35 bookmarks in each pack that meant we’ve potentially reached over 7,000 people – many of whom may not have previously known that children and young people can get arthritis. This is double the number of packs that were requested in 2022 showing just how much we have grown in the past 12 months in the number of children and families that we support and the number of people we are reaching. We couldn’t have done this without you – thank you!

As well as taking their bookmarks and stickers to school, many children receiving our WORD Day resources used it as an opportunity to give a presentation or talk at school about living with JIA. Some of these children were very young, and spoke at their nursery. A huge well done to all those who did this - speaking in front of other people can be difficult, and speaking about your own condition can also be a challenge. You have done an amazing job!

A dog with a sign reading "My friend is not too young for arthritis"

Getting family and friends involved

Many of you shared photos with your posters and badges for WORD Day on social media. Again this makes a huge difference in helping to raise awareness. We shared some of these in the run up to and on WORD Day and we still have more to share throughout the year as raising awareness is important all year round! Remember you can get involved at any time of the year by using our printable posters on our WORD Day hub too. Why not get family and friends involved too?

Cheltenham Gold Cup day promoting WORD Day with Juvenile Arthritis Research.
Eilean with her WORD Day event.
Event at Liverpool with Juvenile Arthritis Research resources.

WORD Day events

We were excited to see new people and places getting involved in WORD day – like Gold Cup day at Cheltenham race course.

Eilean held a mini-WORD Day at her University using our awareness raising banners and resources along with activities and a giveaway to raise awareness of JIA. Well done to Clara on Twitter who was randomly drawn as the giveaway winner. Eilean has also shared her story, and written an article about going to university when you have JIA.

We loved seeing another successful event at the Liverpool Central Library with EATC where our pull-up stand and resources were used. We also spotted some of our WORD Day t-shirts! (Thank you for your support).

Uveitis awareness post translated into different languages.

WORD day on social media

Another trend we spotted this year is that our social posts are reaching further than ever. Many were translated into different languages and shared around the globe.

You’ll find a selection of our social post images at the bottom of the page on our WORD Day hub in an easy-to-share format (just click the relevant link below the image to share on your own social media channels to raise awareness).

WORD Day Webinar image.

WORD day webinars

The WORD Day webinars were once again a huge success. As part of the international WORD day planning committee, we know how much work goes on behind the scenes to make these brilliant webinars happen. We were delighted to moderate the first webinar on the topic of “Supporting Children and Young People with Rheumatic Diseases in Education” and it was inspirational to hear examples from all around the world of how people are making a difference to the lives of those with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis including in some countries which face bigger issues of inequality in healthcare, which was the topic of the second webinar. 

You can watch both webinars below.

During the first webinar we shared a poem by Kit Weston called 'Let me tell you about JIA'. Many of you have asked for a copy of it, so you can find the poem here.

Thank you!

WORD day reminds us of the importance of raising awareness of JIA. Let’s use it as a springboard to continue to raise awareness within our networks, our circle of friends and our communities all year round. This year YOU made a massive difference and we can keep on making that difference together until the day that we see a world where no child has to suffer from arthritis.  

We'd love to hear your feedback on how WORD Day was for you - remember you can drop us a line anonymously using Your Voice on this or any other topic relating to JIA.