Iconic buildings light up blue for World Arthritis Day

13 October 2023
National Botanic Garden Wales lit up blue for World Arthritis Day

To mark World Arthritis Day (12 October), iconic buildings across Wales and Northern Ireland lit up blue to raise awareness of arthritis – a condition which is too often ignored and misunderstood. 

Why did buildings light up blue for World Arthritis Day?

Building lit up blue for World Arthritis Day in Northern IrelandRight now, as many as 974,000 people live with arthritis or musculoskeletal conditions in Wales. And 525,000 people live with arthritis or musculoskeletal conditions in Northern Ireland.  

But many more remain undiagnosed, untreated, and unsupported.  

The impact of arthritis can be huge, yet for a condition affecting so many, far too little is done. That’s why we’re working with councils across the UK to reach out to communities and let people know they are not alone. 

“We are thrilled that so many locations... are showing their support for our community on World Arthritis Day,” says Sara Graham, Head of Northern Ireland at Versus Arthritis said. “Seeing buildings lit up in blue is a wonderful reminder to those with arthritis that they are not alone."

Which buildings lit up for World Arthritis Day? 

National Library in Wales lit up blue for World Arthritis Day27 buildings across the Wales and Northern Ireland lit up blue for World Arthritis Day, including: 

  • Cardiff Castle 
  • University Hospital Wales 
  • National Botanical Garden of Wales 
  • The National Library of Wales 
  • Enniskillen Castle 
  • Derry City Council Office 
  • Strule Arts Centre, Omagh. 

Share your story  

We know that many people with arthritis struggle in silence. But you deserve to be heard. That’s why we’re asking you to share your story, so we can change the way the world sees arthritis.

Gareth, 40, from Lisbane, Northern Ireland, lives with osteoarthritis. He says his condition impacted his work and family life, but the support we’ve given him has “completely changed [his] life.” 

Smiling Gareth wearing glassesHere he shares his story: 

“I was off work for a long period of time due to arthritis in my foot and I had to give up my own business as it just wasn’t possible for me continue climbing up scaffolding and ladders every day anymore.

"Being a parent of two children, age 9 and 19, there was certain expectations of me like running around and playing football that started to feel more and more difficult.” 

“My GP referred me to a self-management course run by Verus Arthritis. Over the 6 weeks, I learnt techniques that helped me deal with my condition on a day-to-day basis. The programme left me with a collection of self-management skills to help with diet, exercise, pain, and coping with low mood and depression.” 

“What was supposed to be a ‘stop-gap’ service with Versus Arthritis while I was on a waiting list completely changed my life.

The biggest thing I took away from the course was the importance of physical activity and exercise. I have now just started working self-employed again, teaching exercise classes for people with a variety of health conditions such as arthritis, giving me a whole new purpose and outlook on life.” 

Joint Health  

ITN presenter beside screen which reads 'Joint Health'This World Arthritis Day, we're also thrilled to launch ‘Joint Health’. Made in partnership with ITN Business, this programme showcases advances in joint healthcare, treatments and research for people impacted by the pain and fatigue of arthritis.

To see a world without arthritis, we need to change the way the world sees it. It starts one conversation at a time, raising as much awareness as possible, and ensuring the voices of people living with arthritis are heard.