Who we are

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is the only patient-led organisation in the UK specialising in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Read below to find out how NRAS was founded, its vision and mission, and the people that work behind-the-scenes.

From the Chief Executive

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS), is the only patient-led organisation in the UK specialising in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Due to its targeted focus on RA and JIA, NRAS provides truly expert and wide-ranging services to support, educate and campaign for people living with these complex autoimmune conditions, their families and the health professionals who treat them.

Their vision is to support all with RA or JIA to live life to the full with an underpinning mission to:

  • support everyone living with the impact of RA or JIA at the start and every step of their journey
  • to inform – be their first choice for reliable information, and
  • empower all to have a voice and take control of their RA or JIA

NRAS was founded in 2001 by Ailsa Bosworth MBE, who now acts as NRAS National Patient Champion having led the charity as CEO for 18 years.

We take pride in the fact that everything we stand for and do is patient-led. Our head office team of staff works closely with all of our NRAS Members and Volunteers, the Board of Trustees and our panel of Medical and Allied Health Professional Advisors to design, coordinate, fund and deliver a comprehensive and wide range of high quality products and member services for all affected by RA and JIA. 

With best wishes

Clare Jacklin

About Us

Our Vision

Life without limits for all those with RA or JIA.

Our Mission

To enable the RA & JIA community to thrive by providing access to

  • Support
  • Engagement
  • Expert Knowledge
  • Research
  • Campaigning

all of which is informed by those living with these complex and currently incurable auto-immune diseases.

Our Core Values  

We approach our commitment to all, with empathy, knowledge, professionalism, passion and enthusiasm. We continually strive to achieve the best outcome we can for those supporting and living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The core values which underpin the way that we work are:

NRAS aims to nurture individuals’ knowledge and skills to obtain the very best outcomes for themselves. Nurturing the aspirations of all colleagues, Volunteers, Members and all those living with or affected by inflammatory arthritis to achieve their life goals.

As an evidenced based patient organisation you can rely on NRAS to bring you the most up to date and reliable information on rheumatoid and juvenile arthritis. NRAS can be relied upon to advocate and campaign on behalf of all those living with RA or JIA to ensure equitable access to best care.

NRAS aspire to deliver the best RA and JIA services with the aim to achieve a future where a diagnosis of RA or JIA no longer overburdens the individual, their families or the health service and that people can thrive and achieve their life’s ambitions despite having RA or JIA.

NRAS exists to support all those affected by RA or JIA, their families, their health professionals as well as the entire rheumatology community. NRAS supports ground-breaking research including clinical, social and observational studies.

The NRAS Team

Former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Maidenhead

The life and times of our second woman Prime Minister are documented at length elsewhere!

Theresa has been the MP for Maidenhead since 1997 and it was in her capacity as constituency MP that she first supported our founder and Chief Executive, Ailsa Bosworth, who could not, at that time, access the treatment she needed. After the launch of the charity, in 2001, Theresa enthusiastically engaged with NRAS by attending local events and regularly meeting with Ailsa to hear about the issues that matter to people with RA. It was shortly after we were founded that she became our patron.

In her time as Home Secretary from 2010-16, Theresa continued to be generous with her more limited time and has continued to host our biennial Healthcare Champions Awards in the Houses of Parliament and to attend an annual event in the local area. Shortly before becoming Prime Minister, Theresa kindly facilitated a meeting with the then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb MP at our request. The productive meeting provided us with an opportunity to update Theresa and Stephen on the work of NRAS and the challenges faced by people with RA in accessing the welfare system. Now, as Prime Minister, we look forward to a renewed relationship with her as our patron whilst recognising her increased time pressures.

As a charity, we are apolitical and it’s important to state that we are likely to disagree at times with decisions made by governments of which ever political hue, but this should not prevent us from being a critical friend in order to be able to engage effectively.

Whilst very grateful for the patronage of the former Prime Minister, we continue to engage with politicians in all parties and in all areas of the UK.

Former NRAS Trustee and Fundraiser

Mark was born in 1954 and at 26 was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. He woke up one morning in agony, with no prior warning and has not looked back since! Mark has had multiple operations to his ankles, hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists and extensive surgery to both hands. He has also undergone discectomy/fusions and 2 spinal spacer back operations as well as having a heart attack requiring stent procedure and a haemorrhalgic stroke.

He was a board director of one of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers but took early retirement in 2005 due to ill health, as the illness has seriously affected his neck and he found his full time job too much to cope with.  Mark was a trustee for NRAS for a number of years and we are delighted he has chosen to stay involved with the charity as a patron. He has worked hard to establish networks in the North East and Cumbria, where he is based, and has a particular interest in fundraising. He says he ‘was delighted to discover NRAS and is eager to help give something back’.

cD, MD, FRCP Consultant Rheumatologist

After six years as NRAS Chief Medical Advisor Professor Panayi has very kindly agreed to become an NRAS Patron.

