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

Gordon has worked in Marketing and General Management with a focus on Health Care for over 25 years in Blue Chip companies such as Procter & Gamble and Danone Nutricia and is currently a Vice President of Global Marketing at Smith & Nephew.  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 Chair of NRAS together with the Board of Trustees, he is committed to working closely with Alisa 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 active teenage 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. She currently runs a specialist Executive search business which locates and hires Research and Quantitative Analysts on behalf of banks and fund managers.

She was diagnosed with RA in 2006 while working for an Inter dealer Broker and found NRAS’s information and support absolutely essential during this time, enabling her to continue to work full time in an intensely competitive and unforgiving environment.

She started to volunteer for NRAS in 2013 and has a particular interest in RA Scientific Research and Audit. She is currently serving on the National Audit of Rheumatoid and Inflammatory Arthritis’s Project Working Group and is the Patient Lead on a nationwide Stratified Medicine Initiative called MATURA which aims to predict what drugs will work best for individual patients based on their biological make up.

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 works as Director and Head of UK Employment Law for the auditing company KPMG, offering legal advice on employment to KPMG’s UK business in the UK and overseas. She is experienced in managing senior stakeholders and multi skilled teams and is also currently acting Head of Diversity and Inclusion (UK) at KPMG and is current chair of the UK for 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 civil and structural engineer who has spent the majority of his career working in engineering consultancy in the rail and highway sectors. His experience includes the leadership and management of teams of varying size with responsibility for service delivery, commercial management and business performance. He is keen to apply the lessons learned in his business career to the benefit of NRAS, and to maximise the help it can bring to people with RA.

Simon first became aware of the enormously valuable work of NRAS through his wife Sarah, an RA sufferer and NRAS member. Through her ongoing 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.

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!

Ellie was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in February 2015. As a business owner coming to terms with managing a chronic long term condition with a demanding workload, Ellie’s research led her to NRAS which helped immensely in truly understanding her condition, meeting others with the disease and keeping at the forefront of information regarding legislation and treatments.

Ellie owns and operates a busy city centre gallery and events space, café and catering business; she has been working with communities, councils and organisations in both the art and food industries since 2011. She is keen to put her experience of running businesses and creative large scale events to good use to help NRAS to develop and achieve its highest potential as a charity. 

Ellie is married to her business partner Matthew. 

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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