Young Adults Working Group (YAWG) – Barcelona 2012
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In February, 2012, the YAWG met in Barcelona. The YAWG is one of many working groups formed by the Euro-HD Network (EHDN). Most of the working groups are clinical or research focused, but the YAWG is for young adults around the world who are impacted by HD. The purpose of the YAWG is to improve support networks for young people in countries around the world and the group generally meets 1-2 times a year in various locations.
It was the turn of Barcelona, Spain, to host the YAWG meeting. Around 30 young people and several professionals from various countries turned up for the meeting. On the day, each young person representing their country took the time to discuss the situation in their region and the steps that needed to be taken to improve support for young people there. These steps are noted and the YAWG works together to try and assist each other to take these steps in their country. Two research updates of importance to young people were highlighted by professionals and young adults, as well as a lengthy discussion on the possible creation of young adult HD clinics.
HDYO was also in attendance to update the YAWG on the progress of the organisation. Did you know? The idea for HDYO was first presented at a YAWG in Prague in 2010. A launch party was also held, after the meeting, in HDYO's honour (wasn't that nice of them)!
The following morning saw an extra meeting than normal, which was completely HDYO focused. This enabled us to give the young adults, many of whom volunteer their time for HDYO, an opportunity to hear what the plans are for HDYO moving forwards, give their thoughts and opinions, as well as get to know the HDYO team better. It was another productive trip for both the YAWG and HDYO. The next meeting is scheduled to coincide with the EHDN Convention in September, which will be at Stockholm!