Commercial’s fundraising for the charity Versus Arthritis will “shine a light into the too often unseen and too often ignored impact of arthritis on too many young lives.” This is according to Adrian Williams, Community Relationships Manager at Versus Arthritis.
The #500infive team of seven are aiming to raise £25,000 by cycling from Commercial’s head office in Cheltenham on Saturday 8th June to the company’s Leeds office, then on to the London office to finish back in Cheltenham on Wednesday 12th June.
Adrian said, “having worked with the amazing team at Commercial, I have been overwhelmed by their passion, commitment, and enthusiasm. Not just their determination to raise an amazing amount of money, but the fact that they will shine a light into the too often unseen and too often ignored impact of arthritis on too many young lives.”
Versus Arthritis (VA) is a community of volunteers, healthcare professionals, researchers and friends that provides support for people living with arthritis across the UK. The funds raised will be used to support its Young People and Families project, which provides emotional and practical support to young people (aged 10-18) living with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), and their families. JIA is an auto-immune condition and a form of arthritis that targets the joints, causing significant pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Typically, in a room of 20 young people with JIA they will have up to 26 Joint replacements – and these are teenagers.
For many of the young people VA supports with this project, this is the first time they have ever met another younger person with their condition.
Adrian said, “the symptoms have a severe impact on young person’s mobility, dexterity, and independence. This can detrimentally affect their friendships, homelife, and their education. They will find their confidence knocked, and often become withdrawn and anxious. Our main priority is tackling social isolation by connecting young people affected by JIA with their peers.”
The money raised by the Commercial team will be used by VA to:
• Empower young people to make positive lifestyle changes
• Reduce isolation by connecting participants with their peers
• Help participants to develop better coping skills
• Increase participants’ confidence and self-esteem
• Improve participants’ emotional wellbeing
Alan Martin, Andrew McKenzie, Liam Dutson, Mark Hallett, Kevin Ablett, Mark Butchers, and Lee Williams are pushing on with their training to be ready to take off early on Saturday (8th June).
Adrian added, “riding over 500 miles in five days will take an incredible effort. but the changes their mission will bring to young people and their families will be immense. I salute them.”