Our 'award winning' Young People and Families service

18 October 2018 Ros Ayres
The Scotland Young People and Families service at the 2018 Self-Management awards at the Scottish Parliament.

Young people tell us that arthritis can affect their confidence and make them feel alone. Their relationships can be affected when they feel friends don’t understand why even though they look fine and they can find it difficult to do the same things as their friends.

Our Young People and Families service works together with young people living with arthritis and their families to provide information and social and emotional support. We provide peer support opportunities through a variety of events across the country. 

Our service helps families to have a better understanding of living well with arthritis, medication and potential treatments, as well as creating a safe space to ask questions, receive information and develop support networks. Families benefit by sharing their experiences and having the chance to socialise with others in a similar situation with some fun and laughter along the way.

Our services in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offer a schedule of events for young people between 10-25 with arthritis. The specific age range and events available varies across the nations, generally they include:

  • Residential activity weekends where young people can engage in activities from archery to zip-wiring
  • Workshops covering topics such as self-management, education/careers, communication, relationships and, in Scotland also include sexual health and art workshops
  • Family events where the whole family are invited to participate.

All our events are supported by a team of fully trained peer support volunteers who have lived experience of arthritis.


We collect feedback from all our workshops and events, here’s some examples.

“Just a short note to say thank you very much for all your kindness to L since we linked up with the service. She got so much from the Uni day and it has really shaped her approach to thinking about her applications next year. She thoroughly enjoyed the day”

 “I am a changed person from when I came to the service, I was insecure, unaccepting of my condition and I felt alone! Now, I am confident, accepting, happy and I have made so many new friends who “get me”. I honestly don’t know where I would be without the service in my life the last couple of years”

 “I received my GCSE results today and I just thought that you might want to find out what I got. I did all my GCSE’s using one hand and with that in mind I believe I did amazing and I couldn’t have done anything better! … Thank you for all your support over the last year, it’s so appreciated.”

Find out more

Young people can self-refer to the service or be referred by a carer or professional with their agreement.

You can find out more about what’s going on in your area or contact your local Young People and Family service.

Hot off the press

Our Young People and Families Service in Scotland have scooped not one, but two awards at the recent Health and Social Care Alliance Self-Management Awards held at the Scottish Parliament!

The service was voted Self-Management Project of the Year 2018 for the Joint Creativity art project (delivered to 10-18-year olds) AND Self-Management Partnership of the Year, for their great work with the Aberdeen Rheumatology Transition team to support teenagers and young adults who are transitioning from paediatric to adult services.

A massive well done to the teams involved and thank you all for your hard work on making these projects outstanding and awardworthy.

Gill Meens, Service Manager – Young People and Families – Scotland said:

These awards are recognition for years of valuable work which is changing people’s lives for the better…I am proud of our innovative work in Scotland, it is a huge honour and we are delighted to win.’

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