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Key Facts for Journalists

Who are NRAS?

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is the only UK patient organisation supporting those affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) as well as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). Founded in 2001, NRAS also supports the families of those living with RA or JIA as well as the health professionals who treat them.

Due to NRAS’ targeted focus on RA and JIA, the charity provides truly expert and wide-ranging services to support, educate, provide resources to and campaign for people living with these complex autoimmune conditions.

Quick facts about RA and JIA

More than 450,000 adults in the UK (around 1%) have rheumatoid arthritis. There are approximately 12,000 children in the UK with JIA, which represents 1 in every 1,000 children under the age of 16. 

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

RA is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, causing inflammation stiffness, pain and extreme fatigue. If left untreated, the joint can lose its shape and alignment and lead to permanent disability. It tends to affect joints in the hands and feet first, however it is a systemic disease and can affect the entire body, including organs such as the lungs, heart and eyes. 

What is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)?

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is an umbrella term for six clinical patterns of inflammatory arthritis of unknown cause in children under 16 years of age. JIA causes inflammation in the joints, although it can also affect the eyes and other organs.

Topic experts and spokespeople available to media

Ailsa Bosworth MBE, National Patient Champion

Ailsa Bosworth was about 30 years old when she was diagnosed with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. Her journey with the disease led her to found a national charity, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS). The society operates from its offices in Maidenhead, where they now have 24 staff. The NRAS is providing valuable services for people with rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis—a one-stop shop for people living with the disease. Ailsa was awarded an MBE for services to people with RA in 2016. Read more about Ailsa’s story here.

Clare Jacklin, Chief Executive

Clare joined NRAS in 2007 and took over as Chief Executive from Founder Ailsa Bosworth in 2019. Clare has been instrumental in developing many new services to support those living with RA and JIA; she has worked on many campaigns to highlight the issues faced by those with inflammatory arthritis and has advocated on national and international forums for improving care and access to treatments.

The charity is given great support by a board of medical advisors led by Chief Medical Advisor, Professor Peter Taylor, Norman Collisson Professor of Musculoskeletal Sciences, Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford, alongside NRAS Scottish Patron, Professor Iain McInnes, Vice Principal and Head of College, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow and EULAR past President Elect.

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Press Enquiries

For any queries regarding NRAS, RA or JIA, please contact our Marketing and Communications team at or call 01628 823 524.

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