Who we are

JIA-at-NRAS is a part of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS). We design, coordinate, fund and deliver a comprehensive and wide range of high quality products and services for all affected by RA and JIA.

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at NRAS

JIA-at-NRAS is a service launched by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.

From the Chief Executive

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society was founded in 2001 and is the only UK charity devoted specifically to offering support, information and advocacy for those living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and since 2014 those living with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

In 2012 NRAS conducted a review of JIA and JIA services across the UK with a view to being able to start to provide a much more comprehensive service for families and young people affected by JIA.

The first thing we did was to spend a year producing a major report, ‘A Focus on JIA’ by visiting rheumatology and paediatric rheumatology centres across the UK to find out what the state of JIA service provision was. We talked to many different clinicians and allied health professionals, parents, young people with JIA and NHS Managers and effectively mapped what service provision looked like. 

It is important to be clear to anyone affected by JIA who is reading this or interacting with our JIA-at-NRAS web area that JIA and RA are not the same while they are both inflammatory forms of arthritis they do differ in many ways.  Very importantly JIA does not ‘become’ RA after the age of 16. If you are diagnosed with JIA, then you continue to have JIA, unless your disease goes into remission, after the age of 16. Another important aspect of JIA is that it is not one disease, it has a number of different types and you can read about the different types here.

This website for those affected by JIA will provide you with the information about JIA and living with JIA which you are seeking,

With best wishes

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Clare Jacklin

NRAS CEO

About Us

Our Vision

Supporting all with RA or JIA to live life to the full

Our Mission

We will:

  • Support everyone living with the impact of RA and JIA at the start and at every stage of their journey
  • Inform – be their first choice for reliable information
  • Empower – all to have a voice and take control of their RA or JIA

Our Core Values  

We approach our commitment and responsibilities to all with empathy, professionalism, passion and enthusiasm. We continually strive to achieve the best results and outcomes that we can for those we represent. These core values underpin the way we work. 

At all times, we act: 

We work openly and ethically, with integrity, honesty and independence.

We are creative and constantly challenge the status quo, always striving for better and looking for new ways to add value, whilst basing what we say and do on the best evidence and our Members’ experiences.

Our staff are not just enthusiastic and committed, they are passionate about making a positive difference for all those we represent.

We work with many different organisations, contributing significantly to alliances and coalitions.

We are results focused and deliver on our projects and campaigns. Our many awards are testament to our achievements.

We act with sensitivity and compassion, respecting the needs and preferences of the individual regardless of nationality, creed, gender, age or ethnicity, while at the same time representing the entire community affected by RA or JIA in the UK, encompassing adults and young people, families, carers and rheumatology healthcare professionals.

Ailsa Bosworth

NRAS National Patient Champion

Clare Jacklin

Chief Executive

Iain McNicol

Head of RA Services

Helen Ball

Finance Director

Samuel Lawes

Policy and Communications Manager

Stuart Munday

Director of Fundraising & Marketing

Caroline Pryer

Senior Information and Support Coordinator

Sarah Watford

Information and Support Coordinator

Debbie Skinner

Information and Support Coordinator

Nadine Garland

Support Services Manager

Victoria Butler

Publications and Information Resource Manager

Emma Bartlett

Services Administrator

Raman Fenech

Events Fundraiser

Tracy Bracher

Membership Officer

Emma Sanders

Individual Giving Officer

Bronwen Cranfield

Community Fundraiser

Helen Saich

Trusts and Company Giving Fundraiser

Emma Spicer

Trusts and Giving Manager

Shivam Arora

Web and Digital Media Manager

Will Hayes

Database Manager

Anita Masih

Digital Marketing Officer

Truna Patel

Finance Assistant

Janet Brewer

Engagement Manager

Sam Grant-Riach

Office Manager

Eleanor Keenan

Marketing and Communications Officer

Kim Fitchett

Executive Assistant to Clare Jacklin

Lynne Fleming

Receptionist & Office Administrator

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. 

