Arthritis, Pain Support and ME/CFS is a registered charity and we need your support.
Our Arthritis activities receive limited funding to provide a limited number of low cost hydrotherapy sessions to the community and a small amount of community education. As community demand grows for low cost and free services we have grown to meet the demand. Unfortunately, our funding has not grown to match this demand. In addition, we provide:
- Free online exercise classes
- Low cost group exercise classes
- Lower cost private allied health services
- Support to people needing to access various funding schemes including the NDIS and DSP
- Free mental health support to those struggling to deal with their diagnosis/prognosis
- A listening ear for anyone who is struggling.
Our ME/CFS activities also receive limited funding to provide self-help courses, limited mental health support and community education. With the advent of COVID-19, the associated family anxiety of the risk of infection, and the subsequent fall out for many who have had the infection, demand is outstripping our funding by more than 3:1. We cannot turn people away and so, we wear the cost of supporting those who are some of the most vulnerable and most invisible in our community.
Our Pain Support activities receive no funding at all. It is estimated that more than 50,000 Canberrans, more than 3.4million Australians, live with chronic pain. If we don’t support these people, who will? People with chronic pain come to us for the following:
- Support to navigate the health system to try to find answers to their pain
- Support to gain any sort of Government assistance including the NDIS and DSP that might help them to continue to survive
- Mental health support from people who understand
- Low cost exercise programs to try to assist them to reduce their pain and/or keep undertaking their daily lives
- Any information that we may have that they have not yet found to try and improve their quality of life
What else do we do?
We support researchers in translational research in particular. What is this? We help prove how theories and ideas actually work in real life on real people. We do this through:
- Helping find people who will participate in clinical trials of practical interventions. For instance, at present we are working with researchers to investigate how osteoarthritis programs actually change the structure of the knee to improve a person’s mobility and functionality. To do this we are providing the intervention and we are working with the University of Canberra who are assisting with the radiography to prove the hypothesis. Whilst the University has funding to undertake it’s arm of the research, we don’t. We support it, however, because it’s so important.
- Through designing new programs, trialling them with client cohorts, gathering data, and proving that the particular intervention works and improves the lives of those participating in the intervention. For instance our very popular Strength and Balance program grew out of just this sort of research. It has been proven to reduce the risk of falls in those living with chronic pain, osteoporosis and arthritis. Falls in these populations can lead to premature death and this is what makes programs such as this so important.
- Through supporting allied health students to undertake both clinical practice and internships to better learn their craft, gain a better understanding of the social and emotional aspects of their clients and not just the physical ailments, and to assist them in their early carer research projects that adds to the pool of research that becomes part of improving health services for all in the future.
Gaining systemic changes in the health system is crucial for anyone living with a chronic condition, and especially for those who’s conditions are ‘invisible’. Did you know in Canberra we lack the following:
- Daily access to low cost hydrotherapy? Arthritis ACT only has limited access to hydrotherapy pools across Canberra and everyone that participates in our programs have to be ‘rationed’ places to ensure as many people as possible can gain some support. How is this good enough in a wealthy city like our own? If Arthritis ACT had at least one fully dedicated hydrotherapy pool we could ensure Canberran’s in pain could attend low cost hydrotherapy every single day of the week to assist them to then be able to live independently, or at least with less pain.
- Rheumatology services for children? We have no paediatric trained rheumatologist in the ACT, and whilst some rheumatologists see children privately, the bulk of our sick kids have to travel to Sydney or Melbourne for care. This is usually monthly. This puts strain on families, it often reduces at least one parent’s capacity to work, it removes kids from school more than is necessary, and most of all, it is isolating. When you have services in the region you live in, you will also have other networks that exist to support those services. Our kids and their families miss out on all of this because of the lack of services. For $150,000 per annum, we could change this. Can you help us?
How can you help us help our community?
Financial donations are desperately needed to help us to continue the vital work of our Foundation. There is nothing sexy about about chronic pain and fatiguing conditions. It is not a topic that people want to talk about. It is invisible. Please consider making a donation to help those who’s battles are so often unseen.
Donations can be made by calling us directly on 02 6251 2055. We’d love to get to know you more and donations can be made via credit card, cheque or we can provide you with our bank details to make a direct deposit. If you’d like donate immediately you can use our ‘gofundme’ page or complete the donation box at the bottom of this page. Cheques can be posted to: PO Box 908 Belconnen ACT 2616. If you would like your donation to be identified for a particular activity please let us know.
If you would like to assist us with bigger projects such as funding a paediatric rheumatologist, please email the CEO directly at email@example.com or call to speak to her on 02 6251 2055.
Come and use our services! The more fee paying clients we have the more stable our bottom line. Our allied health staff are experts in pain and fatigue and we always go that extra mile for our clients.
Tell people about us. We need to be totally visible in the community so that more and more people know about us, come and utilise our services, and recommend us to others.
Arthritis, Pain Support and ME/CFS ACT is a wonderful organisation. I am proud to be the CEO of such an essential service in our Capital Region. Please help me help our community to thrive, to overcome in a life where pain and fatigue rules every decision people make in life.
Rebecca Davey, CEO