The Melrose Branch of Arthritis Research UK raised a total of £9,072 for the charity in 2016-2017 – a record sum for the local branch.
This means that, over the past four years, almost £30,000 has made its way from the Borders towards research into all the many forms of arthritis – what causes the conditions and how they can be treated.
A cheque for the latest contribution was presented to Professor Hamish Simpson, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Edinburgh University, at an event in Melrose Rugby Club recently.
A cross section of people who helped with the fundraising gathered to hear about the work being undertaken by Professor Simpson, who leads a clinical study into physiotherapy for patients following knee surgery, funded by Arthritis Research UK.
He expressed grateful thanks on behalf of the charity and went on to details some of the work the charity is funding, making specific reference to the very painful arthritis which affects children from a few months old and which can lead to joint replacements for young people in their teens and early 20s.
One of the local projects for 2016-2017 involved the branch being the nominated Charity Partner for Melrose 7s. As well as raising funds, it offered an opportunity for Madi Davies, who is working on an Arthritis Research UK -funded project at Oxford University on osteoarthritis in sports injuries, to complete some of the research. Her doctoral thesis, now published, refers to her participation at this event.
Professor Simpson’s key messages to the meeting were:
- hip replacements are highly successful
- knee replacements are successful but not as good as hip replacements
- there is limited research on surgical procedures
- arthritis affects all age groups
- much more work needed on preserving our natural joints as long as possible.
All of the research projects cost a lot of money over long periods of time and it is, therefore, essential that fundraising is maintained by branches such as the one in Melrose.
The Branch Chairperson, Joanna Smith, said: “Without the small cogs the larger wheels could not function”. And she challenged everyone to make a little effort to raise funds which, together, will ensure that another large cheque is presented to the charity in 2018.
Graham Dall, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Borders General Hospital proposed the vote of thanks and encouraged everyone to visit the branch stand at the hospital on 25th and 26th October for cake ‘n’ candy, gifts, cards, and information.
The branch will hold a Table Top Sale at the George & Abbotsford Hotel, Melrose, on Saturday 11th November and Father Christmas is preparing to attend!