He has worked tirelessly on our behalf throughout this period and has been a staunch supporter of the charity. We are delighted that he has agreed to take up this new role and look forward to working with him in the future. 

A few words from Professor Panayi:

“I am honoured, proud and very happy to become a Patron of NRAS joining Theresa May MP who has given her time and energy so unstintingly to the Society. I have spent a professional lifetime as an academic rheumatologist. As arc Professor of Rheumatology I had three important functions: the provision of clinical rheumatology to patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis; the teaching of medical students, trainee rheumatologists and members of professions allied to rheumatology (nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists); and research into the mechanisms of inflammation that cause joint damage with the resultant problems of pain, disability, loss of work and social isolation of patients. All three of these activities are clearly intertwined for I have always felt that clinical practice focuses one’s attention on the patients and their problems and is thus a powerful force directing the type of research to be done. Furthermore, the outcome of research, if not applied back in the form of new treatments in the clinic and if not transmitted to future practitioners of rheumatology, is sterile. 

However, despite these endeavours I have always felt that there was a fourth ingredient missing from my professional endeavours. The missing ingredient was the political dimension of patient power. Political activities by doctors on behalf of their patients can always be misinterpreted as promotion of professional self-interest. No such jaundiced viewpoint can be expressed, at least openly, when patients are using political means to achieve more funding and thus better treatment, for in health care, just as in other spheres of life, competition for resources is a reality. However, although there were many organisations promoting the interests of patients with rheumatic diseases there was no organisation that specifically campaigned for those with rheumatoid arthritis. This was a curious and unexplained gap. I could not see how this gap could be filled until I met Ailsa Bosworth. We hit it off from the very beginning. As we know, she took on the Herculean task of organising NRAS. And as we know, she has made it into a successful, truly national charity that is recognised internationally. I have been very happy to support all the activities of NRAS but I have been particularly happy to answer the questions and the worries of patients directed at me via their emails as NRAS National Medical Adviser.

Now, in my new capacity as Patron, I will of course continue this support. Indeed, as Professor Emeritus of Rheumatology at King’s College London, I have more time and will hopefully contribute even more.”

Retired Consultant Rheumatologist, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital since 1988; Hon.

Professor to University of East Anglia; Clinical Director of Norfolk & Suffolk Comprehensive Local Research Network; RCP Patient Involvement Officer; Past Chief Medical Advisor to NRAS;  Medical Adviser to Raynaud’s & Scleroderma Assoc; long-standing interest in systemic vasculitis with over 250 reviews/editorials/papers; other research interests: epidemiology of rheumatoid arthritis (Norfolk Arthritis Register), clinical, health, economic and psychosocial aspects and their relevance to the introduction of biologic therapy

Professor Peter Taylor

Norman Collisson Professor of Musculoskeletal Sciences, Head of Experimental Rheumatology

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Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford

Professor Iain McInnes

Vice-Principal and Head of College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Muirhead Chair of Medicine/Versus Arthritis Professor of Rheumatology

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University of Glasgow

Dr James Galloway

Senior Clinical Lecturer at King's College London and Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology, King's College Hospital

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King’s College London/King’s College Hospital

Dr Marwan Bukhari

Consultant Rheumatologist at Morecambe Bay NHS Trust and Honorary Senior lecturer at Manchester University

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University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust/ Manchester University

Dr Kanta Kumar

Lecturer at University of Birmingham and Hon Professor, PGI, India. Programme Director: MSc Advanced Practice in healthcare (International), Module Lead: MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice

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Institute of Clinical Sciences,  College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham

Professor Patrick Kiely

Consultant Rheumatologist/ Professor of Practice, Clinical Rheumatology

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St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust/ Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education, St George’s, University of London

Evelina London Children’s Hospital

CREATE Centre, Section of Rheumatology, Cardiff University School of Medicine

Digital Technology Advisor

University of Southampton, Solent NHS Trust, Central Southampton Primary Care Network

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust

Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust

Dr Elena Nikiphorou

Consultant Rheumatologist at King’s College Hospital & Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Centre for Rheumatic Diseases, School of Immunology and Microbial Sciences at King’s College London

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King’s College Hospital/ King’s College London

Haywood Hospital, Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust and Keele University

NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton

Honiton Surgery & Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Metropolitan University

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Elizabeth MacPhie

Consultant Rheumatologist, Associate Medical Director (Physical Health), Clinical Lead for Central Lancashire Moving Well

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Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr Jenny Humphreys

Presidential Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis, Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist, Manchester Royal Infirmary

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University of Manchester Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Children’s Hospital for Wales, Cardiff

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Dr Jon Packham

Consultant rheumatologist with an interest in paediatric rheumatology and Honorary associate clinical professor – University of Nottingham

