Northern Ireland

Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, we have transitioned all face to face services into virtual delivery. Do get in touch with us for further information using the Search for Services in Your Local Area search box.

If you need support or information please contact the Helpline on 0800 5200 520, email helpline@versusarthritis.org or visit the online forum.

We are currently exploring other ways to provide support during this time and would welcome ideas to volunteering@versusarthritis.org. We would really appreciate your help in spreading this message throughout our network, particularly to those who attend our Branches and Groups who may access this information online. Please do all you can to support our network at this difficult time.

Find out more about what this means for you.

Versus Arthritis is here to make sure that people with arthritis have all the support and information they need to live well with their condition, as well as to ensure the needs of people with arthritis are a priority with policymakers in Northern Ireland.

Local branches and groups

Our branches and support groups offer friendship, fun, information, and a chance to meet other people who know what it is like to live with arthritis and similar conditions.

Use the search function to find a branch or group near you, contact j.mccormick@versusarthritis.org or telephone 028 9078 2940.

Living Well with Arthritis

Working alongside community groups and health and social care professionals, our trained volunteers encourage you to take a proactive role in managing the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of arthritis.

Our range of services are provided through peer to peer support, over the phone, at drop-ins, in groups or on a one to one basis.

Information Hubs

‘Living Well with Arthritis’ Information Hubs are information stands in health and social care settings, delivered by volunteers (most of whom live with arthritis) and take place at the same time as relevant clinics such as rheumatology or general practice. They aim to raise the profile of the impact of arthritis, provide a listening ear, provide our resources such as condition booklets, directly refer people into our self-management services and supports, and signpost to other vital supports for people living with chronic pain.

We have hubs across Northern Ireland, and we are growing all the time.

For more information on the closest hub to you please use the search function, contact a.lyons@versusarthritis.org or call 028 9078 2940.

Self-management courses and workshops

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions can make you feel you have lost control and have a negative impact on your quality of life. Our self-management courses and workshops can give you the tools you need to feel empowered, take back some control and to push back against arthritis.

natural empathy and understanding that helps participants feel they are listened to and better placed to take the learning on board. Through peer support and attending the course, participants will develop their skills and knowledge on:

  • communication
  • pain management
  • activity and exercise
  • managing change and goal setting.

To find a course near you use the search function or email y.knipe@versusarthritis.org or call on 028 9078 2940.

Living in persistent pain?

We have converted our face to face service Living Well with Pain and Challenging Pain into a format that can be delivered to you online or over the phone. We will post out all the resources you need beforehand so you DON'T have to be a technical whizz to take part!

Our courses are FREE and a great way to learn how to manage pain, set goals, get a better night's sleep and regain control of your life. We have 6 session and 2 session programmes available and they are only 1 hour long per session.

Contact us on 028 9078 2940 or email y.knipe@versusarthritis.org to book you place or just to find out more.

Young People and Families

Our Young People and Families service offers a range of services to support young people and their families. We encourage young people to get together for a variety of fun activity and discussion-based events across Northern Ireland.

Our Activities

Young people tell us that sometimes friendships and activities have been affected by their health and coming along to one of our events gives them the opportunity to rebuild confidence in themselves and trust in others. All events are run with our volunteers who themselves have grown up with arthritis or similar conditions, so we know there is no such thing as being too young to have arthritis.

We know it is daunting to try something new, but our volunteers and the other young people remember their first time away and know exactly how that feels and work hard to make sure everyone feels welcome and safe.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), lupus and other musculoskeletal conditions, can have a devastating effect on children and young people. Many young people with arthritis never meet another young person like them until they come along to an event with us.

Our Young People and Families service complements medical treatment by providing additional social and emotional support.

Residential weekends for young people

We run several residential weekends throughout the year, where young people from the age of 11-18 years have the opportunity to meet others who really understand their condition. Each weekend is different, in the past we have done rock climbing, paddle boarding, canoe rolling, ... We know you are not defined by your condition – our events are about having fun and getting to know others in a similar situation as you.

Workshops for young people

Young people from the age of 12-18 years and if you want sometimes a friend or family member can attend our one-day events. We run these throughout the year on a variety of topics such as adulting with arthritis which looks at how you navigate the world as an adult with an MSK condition. They are run by our team of volunteers and medical experts and cover topics such as alcohol, piercings, coping with university, living away from home, travelling with arthritis and a range of other relevant areas.

Family Events

Children with arthritis and their families can attend our Family Days, a mix of activities and meeting others who are in the same boat as you are a brilliant opportunity for parents and kids to get support.

Parents Seminar

This is a day for parents to hear from a panel of experts from the Paediatric Rheumatology Team and asking questions and learning about their child’s health in a positive and friendly environment, we are hoping to build on this in terms of skills to help with the transition from Paediatric to Adult services.

Connecting with us online

Arthritis Tracker: A mobile app for teens and young adults

Created with young people for young people, Arthritis Tracker lets you rate your symptoms in seconds and see a simple summary of your recent pain, sore joints, medication side effects, energy levels, activity, sleep and emotions. You can use these summaries to help you talk to your healthcare professionals at medical appointments or simply to see how you have been doing recently. Download the app here and find out more here.

For more information on upcoming events use the search function or contact c.wright@versusarthritis.org or call on 028 9078 2940.

Social Media

We have social media pages available for both parents and teenagers, to allow you to connect with others locally who understand. These are a great place to stay updated and ask any questions you may have for people who have been through similar experiences. Connect with us on social media here.