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.

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.

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.  

Gordon has worked in Marketing and General Management with a focus on Health Care for over 30 years in Blue Chip companies such as Procter & Gamble, Danone Nutricia and Smith & Nephew and is currently Head of International Marketing at Alcon.  In addition to his broad commercial leadership he brings experience in collaborating with Health Care Professionals on new therapies, developing high performing diverse teams and corporate governance projects such as risk management.    

As members of his immediate family have autoimmune diseases, Gordon understands all too well the impact inflammatory conditions such as RA can have on patients and carers, and what is needed in terms of solutions and support to enable them continue to do the things they enjoy.  

As an active member of the Board of Trustees, he is committed to working closely with Clare and her Management Team to ensure we maintain a solid, sustainable strategic plan, and regular review of our activities to ensure NRAS continues to do the best possible job to support all with RA or JIA to live life to the full. 

Gordon is married to Fiona, a chartered Physiotherapist, with 3 grown up children, and after many years living & working abroad, now live in the New Forest with their cats, dogs & horses. They also enjoy sailing, skiing and fell walking.

Zoë has worked in the City of London for 25 years and currently runs a specialist executive search business which finds Research and Quantitative Analysts on behalf of banks and fund managers. 

Diagnosed with RA in her thirties (while working for an Inter-dealer Broker) she found NRAS’s information hugely supportive, enabling her to continue to work full time in an intensely competitive and unforgiving environment.  

Outside of trustee duties Zoë has a particular interest in RA Scientific Research and Audit. She was the first patient lead for the National Audit for Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory Arthritis and continues to work with researchers and clinicians looking to reduce variation in RA care.  Zoë also supports NRAS by helping to raise the profile of personalised medicine in RA. She is lay chair of a European Stratified Medicine Initiative/consortium MATURA and also is the patient RA advisor for 3TR – an international project which is looking to share personalised treatment trial findings across 7 autoimmune conditions. 

Zoë lives in Teddington with her husband. In her spare time she can be found pottering in Bushy Park with her Shih Tzu George. 

Kirsten is a partner at KPMG, working in the office of general counsel and specialising in employment law. She leads a team that advises KPMG on all internal partner and employment related issues. She is experienced in managing senior stakeholders and multi skilled teams and Kirsten is former chair of the UK In House Employment Lawyers network. 

Kirsten understands the impact that RA can have on individuals and their family, as a very close family member has moderate to severe RA. She is keen to use her personal and business knowledge to help NRAS to support its members and to raise awareness of RA. 

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. 

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.

Steve has worked for more than 30 years in Finance including 19 years at Price Waterhouse Coopers, the last 6 years of which was as a partner specialising in due diligence and advisory work. He has had Chief Finance Officer roles in a listed plc and in private equity companies where he has helped businesses achieve significant growth.

For the past 4 years he has been Finance Director for The Good Care Group specializing in live-in care for the elderly, particularly those with dementia, which he has helped grow from a start-up to a significant business. Steve is keen to put his knowledge of finance and the healthcare sector to good use helping NRAS continue to develop as the same time as maintaining appropriate financial disciplines.

Steve is married and has 5 grown up children / step children. He is a keen golfer and a wine and food enthusiast!

Jane Willock qualified as RGN and RSCN in Manchester in 1985. She specialised in paediatric renal nursing and was appointed as Senior Nurse in Paediatric Nephrology in Cardiff in 1998. In 2006 she took up a post as a paediatric nurse practitioner in the Children’s Investigation Unit (Medical Day Case Unit) where she gained experience of rheumatology whilst caring for children with inflammatory conditions. At the beginning of 2011 she was appointed Clinical Nurse Specialist in Children’s Rheumatology. In addition to her clinical posts, she is also as senior lecturer in children’s nursing at the University of South Wales (previously the University of Glamorgan) and is a qualified independent prescriber.

