Last month, from the 26th-28th April, the LCTF team were busy at the British Society of Rheumatology‘s annual conference at the SECC in Glasgow. #Rheum2016 brought together over 2000 rheumatology patients and professionals from more than 50 countries.
A conference with a view.
The conference allowed the latest developments and innovations in rheumatology to be showcased, and over in the Charity Village it was an excellent opportunity to network with consultants, doctors and nurses in the field, explaining what we do as a charity and ultimately enhancing awareness of vasculitis in that community. Tuesday also allowed us to reach out to vasculitis patients and bring our services to their attention. We spoke with professionals from as far afield as Turkey as well as people directly affected by vasculitis from all over the UK.
Vasculitis was featured in Wednesday’s interactive workshop entitled ‘Assessing Disease Activity and Damage in Vasculitis’. This workshop was close to the Charity Village so it gave the speakers/facilitators and attendees a chance to swing by our stand to say hello. It was especially good to see Professor Raashid Luqmani, Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta and Dr Richard Watts who have recently taken part in BSR’s recent vasculitis webinar series which is sponsored by The Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation. Our sponsorship of this initiative was also showcased at the Trainee reception on the Wednesday evening.
The LCTF stand. No3, The Charity Village
Over the three days, visitors to our stand were very interested in the support services provided on our website and at our Patient Support Groups throughout Scotland. However, it was our Respite Cabin that seemed to grab the attention of most passers-by. The Twilight cabin is positioned in a truly stunning location overlooking Loch Awe in the Scottish Highlands and is well equipped to offer a comfortable self-catering break for up to 6 people. The Twilight cabin provides an authentic log cabin experience which is ideal as a base from which to explore Argyll & Bute and the stunning west coast, or just to relax for some well-earned respite. The Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation funds the Twilight Cabin as part of our patient support services. The cabin provides weekend or mid-week breaks for anyone diagnosed with vasculitis, or families mourning the loss of a loved one through vasculitis.
Rheumatology 2016 was also a great opportunity to meet like-minded people working for charities in the sector. Our conference ‘neighbours’, Lesley and Eve from AKUSociety shared their experiences of working in the charity sector and we met representatives from PMRGCA Scotland, a Charity focused on spreading awareness of two specific types of vasculitis – Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis. We also met Shanali Perera who was exhibiting her inspiring artwork. Shanali was training as a rheumatology nurse when she was diagnosed with vasculitis. Since then, she has explored the role of art and its potential therapeutic benefits to people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions. She discussed that although art therapy is often used and championed in the mental health area, it often goes overlooked as a tool to help manage more physical conditions.
Notes – The Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation is a charity focused on providing support to people affected by Vasculitis. The charity organises annual events to raise awareness of this rare condition and to raise funds for our patient support services and for scientific research.
If you want to discuss our support services or awareness then call us on 0845 600 5855 or email us -firstname.lastname@example.org.