Our Young Adult Advisory Panel take on My WALK IT 2024 - Paige's Story

For those who aren't already aware, Crohn's & Colitis UK has its very own Young Adults Advisory Panel (YAAP). This panel's primary focus is to provide strategic input and recommendations on issues that require a young adult’s perspective to better understand and meet the needs of young adults with Crohn’s and Colitis. They help shape the direction of our charity, offering valuable insights and guidance. The panel is actively involved in various initiatives and events, including 2024's My WALK IT. Join us as we chat with some of the panel members about their motivations, experiences on the panel, and their involvement in My WALK IT.

In today's blog, we're catching up with Paige!

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Paige, I am 27 years old. I work as a Trainee Health Psychologist in the NHS, and I am currently in my final year of the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology.

Can you share a bit about your journey with Ulcerative Colitis and how it has impacted your life?

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 10 years ago when I was 17 years old and at the time I was undertaking my A Levels with hopes of going to university. My diagnosis came as a huge shock and within the first year I had two severe acute flare ups which required hospitalisation. I had never imagined that I would be writing my personal statement for university from a hospital ward but that became my reality. This was a particularly difficult time as I did not know what my future would look like.

However, fast forward 10 years and I have achieved more than I could have imagined with a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. I moved away for university, I have been travelling and I’ve attended festivals – all whilst having UC. 

Yes, there have been bumps along the road when it has flared up and I’m sure I will face more challenges again in the future, but I also do not think that I would be the person I am today if it wasn’t for my diagnosis 10 years ago.


Living with Ulcerative Colitis

What made you choose to volunteer on the Young Adults Advisory Panel?

I wanted to give something back to Crohn’s & Colitis UK as they have been a consistent source of support over the years. Additionally, I had developed an interest in the impact of long-term health conditions in young adulthood from my doctorate. Therefore, this felt like the perfect panel to be part of to advocate for young adults like myself with Crohn’s or Colitis.

What sort of activities have you been involved in so far, through the Young Advisory Panel with Crohn’s & Colitis UK?

So far we have been involved with a several meetings with the charity to input on a variety of areas. Most recently, we provided advice regarding membership and branding for Crohn’s & Colitis UK.

For anyone thinking of volunteering, what words of advice would you give them?

I would tell them that if they have the time and energy to commit to volunteering then it is 100% worth pursuing. Not only is it a wonderful way to give back, it also provides opportunities to understand the workings of a charity and to network with other people with Crohn’s or Colitis.

Why did the Young Adults Advisory Panel want to get involved in My WALK IT 2024 what were your motivations?

We really wanted to do a fundraiser event to give back to the charity financially and My WALK IT 2024 seemed like the perfect event for us to contribute to as a panel and individually too. I love the flexibility that My WALK IT provides as you can choose the challenge that you feel is appropriate for you.

What are you most looking forward to through your My WALK IT challenge?

I am going to be walking from Bristol to Bath so I am most looking forward to the scenic views along the way. I am just hoping that the weather is on my side that day!

Do you have any plans to keep you motivated throughout the challenge?

My boyfriend has kindly offered to do the walk with me so I am sure having him to talk to will keep me motivated along the walk! My family and my dog will also be meeting me at the end of the walk in Bath so that will be a great motivation! Plus, lots of snacks and a good playlist!!

What advice would you give to someone who has recently been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease/Colitis or suspects they may have it?

My advice to someone who suspects they have Crohn’s or Colitis would be to use the symptom checker and go to the doctors because the sooner the diagnosis, the sooner you will be provided with a treatment plan and support.

I would also recommend reaching out to other people who have Crohn’s & Colitis because having someone to talk to who understands the condition first hand has really helped me over the years.

In what ways has living with Ulcerative Colitis changed your perspective on life?

Having ulcerative colitis has completely changed my perspective in life as it emphasised to me that your health really is the most valuable thing in your life. It has also encouraged me to live my life to the full when I can because you never really know when it may flare up again. I think in terms of resilience, I have always had the mindset that I need to push through with life despite my UC. However, following a recent flare up I think that being kind to yourself when you can’t do things is part of being resilient too.

Interested in becoming one of our volunteers?

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, develop new skills and make a difference to everyone affected by Crohn’s and Colitis. Click the button to find out more.



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We know it can be difficult to live with, or support someone living with these conditions. But you’re not alone. We provide up-to-date, evidence-based information and can support you to live well with Crohn’s or Colitis.

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