Charity fundraising at St. Mary’s Prep School, Henley on Thames

Children and staff at St. Mary’s Preparatory School, Henley on Thames, came together to support a cause close to their heart on Friday 6 November.

Raising over £570 for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Association, the whole school got involved in Wear Purple for JIA day.

There were some incredible outfits, from purple sequin waistcoats, purple knitted headbands and scrunchies, to purple tights, bows, wigs, jumpers and hoodies!

JIA – Junior Idiopathic Arthritis is an autoimmune disease affecting 12,000 children and young people in the UK.  Raising awareness of Junior Idiopathic Arthritis is important to the school as one of their Year 6 pupils has the autoimmune condition.

Rob Harmer, Headmaster: “As a school we are always looking at ways to support local charities and give back to our community. We know the impact that JIA has on Caleb’s life, and that of his family, and were very keen to support this fundraising event. I am so proud of how all the children got involved, and very grateful to our school families who have given so generously to our fundraising.”

The school’s Just Giving page,  has raised over £570, more than four times the target.

Melanie Marchant, parent at St. Mary’s School: “JIA is inflammation in joints, that make them hot, swollen and painful. It can be found in any joint however in our son it is in both his knees and ankles. Around 1 in every thousand children have arthritis. It can be difficult to tell when a child has arthritis as their pain is on the inside. It is hard for us when Caleb has a flare as he is tired, angry and sad. It makes us sad when he can’t do the things he wants to do as he is in pain. It is important for us to raise awareness about juvenile arthritis and raise money so that a cure can be found and to find out more about what causes it.”

Caleb Marchant, Year 6 pupil at St. Mary’s School: “I was diagnosed 2 years ago after the arthritis in my left knee prevented me from walking. Having arthritis has really affected me because it sometimes stops me from the doing things I want to do. I feel tired and worn out when I have a flare. I take lots of medicine to help me with the pain, I also need physio to help me strengthen my knees and ankles. Sometimes I feel upset, especially when I can’t do something I want to do because of the pain, especially sports. I love playing football, but it hurts my knees and ankles.  I also get sick a lot because the arthritis makes my immune system weak. we raise awareness of juvenile arthritis as it impacts other children and not just me. Please donate what you can.”

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