Juvenile arthritis can be life-changing for young people and with many initially thinking the symptoms are just growing pains but it is important for diagnosis to be made as early as possible.

The paediatric rheumatology team at Southend Hospital organised an event at the unit where children with arthritis could meet others with the same conditions.

One of those at the get together was Poppy Finch, 16, and her mum, Debbie from Southend. Poppy said: “When people think of arthritis they think of it as in one joint, but I have it in most of mine, in my ankles, knees, shoulders, hips and spine. It stops me doing a lot of things that teenagers do, like going to parties, and means that I have to miss quite a bit of school being in hospital.”