Sarah Hartfree trained and qualified as an RGN at Surrey University. She gained a wide experience base within paediatric nursing including work within the intensive care setting.  Sarah has also worked in the clinical skills arena where she has used her knowledge and skills of paediatric care to educate medical students. Sarah is the Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Rheumatology Department at Southampton General Hospital and is the support link for the paediatric rheumatology service.

Nick is the paediatric rheumatology consultant for the Evelina Children’s Hospital, London and is on the BSPAR executive where he has set up the national BSPAR parents group and supported the national survey run by NRAS. Currently setting up the new service covering South London and South East Coastal Region, Nick specialises not just in paediatric rheumatology, but adolescent rheumatology, chronic pain, sports and exercise medicine, skeletal dysplasia, and is involved in research in a number of these areas. Originally graduating from Edinburgh University, Nick has trained around the world, including Australia and Canada. 

With his MD based at St. George’s Hospital, Nick has also worked at Great Ormond Street, where he was awarded the Kourir Award in 2003. Nick enjoys teaching, working in multidisciplinary teams and is particularly interested in working with parents to develop paediatric rheumatology services.

Rachel Tattersall is an Adolescent Rheumatologist working in Sheffield at both Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. With rheumatology teams at both hospitals she runs a seamless service for 10-25 year old patients designed to make the transition from childrens’ to adult services as smooth as possible, to give young people in the service as many choices about their care as possible and to support their families. She qualified in Medicine in 1995 and trained in adult rheumatology in Yorkshire and in paediatric rheumatology in Nottingham taking up her post in Sheffield in 2008. She works nationally to promote adolescent rheumatology for the Royal College of Physicians, the British Society for Rheumatology, the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology and BANNAR, the Barbara Ansell National Network for Adolescent Rheumatology. Her research interests are in medicines decision-making and patient agendas in health care.

Prof Tauny Southwood

Chief Paediatric Medical Advisor, Diana Princess of Wales Children’s Hospital, Birmingham

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Undergraduate medical degrees: Flinders University of South Australia. Paediatric training at Adelaide Children’s Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia. Rheumatology Research Training and Experience 1984: Paediatric research and clinical fellowships: Nephrology: Dr J Jureidini, Adelaide Children’s Hospital 1995-6:Immunology: Professor J Bradley, Adult rheumatology: Professor P Roberts-Thomson, Flinders Medical Centre 1997-9: Fellowship in paediatric rheumatology: Professor R Petty, Professor P Malleson, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 1989: Appointed Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Paediatric Rheumatology, University of Birmingham. 1998: Appointed Professor of Paediatric Rheumatology, University of Birmingham. Current Activities: Birmingham Children’s Hospital Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Paediatric Rheumatology European Society and EULAR liaison officer.

Research Interests: Studies on classification, epidemiology and immune responses in children with arthritis, evaluation of , e-learning in paediatric rheumatology and arthritis education for children with arthritis, and the safety and benefits of anti-cytokine treatment in children with arthritis, evaluation of adolescent/transitional rheumatology programmes of care.

Dr Rooney started her career as a consultant and researcher in paediatric rheumatology in Northwick Park Hospital in 1991, moving after four years to carry on both those roles at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. In 1999 she returned to Northern Ireland and established the local regional service in paediatric rheumatology.  

She was chief investigator on the first multicentre double blind controlled study of the prevention and treatment of steroid – induced osteopaenia in children with rheumatic diseases, the results of which have provided the first evidence- base for the management of bone health in these children. In 2003 she set up a prospect inception cohort, database and sample collection from children with newly diagnosed JIA in Northern Ireland, and currently has the largest synovial tissue collection. Her laboratory’s areas of interest are the synovial membrane and fluid histomorphology and proteome.

Prof Athimalaipet Ramanan

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children & Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases

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Prof Ramanan did his initial paediatric rheumatology training in Manchester including a MSc in Clinical Rheumatology at the University of Manchester and his Fellowship in Paediatric Rheumatology at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

His Unit currently provides a service for the entire South West of England and parts of South Wales. They do outreach clinics in Exeter, Taunton, Torbay, Salisbury and Swansea. He has published more than 25 papers in peer reviewed international journals.

