It is estimated that one in five people suffer from arthritis, an inflammation of the joints that causes pain and immobility. There are approximately 19,000 people in Kilkenny living with the condition, according to John Joyce, chairman of Arthritis Ireland Kilkenny Branch. Arthritis can be painful, restrictive and debilitating, and Arthritis Ireland works nationally to provide community-based education and adapted exercise programmes to help people effectively manage and control what can be a devastating disease.
If you note any arthritis sufferers moving more easily in Kilkenny at present, it’s thanks to the fantastic group of volunteers actively working in the local branch to improve the lives of locals living with the condition. The Kilkenny branch received €2,900 in December 2016 from good causes to implement two separate six-week “Be Active with Arthritis” exercise programmes delivered by a chartered physiotherapist.
“We decided to apply as we had seen the benefits that National Lottery funding for good causes brought in previous years to other branches for different courses, including the self-management programme and seated exercise classes,” says John. “We knew that if we were successful with an application, it would have a positive impact on the lives of people living with arthritis in the Kilkenny area.”
One of the six-week programmes that has been implemented is indoor and the second is a water-based class. They were chosen because physical activity is proven to be a vital part of managing arthritis, in addition to reducing pain and inflammation, keeping active improves joint support and lubrication and helps with weight control.
“These programmes provide essential skills for people with arthritis,” John explains. “They increase participants’ confidence and provide them with the skills to carry out the exercise programmes in local pools and communities after the course has finished.”
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on games go back to National Lottery funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage. In total, more than €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes.