• Families helping families – my first month at CICRA

    My first month at CICRA has provided an incredible insight into many aspects of the charity − from information days to research to supporting children, young adults and their families. It seems to me that the heart of CICRA is about bringing children and families together to support each other, whether that is joining together to support research through donations, or holding information days. Whether living with IBD or as a supportive family member or friend, it’s a relief to find someone who understands because they’ve had a similar experience.

    The second Family IBD Information Day of the year, in Cobham in the southeast, was an opportunity for me to see up close some of the ways in which we help both children and their families. A highlight was seeing young speakers tell their stories of living with IBD to an audience of over 100 people; I’m in awe of their positivity and friendliness. If you would like to be considered to speak at a future event, keep your eyes peeled for our audition challenge. I also got to meet many of the clinicians and scientists who are helping us understand more about how crohns and colitis affect children and young adults. I’m really looking forward to learning more about the research CICRA is able to fund thanks to generous donations from our supporters, and I will write more on that in future. Our supporters really are incredible. From walking around the Isle of Wight to swimming in the Serpentine to holding a non-uniform day at school, there are lots of ways in which people are going the extra mile to help children and their families.

    Next year marks our 40th anniversary. Despite huge steps forward in research, there is still lots to do. In the time I have been here, I’ve come to understand that there are many different experiences of care. It is not acceptable that where you live or the particular clinic you attend can make such a difference to how well your condition is managed. It’s really important that CICRA works hard to change things, so that wherever you are, the care is high quality, personalised and friendly. I’d be interested to learn more about your experiences, so do get in touch by email, or through Facebook or Twitter.

    Many of you will have school summer holidays starting soon; I hope you get a chance to relax and rest!

    Best wishes, until next time!