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Haywood Hospital, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Clare Jacklin

Chief Executive

Helen Ball

Finance Director

Ailsa Bosworth

NRAS National Patient Champion

Stuart Munday

Director of Fundraising and Marketing

Tim Chaplin

Head of Services

Meera Chauhan

Head of Data

Sally Matthews

Research Coordinator

Victoria Butler

Information Resource Manager

Sarah Watford

Senior Information and Support Coordinator

Debbie Wilson

Young Persons Project Manager

Tracy Bracher

Membership Manager

Riyaz Bhaiyat

Volunteer & Engagement Manager

Helen Saich

Trusts and Company Giving Fundraiser

Debbie Skinner

Information and Support Coordinator

Emma Sanders

Individual Giving Fundraiser

Raman Bhamra

Fundraising & Marketing Officer

Emma Spicer

Trusts and Giving Manager

Eleanor Keenan

Marketing and Communications Officer

Anita Masih

Digital Marketing Manager

Geoff West

Digital Marketing Officer

Aribah Rizvi

Digital Marketing Assistant

Lynne Flemming

Information & Support Coordinator

Sam Grant-Riach

Office Manager

Lynne Brennan

Services Administrator

Truna Patel

Finance Assistant

Kim Watts

Executive Assistant to Clare Jacklin

Naomie Bwalya

Volunteer Coordinator

Hannah Jacklin

RA Support Coordinator

Simon is a chartered engineer who has spent the majority of his career working in engineering consultancy in the rail and highway sectors. His experience includes business leadership with responsibility for service delivery, commercial management and business performance. He is keen to apply the experience gained during his career for the benefit of NRAS, and to maximise the help it can bring to people with RA. 

Simon became aware of the enormously valuable work of NRAS through his wife Sarah, a long-term RA sufferer and NRAS member. Through her involvement with NRAS he has been able to appreciate the extensive range of services which the organisation provides, and the positive impact it makes on the lives of those living with RA. 

As Chair of the Board of Trustees Simon works closely with Clare, her Management Team and the Board to provide strategic direction to NRAS, ensuring sound finances and securing a sustainable future for the charity. Our aim is to continue to broaden the reach and appeal of NRAS amongst all those who suffer from RA and JIA and provide them with the best available support and understanding.  

Simon has three step children and lives in Gloucestershire with Sarah and their two dogs. 

Peter C. Taylor was appointed to the Norman Collisson chair of Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford in 2011 and is a Fellow of St. Peter’s College Oxford. He was born in London and studied pre-clinical medical sciences at Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge. He subsequently studied clinical medicine at the University of Oxford and was awarded a PhD degree in 1996 from the University of London. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2000 and a distinguished member of the British Society for Rheumatology in 2016. In the summer of 2015, Peter was appointed Chief Medical Advisor to the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and has always had the highest admiration for the outstanding contribution that the charity makes to helping people living with rheumatoid arthritis lead a full and active life. Peter has worked closely with Ailsa, founder of NRAS, and with Clare and her team in negotiations with NICE regarding access to advanced treatments.

Peter has specialist clinical interests in rheumatoid arthritis and over thirty years’ experience in clinical trial design and leadership in studies of biologic and small molecular therapies including the earliest seminal trials of anti-TNF and anti-IL-6 receptor therapy as well as JAK inhibitors. He also has research interests in wellbeing measures and approaches to holistic care beyond pharmacological intervention alone.

Peter and his wife live in Oxfordshire. They have two adult children and a passion for the countryside and classical music.

Anna Woolf is the Director of London Arts and Health, as well as being a PhD candidate at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. As the Director of London Arts and Health, she supports artists, creative practitioners and health professionals across the whole of the Capital and beyond, promoting excellence and engagement in the field of arts and wellbeing. The organisation aims to extend the reach of the arts to communities and individuals who would otherwise be excluded as the leading sector support organisation, advocating for arts and health in London. Anna’s PhD research examines socially engaged and participatory art, health and applied theatre in relation to teenagers living with the complex autoimmune disease Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Prior to beginning her PhD studies, Anna has worked for a range of companies and engaged in a number of research and teaching projects both at Central and Goldsmith’s University of London. Her specialisms include working with young people from primary school through to University age, coupled with digital practices in particular. Her work spans the interdisciplinary nature of applied theatre and digital practices such as social media, online communities, filmmaking and digital facilitation. Anna has a connection to Rheumatoid Arthritis as the daughter of Ailsa Bosworth, the founder of NRAS. She brings marketing, research and a background and interest in arts and health expertise to the board. Anna has two daughters and lives in London with her husband.

Richard has worked for Anglian Water for most of his career and has been Business Change & Strategy Director for the past six years. Richard has a wide range of experience, from day to day operations through to the disposal of international companies. His current role involves the development of business strategy and its implementation, managing investment decisions as well as risk management across the group. 

