Bee Positive With ASNet!

We will be closed at the Centre over the holidays, re-opening on Tuesday 9th January 2018.  Season's greeting to everyone.


 In memory of Joan Woolston, we are pleased to announce that we will be planting some silver  birch trees in Joan's memory near our office in Valentine's Park.This will probably take place at the end of January next year.  More details nearer the time.
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Joan Woolston had a good life. She was a wonderful and kind human being. She made a great impact on many people’s lives.
Joan was the first member to join King George Hospital Rheumatology Support Group in May 2002, as it was previously named.
Joan was instrumental in sustaining the group to formally register as a charity in September 2010 especially in her role as Treasurer.
Joan suffered with Rheumatoid Arthritis for 32 years but it did not stop her from doing good in her community as she also volunteered at Age UK.
Joan was quiet, witty and punctilious with her book keeping as Treasurer. She was single minded, clever and a reliable volunteer with a wicked sense of humour. Joan worked steadfastly for ASNet but never in the spotlight always in the background as she was as humble as she was loyal.
Joan loved gardening and Diane Wynne-Fitzgerald shared her passion. So they organised‘Nursery Crawls’ as a variation on a pub crawl where they stopped for refreshments at each location where they bought plants.
Above all Joan believed in giving back to her local community and those fellow Arthritis sufferers.
Thank you for being part of our lives.We shall miss you as the good friend you were.

Have a look at our new kitchen at the Cranbrook Centre, funded by The Big Lottery money.  Now our members and visitors in wheelchairs can access the kitchen, which is obviously a much-needed improvement.  Features incude a pop-up worktop area, widened doorframe and raised worktops which can now accommodate wheelchairs.

We have a new crop of potatoes in our allotment garden, hopefully they will be ready for Christmas time, if the squirrels don't get them first!

We received some sad news this week with the death of our patron Lady Shirley Winchilsea.  The last time we spoke to Lady Winchilsea she was confined to her room as her arthritis was so severe she was no longer able to walk or get out of the house.

Shirley was our friend and Patron of our charity.  David and I shall attend the funeral as representatives of the charity. 
If anyone wishes to make a donation in lieu of flowers to either one of the two charities please do so directly.  The details can be found below at the end of the announcement.

It is with sadness that we write to inform you that

Lady Shirley Winchilsea, Dowager Countess of Winchilsea and Nottingham.

Died peacefully in her sleep after a brief illness on Sunday 22nd October, 2017.

Donations in lieu of flowers for

WaterAid or Yeatman Hospital, League of Friends may be sent

c/o A J Wakely & Sons, 16 Newland, Sherbourne, Dorset, DT9 3JQ.

Tel: +44 [0]1936 816817

We held a Diwali celebration last Tuesday at the Centre, with lots of good food and drink. We also hosted our local bobbies, who tucked in enthusiastically! Nice to give something back to them, they do a lot for us in the park.  Happy Diwali to all.



A good time was had by all at the Family Fun Day on 2nd September; here is a photo of the start of the obstacle race. Well done to the Bees Knees 2 team, who won on the day!



Thanks to Hargreaves Scout Camp for hosting us.

Some sad news; Ela and Lizzie are moving on to work on new projects. We have been working with them for the last two years, getting information on bespoke aids for people with arthritis.  Best of luck in your future endeavours ladies, it's been great working with you.

Click on the link below to see videos of  some of the products they have introduced us to.  They really do help!

We have a new video, 'Arthritis does not discriminate' chronicling the experiences of arthritis sufferers and the impact joining our group has had on their lives.  Watch it here.

Our monthly patient education forum was held Thursday 20thJuly at James Fawcett Centre at King George's Hospital.

Dr Kiranjith gave a talk on RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis).  Pictures from the talk are below.

We had a very informative and entertaining talk from Dr. Tommy Thomas, senior physiotherapist at King George's Hospital at our last Patient Education Forum, culminating in an exercise session for arthritis sufferers.  Dr. Tommy will be coming back to see us again, so watch out for his next visit.


We have launched a new badge and card to help customers who are less able to stand, get a seat when they need one.

The “Please offer me a seat” badge and card are aimed to alert fellow customers on Public Transport that you are in need of a seat. Following a successful trial, customers said the badge and card made them feel more confident asking for a seat.

Click here to apply for a badge and card

My Swedish Massage experience.

The day after having an Ultra Scan I became aware of pains in the back of my head, they gradually got worse until I couldn't hold my head up, it felt as though someone had thrown two large bricks at me. I am a sufferer of 5 different types of Arthritis and by instinct I knew it wasn't a flare up. As the days passed the pain was more unbearable, I couldn't sleep or go to bed as lying down made the pain worse, for 5 nights I sat in a chair unable to do anything, my head getting heavier that I wished it would drop off.

As luck would have it I belong to Arthritis Self-Help Network, a charity where I do Voluntary work, usually on a Tuesday. I informed Diane (the President) I would not be able to help that week owing to my unknown condition. On Tuesday morning Diane phoned me to remind me that there would be a demonstration of Swedish massage at the Cranbrook Centre, which is located in Valentines Park in Ilford, and she asked if I could get there for a Massage as he needed a volunteer to work on.

My husband took me to the Centre where Kristian Saetre would be giving me the treatment. Kristian was passed by Dr Teresa Doherty, my Consultant Rheumatologist at King George Hospital, to perform this type of massage as being safe for arthritis sufferers.

Kristian had a special chair in which the person leans forward to give him access to massage the back. I was unable to to use the chair properly owing to the pressure it caused as I leaned forward. He worked on me for about 10 minutes sitting upright and I started to feel the weight lift off, enough for me to eventually bend forward to place my face in the hole of the specially designed chair. No one will ever understand how I felt when I was finally able to do what had become impossible for me. Gradually the pain started to go down my right shoulder, I was assured by Kristian it was normal.

I had a half hour session which took away so much of the pain, I could hold my head up again and I felt so relieved by the whole experience. Kristian told me the pains would come and go but they would eventually disperse. Now after 4 days I am feeling almost pain free.

I am so grateful to Diane for reminding me about the massage demonstration and to Kristian for his delicate touch that is still working on the excruciating pain. I am going to sleep in my own bed tonight as the worst of the pain in my head has gone, which means I will be able to lie down.

If you are reading this article and suffer from any form of pain, why not get in touch with Diane? She will be only too pleased to put you in touch with Kristian, you will not regret it, the gentle touch is the way to go. Kristian's website is here

Thank you for reading about my first experience of a massage that has almost rid me of pain and enabled me to get my life back on track.


The Arthritis Self-help Network is a charity based in London supporting people suffering with arthritis.  Please watch the short video below to see some feedback from some of our group members about products that help them deal with the condition. 

The ASNet support system is a service for anyone diagnosed with one or more of the 200 types of arthritis.

The ASNet model is designed to help a patient at the point of need, empowering them through education and a variety of therapeutic methods to help them cope with the disease on a daily basis.

An edcuated patient is easier to treat, reduces clinical time and is also a cost saving to the NHS.

 Mr Sood was a guest speaker  at one of our regular Patients' Forums at the King George Hospital Chadwell Heath on 18th March 2017. He is an expert in hand surgery, and his website is here.



Help ASNet to support you!

What Is Arthiritis?

Arthritis means literally "Inflammation of the joints". In 2012 there were some 10 million people in UK with arthritis. It is one of the leading causes of disability in the UK today and can cause stiffness and painful swelling in joints. Arthritis can affect people of all ages - indeed, there are over 12,000 children under the age of 16 in the UK who have arthritis (NHS Choices 2012).

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