Arthritis Care

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Arthritis Care is the UK's largest charity dedicated to supporting people with arthritis (registered charity nos: 206563, SC038693).[1] People with arthritis are at the heart of its work – they form its membership, are involved in its activities and are represented on its staff and board of trustees. It provides information and support on issues related to living with arthritis. Arthritis Care campaigns locally and nationally to make sure people with arthritis have access to treatments and services. In the UK arthritis affects almost three in ten men and women over the age of 55.[2]

Arthritis Care has four national offices (in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England). All activities are coordinated by an office in London.

Arthritis Care's CEO is Judi Rhys.[3]


  • Information and Helplines: Arthritis Care provides information about arthritis. Its helplines team offers confidential support backed up by publications, including Inspire Magazine, its quarterly magazine.[4]
  • Online, Forums and Blogs: Arthritis Care’s website gives people 24-hour access to information and support and allows people to talk to others living with arthritis through online forums and Facebook.
  • Self Management Courses: Arthritis Care runs a range of self-management and personal development programs, giving people the confidence and skills to manage their arthritis.
  • Peer-to-Peer Support: Arthritis Care puts people with arthritis in touch with each other through its network of around 300 branches and groups. It also has offices throughout the UK’s regions.


Arthur Mainwaring Bowen - Founder Arthur Mainwaring Bowen founded the British Rheumatic Association (BRA) in 1947 at the age of 25. It would later be renamed Arthritis Care in 1980. Bowen’s awareness of the needs of people with arthritis began when, at the age of 19, he was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (inflammatory arthritis, primarily affecting the spine). Meeting other young people with arthritis, during long stays in hospital, opened Bowen’s eyes to the isolation they often felt. As well as his charity work, Bowen had a career as a qualified solicitor. He married Helen Patricia in 1953. Together, they had one son and one daughter. Bowen died in his home in 1980. [5]

Jane Asher – President Jane Asher became president of Arthritis Care in 2003. She has given her time to represent the organization at events and chairs the annual general meeting. In addition to her position with Arthritis Care, Jane is a well-known actress, novelist, businesswoman, and patron and president of a number of other UK charities. In 2001 she received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Bristol.[6]

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster – Patron Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster has dedicated time to the support of charities and other organisations and has been involved with Arthritis Care for over twenty years.[6]


Arthritis Care, or the British Rheumatic Association (BRA) as it was then known, was founded by Arthur Mainwaring Bowen on 1 February 1947. That October the association had 554 prospective members.[7]

By the time of Bowen's death on 31 January 1980, Arthritis Care had grown into a national organisation with a wide range of services for people with arthritis.In that year, Arthritis News was published for the first time. It ran to 12 pages and had an initial print-run of 35,000.

Today, Arthritis Care is the UK's largest charity dedicated to supporting people with arthritis. It offers information and support to all people with arthritis through its helpline, website, self-management and personal development programs; and campaigns locally and nationally to make sure people with arthritis have access to treatments and services.[8]

Similar organizations[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Charity Commission UK
  2. ^ YouGov Healthy Living Report 2010 Archived 17 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Charity Times
  4. ^
  5. ^ Richard Gutch, 'Bowen, Arthur Charles Mainwaring (1922-1980)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  6. ^ a b "Patron and President". Arthritis Care. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "British Rheumatic Association" (PDF). British Medical Journal. 2 (4525): 509. PMC 2055778Freely accessible. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.4525.509-b. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 

External links[edit]