A specialist charity for children with inflammatory bowel disease is bringing its popular family information day to Plymouth next month.
The number of young people diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the UK has doubled over the past 20 years
Charity CICRA is calling on schools and wider society to better support young IBD sufferers and aims to help children and families with relevant information and advice.
The free information event will take place in central Plymouth on March 23.
Last year, stories about the magician Dynamo highlighted the impact of IBD such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis.
With experts from Bristol Children’s, Royal Devon and Exeter, Barts and the Royal London, Torbay and Derriford Hospitals, the day includes special sessions for children, teenagers and young adults to share experiences and have fun.
Parents can learn about all aspects of IBD including psychological issues, the importance of diet and nutrition, living and coping with IBD, investigations and treatments and advances in research. There will also be children’s entertainment with local legend Mr. Wishy Washy.
Liz Graham and daughter Joanne, from Devon, will be speaking at the event about their experiences of IBD and the impact it has on their lives.
Liz said: “The benefits of CICRA family days are many, but for me it is seeing my daughter supported and being supportive of people in the same situation. For me knowing that she is not alone or that different really. We always learn something new and come away uplifted.”
Joanne added: “The information days are a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones who are all in the same boat as you. You can share support and advice and feel part of a community.”
Nick Posford, chief executive of CICRA, said: “Holding an event like this is a really important way for us to support young people and their families. Being diagnosed with Crohn’s or colitis at such a formative age can prove a huge struggle for children and teenagers. We find there is still a significant lack of understanding about inflammatory bowel disease despite the fact there has been such a dramatic increase.
“We know young people often feel embarrassed to talk about the toilet-related symptoms of IBD. This means important conversations about their day-to-day struggles can get overlooked. With children and teenagers dealing with so many stresses during their formative years, we don’t believe IBD should be another one.
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“We are working hard to improve awareness of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis and offer the tools and knowledge to help alleviate the social angst, emotional trauma and daily physical problems young sufferers deal with when it comes to IBD.”
Places for the information family day need reserving in advance by emailing [email protected]
To find out more contact 020 9849 6209 or email [email protected]
For information and support, visit cicra.org or call 020 8949 6209.
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