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Specialist advice for young people with chronic illnesses

Independence Day event to help young people

A STRIKING display to highlight the hidden conditions of people with chronic illnesses is being used to promote an awareness event next week.

Young adults with fibromyalgia, CFS and ME are being asked to attend an Independence From Fibromyalgia Day at Newbury College on Thursday, July 4.

The event has been arranged by Healthwatch West Berkshire (HWWB) and lead pain consultant at the Royal Berkshire Hospital Dr Deepak Ravindran.

In order to help reach out to the 16- to 30-year-old age group, Newbury College students were asked to create a poster to be used in the event’s marketing.

The winning poster was created by media student Kurt Foulds, who received a £50 prize for his eye-catching display.

The winning poster, entitled It’s Hard To See When The Pieces Are Missing, was created during the busy exam season.

Inspired to design the poster after researching the conditions, Kurt Foulds took time out from his studies to create his piece.

He said: “Its important to me that it’s not ‘just’ an image. I wanted the poster to have meaning.

“I thought that the depiction of a person with jig-saw pieces for their head was a good representation of people with the conditions, who feel that they are missing pieces from their own lives.”

Newbury College work placement co-ordinator Julie Barker said: “We think Kurt’s design is particularly striking.

“He was keen to be involved with the poster design, took time to investigate the subject matter and came up with a poster that aptly communicates the message of the event to its audience.

“Kurt now has some great work experience for his CV and HWWB has the unique marketing piece it needs.”

Organisers want the event to bring together people with conditions, providing them with an opportunity to learn about other sufferers experiences, share their own experiences, discover more about the therapies, treatments and resources available in West Berkshire.

HWWB chief officer Andrew Sharp said that July 4, American Independence Day, seemed “a particularly relevant day to hold an event,” and that specialists would be offering advice and treatments that will give sufferers “some independence from their symptoms”.

He said: “Often sufferers of these conditions feel they are missing from their own lives, unable to do the things they used to do and we think that Kurt’s design epitomises this with a great visual.

“We hope that lots of people will see the poster online and around West Berkshire – and will come along to the Independence From Fibromyalgia Day Event.”

The event will be held at Newbury College on Thursday, from 5.30pm until 8pm. Register at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/young-adults-independence-from-fibromyalgia-day-tickets-63301459369

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