Having been diagnosed with RA in 2015, the NRAS website was one of the first sites Richard visited to understand more about RA. Recognising the benefit NRAS gives to those newly diagnosed with RA he is keen to support and contribute to our work. Richard has been very active in charity work, chairing the company’s WaterAid fundraising committee since 2011, experience he hopes will also benefit NRAS. 

Richard is married with four children, and is keen to remain as active as possible – enjoying most sports, especially cycling, swimming and climbing.

Lindsey has over  20 years’ experience working alongside executive level authorities in the Life sciences, charities and the NHS sectors.  She is an accomplished project manager, having led several high profile, award-winning national healthcare projects, and has also contributed to the development of national policy.  In addition to these achievements, she co-founded ‘Wicked Minds’ in 2012, a healthcare consultancy firm specialising in creating bespoke solutions to ‘Wicked problems’ in health and social care. Prior to setting up the company she held various senior roles within the Pharmaceutical Industry, where she contributed to patient advocacy, policy change, programme development, strategy development, and multi-sector partnership working. 

Lindsey has a BSc Hons in Biology and has held significant board appointments mainly within the health sector including as a Board Member, Chairperson and Vice Chair.  In addition to the healthcare consultancy Lindsey’s also a Non-Executive Director, Mentor, Trustee for Anglia Care Trust,  Board Member of the NHS Chemotherapy Clinical Reference Group and Eastern Academic Health Science Network Innovation Review Panel Member. Lindsey wanted to use her healthcare knowledge to support NRAS and became a Trustee in 2020 

Lindsey is married to Darren and has 2 miniature Yorkshire Terriers called Barkley and Peanut. She is a keen hiker and traveller.

Rich works for ScoutsCymru as Head of Strategy supporting the Organisations Groups across Wales. He has a wide range of experience within the Voluntary Sector including Charity Governance, Volunteer support, Communications and External Affairs. 

 Having been diagnosed with RA in 2014, NRAS was the organisation Rich turned to for support and advice in understanding the condition. Living in Wales and at the time NRAS was creating its Campaigns Networks, Rich wanted to put some of experiences forward and took on a role within the NRAS Welsh Ambassadors, supporting the Organisations work in lobbying Welsh Government and engaging with stakeholders to move Rheumatology services forward in Wales, including supporting the work of JIA at NRAS in the campaign for a Paediatric Rheumatology Service for Wales. 

 Rich is married with four children, and enjoys visiting Historical sites and baking.

Eleanor has worked in various roles in the Civil Service. Currently in the Cabinet Office, she focuses on digital and data policy working to make the UK a great place for citizens and businesses to be online. Before this, Eleanor was at University studying Human Sciences – a course combining genetics, statistics, sociology and demography.  

Eleanor was diagnosed with JIA when she was 12. It is a cause particularly close to her and her family as her mum and grandad both suffer. She is particularly interested in JIA and services NRAS provides to young people, chairing the NRAS Young Voices committee alongside her work as a Trustee.  

Now living with friends in London, Eleanor grew up in Warwickshire. She enjoys keeping busy cycling, skiing and climbing as well as socialising with friends and family. 

Simone Webb was born and raised in London and is a first-generation Jamaican migrant. After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a Biology undergraduate in 2018, Simone chose to focus her academic research on the immune system and what constitutes a ‘normal’ immune system. She is now a PhD researcher in Bioinformatics and Immunology at Newcastle University, where she researches how blood and immune cells form during fetal development.  

Simone has several years of experience working within decision-making bodies in the charity sector, which began with a seven-year service on the UK and international Youth Advisory Panels for the children’s rights charity, Plan UK. Simone is keen to bring her knowledge of science, diversity and inclusion and RA diagnosis in young people to the future work of NRAS. Simone enjoys cooking and listening to music in her spare time.  

Jim is a qualified Chartered Accountant, who has worked across practice and industry for almost 25 years. Following his most recent role as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Institute of Directors, Jim has switched his focus to working as a portfolio CFO, helping entrepreneurial businesses deliver their strategy.

Jim became aware of the support provided by NRAS through his wife Sophie, when she was diagnosed with RA in 2010 at the age of 30. From seeing the support and advice that was on offer to his wife in understanding the condition, Jim has been really able to appreciate the positive impact it makes on the lives of those who live with RA. In recent times, NRAS has also been the go to place for her in seeking information around COVID-19 vaccines and their potential impact on people with RA.

Jim joined as a Trustee in 2021 and aims to put his knowledge of finance and business to good use in helping Clare and the NRAS team to support its member and to continue to raise awareness of RA and JIA. 

Jim lives in London with his wife and son, along with their dog and two cats. He enjoys most sports and is a keen runner and cyclist. 

NRAS in 2021

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