• Manchester Family Day

    All roads led to Manchester on Saturday 25 June 2016 for CICRA’s first Family Day and Annual General Meeting in the city providing an opportunity for those families and children in the north-west to come together. The almost full house heard wide-ranging, informative presentations and took part in breakout sessions about life with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (IBD).

    The much-welcomed opportunity also, importantly, provided structured group sessions and some entertainment and fun for the children and young adults so they could come together for their own age-related events for much of the day.

    As is typical of our CICRA days, parents had time to come together to concentrate on finding out more about these very often debilitating diseases and to have their own questions answered.

    The hardworking small team of CICRA Trustees and staff, augmented by family volunteers, all helped to make the day a success.

    We were very grateful to the team of doctors, IBD-related specialists and IBD nurses, who came mainly from the wider region, and who gave so freely their time. We appreciate their willingness to help individual families to get answers to sometimes difficult questions about the children and to help improve individual understanding in a more relaxed atmosphere − all as part of a busy but enjoyable programme.

    Interspersed among the much-appreciated presentations from paediatric doctors and nurses were those from young patients and a parent describing their own experiences. It was emotive and empowering to hear how, in most cases, they had overcome the many challenges in their lives.

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    Held at the centrally situated DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in the Piccadilly area of Manchester, the day began with the necessary formal, but short, AGM of the charity, providing information especially important to those new to CICRA.

    A review of the year 2014 was provided, after which two stalwarts Neil Gooding and Paul Cooper were re-elected to the Board of Trustees for a further three years. They were joined by Dr Philip Smith, who was elected for his first term of three years. Philip was on hospital duty in London and therefore could not be with us, but he was congratulated on his British Society of Gastroenterology Award as the Young Gastroenterologist of the Year at last week’s annual conference of the BSG in Liverpool.

    During the day, it was great to see so many parents of children and young adults making new contacts and promising to keep in touch or to widen their circle of friends.

    While many who attended this and previous family days have already joined the CICRA online e-Pals, and so on, please do contact Jayne at the CICRA office if you would like to “come on board”. Details are also available on the website at www.cicra.org.

    This Autumn, CICRA will be holding a similar Family Day in the Cambridge area on Saturday 12 November 2016. More detailed information will be available shortly on the CICRA website or from: support@cicra.org.

    CICRA is also in the early stages of planning next year’s programme and is likely to hold similar days in: Edinburgh (early Spring 2017); the south London suburbs (Summer 2017); and the southwest in Autumn 2017. We hope to see you there!

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