Volunteers

To volunteer for an organisation is to give the invaluable gift of time and at Versus Arthritis our volunteers play a vital role in raising funds and raising awareness about the pain of arthritis. We couldn't operate without them. All of our services are delivered or supported by our amazing volunteers, and there are opportunities to get involved in campaigning, fundraising, take part in events or even organise your own. Volunteering is at the very heart of Versus Arthritis and it is thanks to the hard work, enthusiasm and commitment of volunteers, that we can support millions of people living with arthritis every year.

We have several volunteering opportunities available across Northern Ireland and provide all the necessary training and support that will help you feel part of our organisation and equipped to perform your role. As a volunteer, we will support you to learn new skills, meet new people and help you increase your confidence and self-esteem. Many of our volunteers live with arthritis and related conditions, which means together we can deliver a quality service, and help you to enhance your self-management skills.

Please get in touch to find out more e.boyd@versusarthritis.org or call on 028 9078 2940.

Campaigns

There are nearly half a million people in Northern Ireland with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, yet our concerns are often dismissed as just a bit of pain or part of the ageing process. We need your help to get arthritis taken seriously and make it a government and health service priority.

In Northern Ireland we have successfully campaigned for additional funding and better access to anti TNF drug treatments. We have also successfully campaigned for an increase in the number of consultants within rheumatology and paediatric rheumatology.

There is still more to do, especially on waiting times for joint replacement surgery. Contact j.mccormick@versusarthritis.org or call 028 9078 2940 if you’d like to support our campaigns or have a chat about what we do.

You can find out more about our UK-wide campaigns on our dedicated campaign pages and join our Campaign Network to keep updated.

Contact us

Unit 4 McCune Building
1 Shore Road
Belfast County
Antrim
BT15 3PG
northernireland@versusarthritis.org
028 9078 2940

23 results in 'Northern Ireland'

Antrim Versus Arthritis

When: Second Thursday of the month
Time: 7.30 pm

Location: Day Centre, Station Road, Antrim, BT41 4AB

Armagh Versus Arthritis

When: First Wednesday of the month
Time: 11.00 am

 

Location: St Vincent De Paul Centre, Chapel lane, Armagh, BT61 7EN

Ballymoney Versus Arthritis

When: First Wednesday of every month
Time: 7.30 pm

Location: Millbrook Resource Centre, The Old Ballymoney Road, Ballymoney, BT53 7EZ

Bangor Versus Arthritis (Co Down)

When: Second Friday of the month
Time: 11.00 am

Location: Bangor Abbey Church Hall, Newtownards Road, Bangor, Co Down, BT20 4BW

Belfast - Twifties Versus Arthritis (20's-50's year group)

When: The group meets occasionally and at various locations.
Time: Varies

Location: Versus Arthritis NI Office, Unit 4 McCune Building, 1 Shore Road, Belfast, BT15 3PG

Belfast (South)

When: First and third Wednesday of each month
Time: 11.00 am

Location: Belvoir Hub, Drumart Square, Belfast, BT8 7EY

Carrickfergus Versus Arthritis

When: First Tuesday of the month
Time: 7.00 pm

Location: Hawthorn Day Centre, Ellis Street, Carrickfergus, BT38 8AZ

Coleraine Versus Arthritis

When: First Friday of the month
Time: 1:30pm

Location: West Bann Development Centre, 8 Killowen Court, Coleraine, Co Londonderry, BT51 3TP

Cookstown Versus Arthritis

When: First Wednesday of the month
Time: 1.30 pm

Location: Royal British Legion, Burn Road Cookstown, BT80 8DN

Dungannon Versus Arthritis

When: Third Thursday of the month
Time: 7.30 pm

Location: Royal British Legion, Dungannon, BT70 1AR

Enniskillen Versus Arthritis

When: Last Tuesday of the month
Time: 9.00 pm

Location: The Village Inn, Enniskillen, BT74 7JY

Foyle Versus Arthritis

When: Second Monday of the month
Time: 7.00 pm

Location: MDEC Building Altnagelvin Area Hospital site Glenshane Road, Londonderry, BT47 6SB

Isle of Man

When: Various
Time: To be confirmed

Location: To be confirmed

Lisburn Versus Arthritis

When: Third Wednesday of the month
Time: 10.30 am

Location: Ballymacash Community Centre, 29 Rathvarna Drive, Lisburn, BT28 2UB

Lisnaskea Versus Arthritis

When: Second Wednesday of the month
Time: 8.00 pm

Location: Trinity Hall, Moat Lane, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, BT92 0AL

Magherafelt Versus Arthritis

When: Last Wednesday of the month
Time: 8.00 pm

Location: Meadowbank Recreation Centre, Ballyronan Road, Magherafelt, BT45 6EW

Newcastle Versus Arthritis (Co Down)

When: First Wednesday of the month
Time: 2.00 pm

Location: Clare Lodge, 3 Castle Place, Newcastle, Co Down, BT33 0AB

Newry Versus Arthritis

When: First Thursday of the month
Time: 7.00 pm

Location: Ballybot House, Newry, BT35 8BG

Northern Ireland - Overnight event for teens

When: 6 - 7 March and 27 - 28 March 2020
Time: TBC

Location: Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, 32 Hilltown Road Outdoor Centre, Newcastle, BT33 0PZ

Omagh Versus Arthritis

When: Third Thursday of the month
Time: 7.30 pm

Location: The Fold, James Street, Omagh, BT78 1AP

Portadown Versus Arthritis

When: Second Wednesday of the month
Time: 8.00 pm

Location: The Meadows Day Centre, 293 Bridge Street, Portadown, BT63 5BJ

Portglenone Versus Arthritis

When: Second Wednesday of the month
Time: 7.30 pm

Location: The Community Centre, Portglenone, BT44 8PB

Strabane Versus Arthritis

When: Second Thursday of every month
Time: 7.30 pm

Location: Colman Fold, Melmount Road, Strabane, BT82 9JU