His current research focus is on immunogenetics of systemic onset juvenile arthritis, macrophage activation syndrome and juvenile dermatomyositis. He is the Associate Editor for the musculoskeletal section of the National Library of Health.

Dr Pilkington has been a Consultant in Adolescent & Paediatric Rheumatology at University College and Great Ormond Street Hospitals since September 2001. She has led the rheumatology team at Great Ormond Street Hospital since 2004.

Clarissa has a special interest in juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). She is also an expert on arthritis, scleroderma and musculoskeletal pain as well as being President of the British Society of Paediatric & Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR; September 2012 – 2015).

Dr Pilkington is a founder member of the UK paediatric SLE study group: setting up a UK cohort study and database, as well as international clinical research into juvenile SLE; including defining flare criteria. She is the Principal Investigator for the Biologics and Extended Biologics Registry and for the PLUTO belimumab SLE trial at GOSH.

Dr Jon Packham is a Consultant Adult Rheumatologist in Stoke on Trent with a special interest in Paediatric Rheumatology and spondyloarthritis.

He has completed a doctorate in ‘Long term outcomes in adults with juvenile arthritis’, has acted as Secretary for the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) and continues to participate actively in research.

He has been the lead for the paediatric rheumatology service in Stoke with his paediatric consultant colleague for the past 12 years, over which time the service has more than doubled in size.

He is a member of the Barbara Ansell National Network for Adolescent Rheumatology

Dr Janet E McDonagh is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology at The University of Manchester and Consultant at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Her main clinical and research interests are in adolescent health and transitional care. She has a particular interest in models of care for adolescents with chronic conditions that support young people’s emerging capacity for self-management, that ensure appropriate health risk assessment, support transition to adult health care, adherence to treatment guidelines and engagement with other health care services. She is a member of the Barbara Ansell National Network for Adolescent Rheumatology and is the co-lead of a project to develop a national youth-led engagement strategy for the network.

She is convenor elect of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Young Person’s Special Interest Group and co-chair of the Royal College of Physicians Young Adult and Adolescent strategy group. She is on the advisory council of the Association for Young People’s Health. Dr McDonagh is also involved in the development of training for health professionals in adolescent medicine as well as rheumatology both at an undergraduate as well as post graduate level including her role a trainer in the European Teaching Effective Adolescent Care and Health initiative (www.euteach.com)

Kristina trained to be a doctor at both Cambridge University (1988-91) and then Manchester University (1991-94). Once qualified as a doctor she trained to be an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) in Leeds and Sheffield. She completed her Fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital in August 2009.

She was appointed as a Consultant in Paediatric Ophthalmology at Southampton University NHS Trust in September 2009. Since then she has established a new consultant-provided paediatric uveitis service working very closely with her paediatric rheumatology colleagues. She now provides a tertiary referral service that includes patients from the Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, Dorset and West Sussex as well as Hampshire and Wiltshire.

Dr Jeremy Camilleri graduated in Medicine (1985) after training at the Royal London Hospital. In 1995, he was appointed Consultant Rheumatologist at East Glamorgan Hospital. He moved to the University Hospital of Wales in 1998, taking over the tertiary paediatric rheumatology service for South Wales, for which he is now the lead clinician. Dr Camilleri was Regional Chair for Wales for the British Society for Rheumatology, and Specialty Representative for Wales for the Royal College of Physicians from 2010-2013.

Dr Cleary is a Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist at The Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital, a post that he has recently started. Prior to this, Dr Cleary was a Specialist Registrar in Paediatric Rheumatology and has also trained at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Gavin has a particular interest in nutritional aspects of JIA, and has published work on the use of Entonox (gas and air) during intra-articular steroid injection in children. In addition he has written and published a review of intra-articular injection in JIA, and contributed to the most recent edition of a major paediatric textbook (Forfar and Arneil).

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